Internationally acclaimed author, screenwriter, speaker, and educator Pablo Cartaya served as the special guest judge for the contest. Pablo has worked with Disney, Apple+, and Sesame Street on projects adapted from television series and features and in 2021, he served as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. His most recent novels include: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, Each Tiny Spark, and the climate dystopia The Last Beekeeper. Pablo has won several awards and honors, including: Jane Addams Book Award Finalist; Schneider Family Book Award Honor; Pura Belpre Honor; E.B. White Read-Aloud Finalist; Audie Award Finalist (for narration and title). He is proudly bilingual en español y ingles.