Book of the Year Awards Policy
Acceptance of Entry
Entry to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards comprises three components:
- Completion of the entry via the CBCA Book of the Year Awards website... awards.cbca.org.au,
- 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.
Please read the CBCA Book of the Year Policy Document document.
How to enter:
Entries can be submitted via our 'Book of the Year Awards' entry website.
The entry fee is $99.00 for entries made before 30 September. For entries made between 1 October and 30 November, the entry fee will be $199.00. This is for each book entered in each category.
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:
The Children’s Book Council of Australia
Level 2, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Entries for the 2023 Book of the Year Awards is for books published between 1 January to 31 December 2022.
Opening Date for Entries:
Awards entries will open on Tuesday 1st March 2022
Closing Date for Entries:
The closing date for entries is Wednesday 30 November 2022
N.B. Please note that we are unable to process or return late entries
Please email any queries regarding the CBCA Book of the Year Awards to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. For more information on category terminology, please refer to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards Policy Appendix 1: Glossary of Terminology.
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 published for children in the age range from 7 to 12 years (lower to upper primary school level). Books in the category may be fiction, drama, graphic novels, illustrated text or poetry.
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 (pre-school and infant 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.
CBCA Award for New Illustrator
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 children’s illustrated book published 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
- Books must be published in Australia between 1 January and 31 December 2022.
- Books must be available for purchase by the general public in Australia via an Australian distributor.
- Books must be written in the English language or bilingual texts where one language must be English.
- Books entered must meet at least one of the following five criteria to be eligible:
- Not previously published;
- New picture book version of previously published text;
- Retelling of traditional materials;
- Anthology or collection, of which the greater part of the work has not previously been published in a single volume;
- Substantially revised edition. (Publishers to provide evidence of the extent of revisions.)
- These awards are only for books in the printed format, as distinct from digital and audiovisual formats.
- Only entries for readers up to 18 years will be eligible.
- Any entries with accompanying non-book materials will be judged solely on the merits of the book component.
- Textbooks, activity books, joke books or catalogues 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 make a substantial contribution to the book.
All creators, authors and illustrators, no matter how many, must be Australian citizens or have Australian residency status. If there are two or more major creators, information must be provided on the eligibility of each one.
Books by a deceased creator are eligible for entry only if the creator has died in the year of publication.
An entry into the New Illustrator category must be the illustrator’s first children’s book. This category can be entered once only.
Award Judging Criteria
The Judges assess entries primarily for:
- Literary merit – aesthetic qualities of language, standing the test of time, realistic characters
- Cohesiveness – language, theme, style
- Appeal to the implied readership
- Quality – illustrations, book design, production, editing
- 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.
For more information on the judging criteria, please refer to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards Policy Section 7.