Meet the judges
To help us identify Australia's most original and distinctive new writers, The Next Chapter draws on the expertise of literary professionals experienced in reading, writing and the processes of publishing and editing. Meet our judges for 2019.
Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, the most recent of which is City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death & the Need for a Forest. She is a former publisher, former editor of Meanjin, former Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and was a co-founder of The Stella Prize. She is an Adjunct Professor with RMIT's Non/fiction lab.
Ambelin Kwaymullina is an Aboriginal writer, illustrator and law academic who comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She is author/illustrator of numerous picture books and four science fiction novels for young adults. Her latest novel, Catching Teller Crow, was co-written with her brother Ezekiel and won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults. Ambelin is the co-founder (with Rebecca Lim) of Voices from the Intersection, a volunteer initiative that seeks to create opportunities for marginalised Own Voices writers and illustrators.
Benjamin Law writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays and feature journalism. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) – both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards – and the Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools, Moral Panic 101 (2017). The Family Law is now also an award-winning TV series for SBS, which Benjamin created and co-writes.
Benjamin co-wrote the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle, and the sex/relationships advice book Law School (2017) with his mum Jenny. Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC RN’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything. He also co-hosts online startup and tech TV show That Startup Show, and you can catch him on TV shows like Q&A (ABC), The Drum (ABC), The Project (Ten) and Filthy Rich and Homeless (SBS). He’s a Queenslander based in Sydney.
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of the novels Loaded, The Jesus Man, Dead Europe, The Slap and Barracuda, as well as the short story collection Merciless Gods. He co-authored Jump Cuts: An Autobiography with Sasha Soldatow. He wrote a monograph on Fred Schepisi’s The Devil’s Playground for the Australian Screen Classics series, and a monograph on Patrick White for the Writers on Writers series by Black Inc.
Christos is also an essayist, playwright and scriptwriter and is the film reviewer for the Saturday Paper. Christos is Patron of Writers Victoria and an Ambassador for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.
In the first round of assessment, the 2019 Next Chapter judges are supported by a team of experienced readers, consisting of:
- Adolfo Aranjuez
- Bridget Caldwell
- Jo Case
- Elizabeth Flux
- Leanne Hall
- Hella Ibrahim
- Zoya Patel
- Jeff Sparrow