The 2020 recipient of the School Library Association of New South Wales Maurice Saxby Award is Will Kostakis. The Maurice Saxby Award recognises service to children’s and/or young adult literature by an individual, team or organisation that has displayed excellence and passion in promoting reading and/or writing for young people in NSW.
Will's passion, excellence, and commitment to the promotion of reading and children’s literature are evidenced by his roles as an ambassador for the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge and Australia Reads, and as a mentor of children and young adults as both readers and writers.
Will has devoted considerable time, energy and expertise in engaging young readers and writers across NSW, often waiving fees, offering free virtual sessions, and self-funding regional tours in hard-to-reach schools, to ensure students have the experience of exposure to, and connection with, a real-life author! As a regular guest in schools, Will is well known as a catalyst for creating and nurturing young readers and writers. His Author in Residence programs inspire student writers through his rich, practical and real-world connections to writing.
Growing up in an immigrant family and being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, Will has been a staunch advocate for the development of diverse and inclusive collections in school libraries. Driven by the hope he can help make students feel less alone through literary connections, Will is empowering readers and positively contributing to the reading culture of schools.
In 2020, Will launched Line by Line, a virtual writing club for established, emerging, and aspiring storytellers as part of his response to the limitations of connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will is active on social media, promoting his work and the work of like-minded authors. His awards and ambassadorships to date are impressive, but it is belief that representation matters that keep readers coming back to his work. The members of the School Library Association of NSW congratulate Will on the receipt of this award.
This award will be presented at The Laureate & The Literacy Leader Professional Learning Summit on March 13th, 2021.Download PDF