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All entries are lodged electronically.

Make sure you have read the Category requirements:

Writing for the Children’s and YA market: Aspiring, Hatchling or Published.

Writing for the adult market: Aspiring, U18s or Published.

Illustrations: Aspiring, U18s or Published.

All sections: Preparing Your Entry and Checklist sections before submitting your entry.

  • All entries electronically submitted. Includes payment via credit card/Eftpos only.

  • All entries will be automatically acknowledged by email on receipt to the primary email address specified in the entry. Invoices are emailed out automatically on entry.

  • Do not identify yourself on the contest entry.

  • Each entry must be original work, unpublished nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast.

Other Information
  • All results will be published on the CYA Conference web site.

  • All writing entries will be destroyed after the competition, and the electronic files deleted.


  • The winning entries and shortlisted finalist will be judged by a publisher, with no guarantee of publication.

  • The author retains copyright.

  • All copyright on illustrations remains with the illustrator.

  • Winning illustrations will be posted on Instagram, showcased social media.


Judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.


Since 2007 everyone has received their score sheets back, to give some feedback and to help improve their entries for the next competition they choose to enter, or submissions to publishing houses. These will be returned by 31st August. CYA will announce when the sheets are sent out via our newsletter, and social media.

Category Consolidation

As has been done in previous years - If there are not enough entries into a single section, the section will be consolidated with another similar category in this competition.

This will be done at the organiser’s discretion.

Special Note from co-ordinators

This competition is designed to help authors get ready for the submission process to publishing companies. So, send in your best effort, checked for spelling errors and edited. Make sure your entry follows the guidelines (just as a publishing house has guidelines), do everything in your power to make that entry arrive in a neat condition - appearances count! 

Preparing your entry
Writing guidelines
Preparing Your Entry
  1. Entries not complying with formatting conditions will be penalised.

  2. All submissions are to be electronically submitted.

  3. Target publisher, manuscript title, total manuscript length (not only extract) in the header, and sequential page numbers in the header or footer are on all pages.

  4.  (Visit FAQs on for sample formatting document.)

  5. Text must be double-spaced on A4 size page, 12 point Courier or Courier New font, or New Times Roman, left justification with an indent to indicate new paragraphs. Margins: 2.5 cm on the left, right, top and bottom of the page.

  6. Ensure that your text file is saved in Microsoft Word format or Word compatible ONLY when you lodge your electronic entry form.

  7. Picture Books ONLY: Must be set out neatly, easily legible format. Illustration notes are accepted and don’t form part of your word count but must be marked as such. (Don’t use comments to indicate.) Picture book texts are subjective with set outs and often use set out as part of emphases etc., this is quite acceptable.

  8. Illustrations - Can be created in any medium and to any dimensions but must be able to be uploaded as a digital file between 200KB and 10MB in jpg. It must be an unpublished work, created in the last 12 months.

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