Entry Information for Publishers and Creators

Entry Information

The full CBCA Book of the Year Awards policy can be viewed here.

The online entry form can be accessed here.

Acceptance of Entry

Entry to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards comprises three components:

  • Completion of the entry form, 
  • Payment of the entry fee and
  • Submission of the required number of copies of the book.

Eligibility of the book and creator/s will be confirmed by the Awards Committee. Entries deemed ineligible for the Awards will not be returned nor the entry fee refunded.

Entry Form:

Entries can be submitted via our new online 'Book of the Year Awards' entry form, which can be accessed here. All entry information will be maintained in a secure database. For further information about storage of personal information please refer to the CBCA Privacy Policy.

Entry Fee:

The entry fee of $99 (inc GST) for each book entered in each category is to be paid prior to acceptance of entry (Policy Section 8.3). Payment can be made via credit card or direct deposit.

The entry fee covers the cost of administering the Awards.

Copies of Books:

Five copies of the book are required for each category entered. A book set with one ISBN is regarded as ONE entry requiring five sets.

The books will be distributed to the appropriate category judges and the Awards Committee. Submitted copies of books whether deemed eligible or not shall become the property of the CBCA and shall not be returned to the entrant.

All entries will be acknowledged and receipted. While all reasonable care will be taken, no responsibility will be accepted for loss or damage of submitted entries.

Send Books To:

Awards Administrator
The Children’s Book Council of Australia
Level 2, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Closing Date for Entries:

For books published 1st January to 30th June:         31st July 2018
For books published 1st July to 31st December:       30th November 2018

Awards Queries:

Please email any queries regarding the CBCA Book of the Year Awards to: awards@cbca.org.au


The Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards are for books with an implied readership under the age of eighteen.

There are six categories in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. A book may be entered in more than one category, each category entered incurs the entry fee and needs to be accompanied by 5 copies of the book. An entered book will be judged only in the nominated category against the particular category criteria. 

CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers

Entries in this category should be books for young people aged between 13 and 18 years (secondary school level). Readers require a degree of maturity to appreciate the themes and scope of emotional involvement. Books in this category may be fiction, drama, illustrated text, poetry or graphic novels.

CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Entries in this category should be books for children aged between 8 and 12 years (primary school level). Books in this category may be fiction, drama, illustrated text, poetry or graphic novels. 

CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Entries in this category should be books suitable in content and style for pre and beginning readers for children in the age range 0 to 6 years (infants and pre-school level). This include works of fiction, poetry, wordless, board and concept books. The illustrations reflect all the text on the page and often do not add extra meaning to the storyline. 

CBCA Picture Book of the Year

Entries in this category should be books of the genre in which the text and illustrations achieve artistic and literary unity and the story, theme or concept is enhanced and unified through the illustrations. A picture book can be written and illustrated by a sole creator or a collaborative effort between two or more creators. The text and illustrations work cohesively. The illustrations are an integral part of, or extend the meaning on the page. The age range for this category is 0 to 18 years.

Eve Pownall Award 

Entries in this category should be books with the prime purpose of documenting factual material. Consideration should be given to imaginative presentation, interpretation and variation of style. This includes works of non-fiction, autobiographies and biographies. This does not include activity books, text books or procedural texts. The age range for this category is 0 to 18 years.

Crichton Award for New Illustrators

Entries in this category are for books where the illustrator is emerging or new to the field of children’s book illustration. The entry must be the illustrator’s first illustrated book published by a trade publisher where illustrations form a significant part of the book’s narrative or information content. The age range for this category is 0 to 18 years.

Eligibility Criteria for Books

  1. Books must be published in Australia between 1 January and 31 December 2018.
  2. Books must be available for purchase by the general public in Australia.
  3. Books must be written in the English language or bilingual texts where one language must be English.
  4. Books entered must meet at least one of the following five criteria to be eligible:
    1. Not previously published;
    2. New picture book version of previously published text;
    3. Retelling of traditional materials;
    4. Anthology or collection, of which the greater part of the work has not previously been published in a single volume;
    5. Substantially revised edition. (Publishers to provide evidence of the extent of revisions.)
  5. These awards are only for books in the printed format, as distinct from digital and audiovisual formats.
  6. Only entries for readers up to eighteen years will be eligible.

Additional Details

  • Any entries with accompanying non-book materials will be judged solely on the merits of the book component.
  • Textbooks will not be eligible for entry.
  • Books written as part of a series or published in serial form will be judged as separate entities which must be able to 'stand alone' as a complete work in their own right. Each must have an independent structure and not be reliant on other parts of the series.
  • Books entered as a boxed set with an ISBN for the set will be judged as a whole and attract one entry fee.
  • Books in manuscript form are not eligible for these awards.

Eligibility Criteria for Creators

The term ‘creator’ includes authors, retellers, editors of anthologies, and illustrators whose illustrations in any medium form a substantial part of the book. If there is more than one major creator, publishers must provide information on the eligibility of each one.

A creator must be:

  1. An Australian citizen no matter where resident or
  2. A person resident in Australia for at least two years prior to 31 December in the year of publication or
  3. A person who holds permanent residency status for Australia.

If a creator is not an Australian citizen, eligibility will cease at the time she/he ceases to be a resident in Australia.

If a joint creator, in the judges’ opinion, has not made a significant contribution to the book, they will not be eligible for an award.

Deceased creators are not eligible except in the case where a creator dies in the year of publication.

If there is more than one creator, only creators who meet the criteria will be eligible to receive an Award. This does not preclude the eligible creator/s receiving the Award.

Award Judging Criteria

Entered books are assessed primarily for:

  • outstanding literary merit, including cohesiveness in significant literary elements;
  • language chosen for its appropriateness to the theme and style of the work with proper regard to the aesthetic qualities of language; and
  • originality in the treatment of literary elements as they apply to the form of the work.

Consideration is given to the quality of illustrations, book design, editing, production, printing and binding.

An entered book will be judged only in the nominated category against the particular category criteria.