text graphic that says 2024 Book of the Year Awards entries open in April.

Book of the Year Awards Policy

Entry Information

For the latest and most accurate information on the current year of Book of the Year Awards entry visit the Awards Entry website.

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 latest version CBCA Book of the Year Policy Document document.

How to enter:

Entries can be submitted via our "Book of the Year Awards" entry website.

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 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 (5) copies of the book are required for each category entered. A book set with one ISBN is regarded as ONE (1) entry requiring 5 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


Entries for the Book of the Year Awards is for books published between 1 January to 31 December during the year of entry.

Opening Date for Entries:

Awards entries will open early March.

Closing Date for Entries:

The closing date for entries is 30 November.

N.B. Please note that we are unable to process or return late entries

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. 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. Illustrators are eligible to enter the CBCA Award for New Illustrator category in their first year of publishing children’s books where their illustrations develop a narrative which significantly adds to the appreciation of the work as a whole. 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 of the current awards year.
  2. Books must be available for purchase by the general public in Australia via an Australian distributor.
  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 5 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 18 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, 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:

  1. Literary merit – aesthetic qualities of language, standing the test of time, realistic characters
  2. Cohesiveness – language, theme, style
  3. Appeal to the implied readership
  4. Quality – illustrations, book design, production, editing
  5. 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 and the full eligibility and entry criteria please refer to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards Policy.