The $56,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will be judged by reviewer and bookseller Kiran Dass; books editor and feature writer Paul Little; and writer Claire Finlayson, former Programme Director of the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival. They will be joined in deciding the ultimate winner from their shortlist of four by award-winning American novelist and writer, Tommy Orange.
Judging the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry will be teacher and 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist Briar Wood (Te Hikutu ki Hokianga, Ngāpuhi Nui); teacher and award-winning poet and novelist Anne Kennedy; and professor of English at the University of Otago Jacob Edmond.
The General Non-Fiction Award will be judged by editor Sarah Shieff, associate professor of English at the University of Waikato; filmmaker and lecturer in Māori history at Victoria University Wellington Arini Loader (Ngāti Raukawa, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Whakaue); and Dunedin bookseller Michael Yeomans.
The Illustrated Non-Fiction Award will be judged by Dale Cousens (Ngāruahine) of the National Library of New Zealand; bookseller and former publisher Brian Phillips; and writer, graphic designer and magazine art director Jenny Nicholls.