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Announcing the judges for the 2023 Ada Cambridge and Jennifer Burbidge writing prizes


We are thrilled to announce our panel of judges for Willy Lit Fest’s 2023 suite of writing prizes.


With a lifelong love of language and literature, and a career spanning more decades than she cares to remember, Lis Grove has taught English and French in schools and universities, worked as a researcher in language acquisition and assessment and as an editorial consultant. Closely associated with the Williamstown Literary Festival from its beginnings and addicted to good writing, she has judged the Adas Prose Prize for the past eight years and co-edited the awards anthology on several occasions.

Helen Jarvis teaches at a high school in Melbourne’s west. She is a poet who has had work published in various anthologies, including ‘Award Winning Australian Writing’. Her work has won the Adas poetry and biographical prose prizes. Helen is a member of the Literary Festival committee and was one of the prose award judges in 2022.


Andy Jackson is a poet and creative writing teacher, and was awarded the inaugural Writing the Future of Health Fellowship. He has been shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, the John Bray Poetry Award and the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. Andy has co-edited disability-themed issues of Southerly and Australian Poetry Journal, and his latest poetry collection is Human Looking, which won the 2022 ALS Gold Medal and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry.

Gayelene Carbis is an Australian-Chinese-Cornish-Irish writer of poetry, prose and plays. Her first book of poetry, Anecdotal Evidence (Five Islands Press) was awarded Finalist – International Book Awards, 2019. In 2022, Gayelene won First Prize, Ros Spencer Poetry Prize; Best Micro Fiction Prize, SF3 Festival; Finalist, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing–Poetry; and was recently Highly Commended, Woorilla Poetry Prize. Other recent awards: Second Prize, Newcastle Poetry Prize 2021; and 2020–2021, First Prize, My Brother Jack Poetry Award; Highly Commended/Commended, Ada Cambridge, My Brother Jack, and Yeats Poetry Prizes; and Finalist, Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize. Gayelene’s second poetry collection, I Have Decided to Remain Vertical (Puncher and Wattmann) was published in 2022. Gayelene is currently working on a collection of stories.


Literature has always been a big part of Chris Ringrose‘s life, so he’s loved being part of the Litfest since moving from the UK to Australia in 2012. Chris is an Adjunct Associate Professor of English at Monash University. His poetry has won awards in England, Canada and Australia, and he has published critical work on modern fiction, literary theory and children’s literature. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and a poetry reviewer for the Australian Poetry Journal. His latest collection of poems is Palmistry (ICoE Press, 2019). Creative Lives, a collection of interviews with South Asian writers, was published in 2021 by Ibidem/Columbia University Press.

Margaret Campbell has won prizes for her short stories and poetry which have been published in literary magazines and newspapers in Australia and overseas. Her books include poetry, a young adult novel, a children’s chapter book, a verse novel, oral histories, and collections of poetry and short stories. She is a member of Western Union Writers, also a member of Western Women Writers and was a co-editor of Poetrix, their women’s poetry magazine for its twenty years’ publication.
She is co-ordinator of Imagination Creation Western Union’s young writers’ group she established in 1994, which from 1997 conducted an annual competition, now the Wyndham Library’s successful undertaking. Margaret was awarded a Centenary Medal for her work with young writers.


Charnie Braz is an award-winning journalist and communications advisor with a Bachelor of Arts and an MBA from the University of Queensland. She is a keen political observer and consumer of current affairs who lives in Canberra.
She is a former member of Williamstown Literary Festival committee, a member of Willy Writers, ASA and Writers Victoria, and is Faber Academy alumni.
In 2020 Charnie was instrumental in bringing the Jennifer Burbidge Prize out of hiatus and giving it a new home at Willy Lit Fest. She is happy to help judge the prize in memory of Dr Mary Burbidge, from whom she received excellent advice on writing and life and many belly laughs.

A well-published poet and fiction writer, Helen Cerne explores women’s creative experiences and artistic collaborative partnerships. Active in the arts community in the western suburbs, Helen’s work has appeared in Meanjin, Overland, the Age, and on the ABC. Coordinator of Western Union Writers, and a tutor of creative writing at Victoria University since 1995, she has published a co-written local history, a poetry collection, Just Heart Work and a novel about teaching in the western suburbs, Those who Can’t. Helen’s PhD, Circling Lina examined past and present Victorian heterosexual artistic partnerships. A collaborative autobiographical novel, Shifting, written with her late husband Serge was published in 2015. In 2007 she established Vanark Press to publish innovative first novels set in Melbourne.


How to enter
Submissions are open until the 10th of March 2023. To enter visit the ‘Writing Prizes’ pages to complete an entry form, download your story or poem(s), and pay the $15 entry fee (if applicable) by bank transfer. Happy writing.