Caroline CarpenterYA Book Prize chair & The Bookseller’s deputy features editor
Megan CrabbeBody positivity campaigner & influencer
Stacey CroftDigital Marketing and Brand Manager, National Book Tokens
Julia EccleshareHay Festival’s children’s director
Lucas MaxwellAward-winning school librarian
Eloise WilliamsAuthor & Children’s Laureate Wales
- Caroline CarpenterYA Book Prize chair & The Bookseller’s deputy features editor
Caroline is deputy features editor at The Bookseller and chair of the YA Book Prize. She has worked at The Bookseller since 2013, following publishing internships and a stint at The Voice newspaper, during which time she has taken a keen interest in children’s and YA publishing. She has run the social media for the YA Book Prize since it launched and is also the author of Guide to the Hunger Games.
- Megan CrabbeBody positivity campaigner & influencer
Megan (she/her), also known as her social media handle ‘Bodyposipanda’, has over a million followers on Instagram. She is an eating disorder recovery advocate, unapologetic feminist, and body positivity campaigner. Her debut book Body Positive Power has taught thousands of women how to stop dieting and make peace with their bodies for good. Megan appeared in Little Mix’s music video, Strip, is an ambassador for The Body Shop and has spoken around the world on the topic of body positivity.
It's such an exciting time in YA fiction, there's more diverse voices and narratives being represented than ever and I'm so grateful to be part of something that shines a light on the great stories out there. Plus now when I spent whole days reading I can say it's because I'm contractually bound to - does it get better than that?'
- Stacey CroftDigital Marketing and Brand Manager, National Book Tokens
Stacey worked in adult non-fiction and children’s publishing before moving to the marketing team at National Book Tokens in 2015. She spends her working days creating content for the Caboodle website and newsletter, managing the popular Hidden Books Game, and working with publishers on new gift card designs. She loves reading YA, contemporary fiction, and graphic novels, and can be found blogging about books over on prettybooks.co.uk
It has been a dream of mine to be a YA Book Prize judge ever since it launched in 2014, when I was working in children’s and YA publishing, so I am extremely happy to be approached this year! This year’s shortlist is a fantastic mix of genres and I cannot wait to get stuck in, and see what the other judges think of the books!
- Julia EccleshareHay Festival’s children’s director
Julia is an experienced children's book journalist, children's book award chair and the director of Hay Festival's children's programme. Her most recent book is 1001 Children’s Books to Read Before You Grow Up. She won the Eleanor Farjeon Award in 2000 and was appointed MBE in 2014 for services to children’s books.
- Lucas MaxwellAward-winning school librarian
Lucas Maxwell grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada where he tried and failed at several jobs including fisherman, door to door salesman and stand up comedian. He has spent the last ten years working with youth in libraries. In 2013 he moved to the UK and became a school librarian. He writes for Book Riot and the School Librarian magazine. In 2017 he was named the UK’s School Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association.
I’m very excited to be judging the YA Book Prize, my mission is to put great books into the hands of students and to be a part of an award that celebrates amazing novels is a real honour
- Eloise WilliamsAuthor & Children’s Laureate Wales
Eloise is the inaugural Children’s Laureate Wales 2019-2021, an initiative run by Literature Wales. Having originally trained in Theatre at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, she went on to work as a performer, theatre maker and creative practitioner for over a decade before studying for an MA in Creative and Media Writing at Swansea University in 2011. She has since published four books for young people with Firefly Press.
I'm delighted to have the opportunity to join in with celebrating the wealth and quality of today's YA fiction. The shortlist is so varied and interesting. It's going to be a real treat. I can't wait to delve into those pages!