guppy-single-mono copy Guppy Books

Introducing the judges for the Guppy Open Submissions Middle-Grade Competition!

It’s time to whittle down the longlist to the shortlist, announcement to be made on Thursday, but before then check out the four talented and experienced judges who will be involved in choosing a WINNER! I’m so thrilled that all these people, with their expertise, are able to read and consider all the shortlisted entries over the summer, with the winner to be announced in the autumn.

Adamma Okonkwo is an editor at the Golden Egg Academy following a stint in audio publishing. A recovering architect, she decided to take refuge in the more exciting world of books and has since lived happily ever after.

Jenny Jones read so many books during her time as a Carnegie and Greenaway Award Judge that she ended up having to do special pre-reading warm-up exercises for her arm muscles. She’s been a School Librarian for 0-13 year olds for nearly nine years now. She previously worked in the Graduate School of Education Library in the University of Bristol and Bristol’s Public Library Service where she loved running the Summer Reading Challenge for children. At the moment she is working in Clifton College’s Prep School Library with Years 4-8. She has demanding, discerning and vocal young readers and she is always on the look-out for books that they will fall in love with and inevitably squabble over when all of the Library copies are on loan.

Rich Simpson is a UK-based Primary Deputy Headteacher, with over 20 year’s experience as a classroom teacher, school leader and English subject leader. A passion for reading and Children’s Literature led him to set up book review site during lockdown, and he is involved with numerous publishers, on blogtours, designing resources for use with books and blogging as @richreadalot. He was the winner of Nexus Education’s 2021 award for School Improvement.

Linda Sargent grew up in Kent, went to the University of Sussex (fashionably late) to study Economic History, at least that was the official line, but as usual spent a lot of time reading fiction. She has worked in education and the arts since the nineteen seventies, and since 2002 has worked as a publisher’s reader for David Fickling Books and as a freelance reminiscence and disability advisor. She has published short stories and articles and her first novel, Paper Wings, appeared in 2010; she is also the author of Words and Wings, a training guide to creative reminiscence work, available as a free download from her website: