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The Judging Panel

Our judges represent the languages spoken in the Rooted Everyday eco-regions and are writers with backgrounds in fiction, non-fictional, journalism, environmental media, publishing, academia, campaign and activism.

Author Amy Beeson
UK Judge

Author and Poet Brahim Elboukhari
Moroccan Judge

Author and Publisher Isabel Minhós Martins
Portuguese Judge

Author Maria Rousakis
Greek Judge

Author Rania Masri
Lebanese Judge

Author Joaquín Araújo
Spanish Judge

What the judges are looking for:

●  Stories that address conservation issues highlighted within the Rooted Everyday campaign

●  Stories drawn from the oral tradition of handing down tales in the eco-regions featured in the campaign

●  Stories that bring together the struggles of the people, richness of the land and urgency for preserving it in well-crafted
scenes that surprise and inspire

●  Stories of discovery and travel within the Mediterranean that explore the natural world

●  Stories that reveal the ways in which being rooted can led to change for people and planet

Be inspired by the Rooted Everyday projects.

Photo by The Mango Lab

Follow @amyibeeson

Amy Beeson is the chair of the Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize. She is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, copywriting and communications. Amy has co-written with Sarah Beeson MBE two memoirs The New Arrival, Our Country Nurse and a parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family published by HarperCollins in paperback, ebook and audiobook. She is currently writing a debut novel How To Be A Good Wife.


Stories change how we see the world. It’s urgent for our survival that more people see what’s truly at stake for people and planet and engage with it emotionally and personally. It’ll be a learning experience for me and every reader to see the world through new writers’ eyes and travel to new places and experience different ways of life through their stories.

Amy runs Wordsby a branding and communications agency that works closely with the Rooted Everyday campaign. She studied English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia followed by an MA in Writing & Performance for Theatre, Film & Television at the University of York. She has won prizes for poetry, had several plays performed and was a young playwright at the Birmingham Rep where she met her husband writer Takbir Uddin. They now live in London with their daughter, Ava.

Follow Brahim Elboukhari

Brahim Elboukhari is a Moroccan poet, author and a teacher of English. His works include: The Soft Wind of Summer: a collection of poems; The dark days of our village: The story of a land; Fragments of Moroccan society and; Representation and Resistance: A Post-Colonial Study to Bowles’ Sheltering Sky.


“Work in biodiversity has shined a light on the bond between the people and the land in the Mediterranean. This is an opportunity to celebrate our stories and traditional practices. I want to see stories that preserve the traditional themes of life in the Mediterranean by writing them in creative ways that will make people think deeply about these issues. I want to be entertained too.”

Brahim grew up in the small village of Merzouga where storytelling is a powerful tool used to sensitize the whole community to take positive action for conservation, the environment, endangered species, and traditions. He graduated in 2006 with a BA in English Language and Literature. In 2008, he received his MA in Humanities and Area Studies: Colonial and Post-Colonial Discourse. In 2009, he graduated from the Ecole Normal Superieur in Rabat as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Brahim believes in the Arabic saying that ‘the poet is the product of their environment’.

Follow Isabel Minhós Martins

Isabel Minhós Martins is the author of illustrated albums, many of which have been translated into other languages, including When I was Born (from the selection “100 Outstanding Picturebooks” at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2018); The Manta (White Ravens selection 2012); With the Time (Best children’s book, SPA 2015), and No one Passes! (Winner of the Gustav-Heinemann Friedenspreis Prize for Peace and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, Germany, 2017). Since founding the publishing company Planeta Tangerina with a group of friends in 2000, Isabel has been dedicated to the creation of illustrated books for children. She was the winner of the BOP 2013 Prize for “Best European Children’s Publishing House”, promoted by the International Children’s Book Fair of Bologna.


When I first went to the Rooted Everyday website, I learned something amazing: 75% of Europeans live in urban areas.

This is an impressive number that raises many questions: what will happen to rural areas if we all go to the cities? Agricultural models? To the forests? To the territory? To our relationship with nature? Does the fact that almost all of us live in cities prevent us from seeing beyond their peripheries?

I believe that the place where we live always moulds us culturally and as people. And I also believe that the fact that we have a close relationship with our landscapes (and everything they contain) – of knowledge, contemplation and participation – will more easily lead us to more sustainable ways of life.

