Your writing can make a real difference!
Join the reviewing team at The Book Curator, the only magazine specialising in reader advisory for schools.
Are you looking to broaden your knowledge of children’s and YA new releases? Are you interested in opportunities to build up a portfolio of reviews or hone your review writing? The Book Curator Magazine might be the place for you!
The Book Curator Magazine is a publication aimed at teachers, teacher-librarians and other library staff. In each edition, we review books for a range of ages from Foundation/Prep through to Year 12. Our reviews are intended to give our readers the experience of reading the book themselves, containing plot summaries, breakdowns of major themes, and extensive content notes. This enables them to provide Reader Advisory services (better matching books to readers), decide where a book fits n their collection and/or consider how it could be used in their classroom or other activities.
We’re looking to expand our team of reviewers. An understanding of literature in the educational sphere will be welcome, as will experience writing, editing and/or reviewing children’s and YA literature. We’re specifically looking for people who can offer unbiased and neutral summaries, as our reviews are intended to contain enough information that a professional who reads them can make their own decisions about the suitability of the text and how it fits in their school library.
There are opportunities to review General Market fiction, as well as Christian fiction/non-fiction (you can choose either or both).
If you're interested in joining our team, please complete the form below and we'll be in touch within 14 days.
There's an entire range of benefits and rewards available to successful applicants. To view the full range, please scroll down to the FAQs.
Reviewer's Expression of Interest
We value our reviewers so there are multiple ways you can benefit from working with The Book Curator.
For Your First Review
Receive personalised feedback from our experienced team, to help you learn our unique review structure and further develop your review and/or writing skills.
Earn With Every Review You Write!
For every review submitted on time and in our house style, you'll receive $25 in Bilby Bucks to spend on books via our Bilby's Bookstore website (launching October). Please note that flat rate postage does apply, so you might like to store your credits for birthday or Christmas shopping and then do it all at once!
Complimentary Access to The Book Curator magazine
As soon as your second review has been submitted and approved, you are welcome to request complimentary online access to The Book Curator magazine. Once this has been activated, it will stay live for as long as you successfully complete 12 or more reviews every 12 months. This magazine is usually only available to subscribers.
Encouragement Bonus (3 months)
Review 3 or more books per month (minimum 10 books in total) over your first three months and claim a bonus $25 in Bilby Bucks!
Become an Endorsed Reviewer (6 months)
Review 3 or more books per month (minimum 20 books in total) over your first six months, and request a personal writing reference/recommendation from our Managing Editor, Rowena Beresford, in addition to a 'page pull' featuring one of your reviews (you can choose which one). This also allows you to feature The Book Curator Endorsed Reviewer badge on your website and/or social media, for as long as you are submitting a minimum of 3 on-time, publishable reviews per month.
Writer's Career Advisory (12 months)
Review 3 or more books per month (minimum 40 books in total) over your first twelve months, and you can book a complimentary 45 minute Zoom session with our Managing Editor, Rowena Beresford, to discuss and receive professional feedback on your writing and publishing goals, including story ideas, works-in-progress or completed works. In addition to The Book Curator, Rowena is the Managing Editor of Riveted Press (formerly known as Yellow Brick Books) and published the winner of the prestigious CBCA Book of the Year Award in 2021, Aster's Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon. She is known for her insight and helpful advice, and passion for encouraging debut and emerging authors.
Our standard timeline is 3 weeks from the date we ship the book to you. You can request longer timelines, however this must be done BEFORE we send the book/s to you so we don't send you any urgent titles.
The short answer is yes! We schedule specific book reviews for specific issues of our magazine. When your reviews are late, it can cause significant problems for our editorial team. If you know you are going to be late, please urgently advise us. If we cannot change the timeline, we may need you to send the book back (as it could be the only copy we have).
You are welcome to publish the main body of the review under your own name on your own website or blog, or on sites such as Goodreads and Amazon.
Depending on your readership, you may also want to remove any spoilers (however we don't require you to).
By enrolling as a reviewer with The Book Curator, you agree that we are freely able to utilize the content of your reviewers, including (but not limited to) publication in The Book Curator magazine.
Yes. We thoroughly edit all reviews, and where we consider it necessary, make informed changes to those reviews. These could range from changes to writing style to match our house style, through to content edits and rewrites and/or rating changes, in order to ensure consistency in critique and rating methods.
All reviews are published under The Book Curator masthead, with no author attribution. However, once you have written more than 10 x reviews (in the right format and submitted on time) you are welcome to request a written reference for use in your portfolio.
As we are providing the books for review, we require that the resulting review/s are not provided to any other Australian business that is providing services to the educational sector.
You can opt in to our automatic program (via the Expression of Interest form above) and we will automatically send more books when your reviews are submitted.
Alternatively (if you do NOT opt into the automatic program), it will be your responsibility to let us know when you are ready for more books, and how many you want us to send. You can do this by logging in to your Book Curator account (this same login will give you access to our magazine).
Please keep the book for 21 days after submitting your review, in case we have to ask you for any clarification (as it is highly likely we won't have a copy of the book to refer to).
After that period, you are welcome to: 1. Give the book away to friends or family. 2. Use it as a prize on your blog. 3. Keep it for your own collection.
Please DO NOT donate these book/s to school staff, school libraries or public libraries, or sell them.
If your application is successful, we will provide you with example reviews as well as step-by-step instructions on how to write a review using our format. We'll let you know what to look out for, how to determine if a book is suitable for use as a class novel, how our ratings work etc. When needed, we'll give you feedback to help you develop a better understanding of our house style and review requirements.
There are many different reasons that schools find our detailed reviews and content notes so helpful.
Some want to ensure they are selecting books that portray a broad range of different cultures, experiences, opinions etc.
When it comes to reader advisory, having such detailed information allows librarians to help students find the books they will enjoy the most. One young teen may not be interested in — or ready for — romance between the characters, they just want adventure, or humour, or mystery. Another may want books with more romantic themes. With our thorough reviews, librarians can quickly identify the books that will be most relatable to both students.
Some schools may have particular sensitivities they need to cater to, for example, schools in areas with a high refugee population are often cautious about books that feature pirates, as it can trigger PTSD in children who have experienced related trauma. Others may have preferences relating to their religion.
Our reviews contain detailed information so that the educational/library professionals who read them, can make their own decision about the suitability of each text for their school culture (whatever that may be) and/or be better equipped to advise and support individual readers.
The 'literary rating' given to each book is based on the quality of writing compared with other books in that genre. For example, a light hearted, humorous story is rated against other books of the same kind, rather than being compared with literary heavyweights.
Our 'good read' rating is based on how well we think a reader in the target age group would enjoy the book, not the reviewer's enjoyment of the book.