Meet our judges
Connor is the newly appointed Children’s Laureate of Wales He’s a multidisciplinary artist who graduated from Trinity Saint David as an Actor in 2013. He is a member of National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and was also the winner of Triforce’s Cardiff MonologueSlam, representing Wales at the London winners edition. As a writer he was a member of the BBC Wales Welsh Voices and The Welsh Royal Court/NTW writing groups and has written for BBC Wales, BBC Radio 4, Sherman Theatre, Literature Wales and Dirty Protest. Connors work is heavily inspired by elements of his own life such as grief, love, masculinity, identity, and ethnicity. Most recently he was longlisted for the 2020 Wales Writer in Residence, Won the Rising Star Wales Award 2021 and was the recipient of a Jerwood Live Work Fund. He is also associate artist of his hometown theatre The Riverfront in Newport.
Caroline grew up in a little town in Yorkshire called Knaresborough where she had a very happy childhood. She loved reading and especially writing; when she was fourteen she was runner-up in a National Young Writers’ Competition. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and went on to write The Animal Welfare Handbook (published by Fourth Estate in 1993). After spending 30 years with her husband bringing up a family on a farm in Aberdeenshire, Caroline went back to writing. She entered the Kelpies Prize for Children’s’ Writing, with her book Red Fever, and won. Two sequels to Red Fever were published; Black Tide ( short-listed for The Scottish Children’s Book Award) and then later, Silver Storm, which were also very successful.
Joseph Coelho is a multi-award winning children’s author and poet. He writes across several mediums for children including stage plays, picture books, non-fiction and middle grade. He wrote and presented Teach Poetry - a 10-part BBC online series that aims to make the writing of poetry fun and accessible to all.
Sarah Edmonds is an illustrator and designer based in Worthing. Originally from South Wales, she grew up on a farm and a love of nature still inspires her work today. She is known for her funny puns and sells a growing collection of playful gifts and homewares. Sarah has illustrated a number of children's books and worked on projects with museums, hospitals and national parks.
Alex T. Smith
Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 20 languages worldwide, and is now on TV. Alex's latest series is the critically acclaimed and well-loved Mr Penguin. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award, the Children's Book of the World Illustration Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.