For all this I was so pleased with the invitation to join the jury of this contest that has the landscape of the montado as the main character. Precisely because the montado is proof that it is not only the landscape that shapes us, but that we can all help build it, in search of more balanced models for all parties.”

Follow Maria Rousakis

Maria Rousakis has written over 40 books for children of all ages as well as two literary novels.  Her books have won awards in both Greece and the U.S.  They have been aired on television shows in both countries (in the U.S. her book, Unique Monique was featured on The Reading Rainbow).

“Through writing we can demonstrate the threats that could destroy our natural environment, our traditions and our history. The writers can be like the Mediterranean Sea; a channel for both communication and culture. Narratives can propose solutions to the problems we face as well as giving contestants the opportunity to compete in the field of literature.”

Maria is an acclaimed Greek-American author. Some of her works have also been translated into Chinese, Korean, Swedish and Turkish. Maria was also the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Greece between 2010 and 2014 and is a member of IBBY.

List of Works

  • Unique Melpo (Papadopoulos, 2001) picture book for ages 4-8
  • Unique Monique (Kane/Miller, 2002) picture book
  • Who Listens to Melpo… (Papadopoulos, 2003) picture book for ages 4-8
  • The Lemon Trees (Papadopoulos, 2004) children’s novel for ages 9-12
  • Swimming in Deep Water (Papadopoulos, 2006) children’s novel for ages 9-12
  • The Feather Princess (Papadopoulos, 2006) picture book for ages 5-9
  • Matoula’s Halves (Papadopoulos, 2007) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Simina’s Striped Sock (Kedros, 2002) a Christmas picture book for ages 3-6
  • A Plot of Land for Simina (Kedros, 2003) picture book for ages 3-6
  • Simina, You’re a Star (Kedros, 2004) picture book for ages 3-6
  • Red Candy in the Morning (Kedros, 2007) picture book for ages 4-8
  • How to Care for your pet monster  (Patakis, 2007) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • I have a Magical Room (Neoset & Papadopoulos, 2008) picture book for ages 4-8
  • The Brother with No Front Teeth (Patakis, 2009) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Mr. Kiouk has the Hiccups (Metaixmio, 2009) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • I Like to Scream!  (Metaixmio, 2010) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Donuts ate me one night  (Psichogios, 2010) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • The school bus bully (Psichogios, 2010) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • The Princess Mandalena Series (picture books)
  •             The Perfect Birthday (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  •             Tea with Friends (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  •             The Fairy Godmother’s Gift (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  •             The Bewitched Forest (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  •             The Magic Book (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  •             The School Paper (Papadopoulos, 2010)
  • The Letters Dance (Papadopoulos, 2010) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Pink Hair (Psichogios, 2011) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • I’m Not a Snitch! (Patakis, 2011) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Reos, the best of friends (Metaixmio, 2012) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Helen Keller – A flame in the dark (Kedros, 2012) – biography for children
  • Pass it to Me (uTales, 2012) – digital picture book
  • Red Cowboy Boots (Psichogios, 2013) paperback picture book for 2-4 yrs. old
  • Space News (Minoas, 2013) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • The Treasure of Taygetos (Minoas, 2013) children’s novel for ages 9-12
  •  Baboula Baby (A-Z Publishing, 2013) – picture book
  • The Giant’s Wife (Metaixmio, 2014) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • At the Dinosaur Academy (Papadopoulos, 2014) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • Listen to the Rhythm (Kedros, 2014) young adult novel
  • My Sister is a Dragon (Patakis, 2015) paperback picture book for beginner readers
  • The Pincher (Psichogios, 2015) paperback picture book for 2-4 yrs. old
  • The Enigma of the Aegean (Minoas, 2015) children’s novel for ages 9-12
  • What Remains is a Gaze (Psichogios, 2016) literary novel
  • A Smile and a Shine (Psichogios, 2017) children’s novel for ages 9-12
  • Kassiani’s Night (Psichogios, 2018) literary novel
  • A River Inside Me (Patakis, 2018) picture book
  • Pythagoras (Kokkini Klosti Demeni, 2018) biographical picture book
  • Socrates (Kokkini Klosti Demeni, 2018) biographical picture book
  • The Little Caveboy (Psichogios, 2018) paperback picture book for beginner readers

Participation in Collected Works

  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2009
  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2010
  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2011
  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2012
  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2013
  •              Keep Calm for Mothers – Minoas, 2013
  •             So, we say No – A Collection of Works by WLT, Parrisia 2014
  •             The Women’s Literary Team Calendar 2017

Follow Rania Masri

Rania Masri PhD is a political ecologist, environmental justice activist, and the regional coordinator for the Academic Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice. Throughout her career, she has worked to bring a holistic, interdisciplinary lens to the environmental sciences, and a recognition that environmental management must encompass a human rights and social justice practice.

