The Space Girls team banner, made by Katherine

Last year I was a judge for the Self-Published Sci-fi Competition #2 as part of Team ScienceFiction.News. This year, I was given the opportunity to lead my own team for the 3rd competition — The Space Girls! I’m very excited to welcome Katherine, Kerry, Nancy, Barb, and Lisa to the team.

221 books have been allocated across 10 teams, and from 1st September begins the difficult task of finding just one winner. Last year, my favourite book from our initial allocation, The Last Gifts Of The Universe by Rory August, went on to win. I’m crossing fingers that we’ll have similar luck this year! 

Learn about each team member below, and make sure you follow them to see their reviews and follow along with the contest.

Claire (team lead)

A picture of Claire

Hi, I’m Claire! I live in Sudbury in Suffolk, UK.

I enjoy reading all types of fiction, especially sci-fi, fantasy and horror, but my favourite genre is post-apocalyptic and dystopian. This is my second time judging for SPSFC and my first time leading a team. I’m also a panellist for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award 2023, which also celebrates indie authors.

Other than reading, I am a big fan of pinball — my partner and I have 13 pinball machines between us, and we play in and organise tournaments across the UK. I also enjoy indoor cycling, going to the cinema, going to gigs and journalling, and my hair changes colour on a regular basis.

TwitX  | Instagram | Goodreads


A picture of Katherine

I was involved in the other side of last year’s competition as a contestant. This time round, I figured I would help out with the judging. Two of my favourite books were in the finals last year, so I’m looking forwards to finding more favourites this year! I’m already a few books into the slush pile, armed with a fancy formula to make sure I score things fairly. If you want to follow along, I’ll be using a newly created Tumblr blog, The Fussy Space Girl, as a hub for all my reviews etc.


A picture of Kerry

Kia Ora, I’m Kerry and I reside in the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

I’ve been an avid reader for 50 years and my favourite loves are Fantasy and Sci-fi (or a combo of them both). I’m now in my fourth year as a judge for SPFBO and this will be my 2nd time as a judge for SPSFC. I’m extremely passionate about self-published/indie books and these days they make up about 80% of my reading material.

When I’m not reading, I am a loud advocate, ally and peer supporter of people living with disabilities, sex workers, drug addicts and the LGBTQI+ community.

twitX | Goodreads


A picture of Nancy

Hi! I’m Nancy Foster, a Mexican indie author that mainly writes fantasy stories in English.

This is the first time I am a judge in a writing competition, so this is a new experience for me. I mainly volunteered because it looked like fun and to help give the competition a bigger boost in popularity.

When I am on vacation, I like to travel to very far-flung parts of the world. I hope to have a great time and to offer more books the visibility they deserve.


A picture of Barb

Barb here, 40 year old part-time professional Bookworm and full-time working for the local government in Belfast in social media and communications.

I live with my partner Aaron of 14 years, my cockapoo little Novak and have a wonderful family and great friends.

I’m a huge lover of fantasy, Sci-fi of course and lots of other genres and have been a Booktuber for a while too — check out my channel, Barb’s Bookland.


Picture of Lisa

Hi there. My name is Lisa, and I’m a Booktuber and fantasy lover from the UK. Give me a story with a dragon in and I’m hooked!

I currently work as a manager for my local Council but in my spare time, alongside reading, I like to cross stitch, watch anime, learn new languages (currently Spanish and French), and spend time with my loved ones.

My love of fantasy and Sci-fi has just grown over the last few years and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.

twitX | Instagram | YouTube | Goodreads

Meet the other teams

Stay tuned to find out what books we will be reading in our initial allocation!