Her writings have centred on issues of ecological sustainability, environmental politics, and social movements. She has also written and organized extensively against the sanctions on Iraq and the occupation of (all) Palestine, as well as civil and environmental rights.


“One of the critical pathways to protecting our environment is communication. Powerful writing about our lands, our waters, the plants, and the other animals, and about our own relationships with the earth, with other species, and with ourselves  have the ability to change the way we see the environment, and thus have the ability to change our actions.

This competition is an opportunity for both children and adults to explore their creative writing skills and lead us all towards greater environmental awareness. I am excited to be on the judging panel.”

Most recently, Rania concluded her tenure as the Associate Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut, and is now teaching at the Lebanese American University. 

Rania has also served as an environmental science professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon (2005-2014), the Environment and Energy Policy Specialist as the UNDP-Regional Office in Cairo (2012-2013), and Director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Center at the Institute for Southern Studies in North Carolina (in the US). 

Rania holds a PhD in Forestry from North Carolina State University (2001), and a Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University (1995).

Book Chapters

  • “Assault on Iraq’s Environment: Radioactive Waste and Disease – The effects of depleted uranium weaponry and blockade.” Iraq: Its History, People and Politics. Ed. by Shams Inati. Prometheus Books. 2003
  • “Iraq: Reconstruction or Deconstruction?” Iraq – a Liberated Country? (Der Irak – ein befreites Land?) Edited by Michael Schiffmann, Rüdiger Göbel, and Joachim Guilliard. Papyrossa Verlag (Germany). 2003
  • Abunimah, Ali and Rania Masri. “The Media’s Deadly Spin on Iraq.” Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War. Ed. by Anthony Arnove. South End Press. Co-Published by Pluto Press in London. 2000. Second Edition – 2002
  • “The Al-Aqsa Intifada: A natural consequence of the military occupation, the Oslo accords, and the ‘peace process.’” The Struggle for Palestine. Ed. by Lance Selfa. Haymarket Books. 2002

Follow Joaquín Araújo

Joaquín Araújo is a writer, journalist, and editor. He has devoted almost 50 years of his life to communication, dissemination, and raising awareness about the importance of conserving nature. His deep interest in nature conservation has led him to participate and write more than 2000 articles and a hundred of books. He has received 49 awards, amongst them, the UN Global 500.


“The opportunity to be a judge in the Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Competition opens up new perspectives. It is an invaluable chance to get to know what topics interest novel writers, as well as, their literary skills. But, above all, it is also instructive not only for the participants, but specially for the judges who take pleasure in reading new ideas, sensitivities and constructive proposals”.

Joaquín actively collaborates with numerous associations and environmental, cultural and caring NGOs.  He was part of the coordination and direction of eight encyclopedias and has curated in six exhibitions. His indefatigable and enthusiastic informative work and his mastery of the audio visual have allowed him to act as director, advisor, scriptwriter and presenter of more than 300 programs and documentaries and to participate in more than 3000 radio programs.

His publications include: 

  • Todavía vivo, Madrid,  Penthalón, 1980. Reeditado por  Calenda, 1991.
  • Cultivar la Tierra,  Madrid, Penthalón, 1981.
  • España herida, Barcelona, Círculo de Lectores, 1988
  • Los Parques Nacionales, Barcelona, Lunwerg,  3 ediciones diferentes renovadas y ampliadas: 1989,1994 y 1999.
  • La Voz de la Naturaleza: biografía de Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente,  Barcelona, Salvat, 1990.
  • 500 excursiones por la Naturaleza de España, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1994
  • Maravillosas emboscadas, Madrid, Anaya, 1998. 60.000 ejemplares vendidos
  • La sonata del bosque, Madrid, Caja Madrid-Lunwerg. 1999
  • España vista desde el Cielo (2003) Círculo de Lectores.
  • Ecos…lógicos, Madrid, Maeva. 2000.
  • El Agua en España: Proteo o el cuarto elemento   (Aquamed- Lunwerg) 2008
  • Los parques emocionales (TUNDRA 2017)
  • Aire poemario TUNDRA 2018