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  • Each entry must be original work, unpublished nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast.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

Graphic Novels, Illustrated Picture Books & Middle Grade Illustrated Novels

Please note: CYA REQUIRES the paper copy to display on the wall at CYA Conference from 5-7 July 2019. Only the electronic format is required for the competition date cut off. 


  1. All submissions are to be electronically submitted.

  2. No original Illustrations to be sent in. Colour photocopies and computer prints allowed only. Every electronic copy needs a paper copy sent in as well, for display purposes.

  3. A3 page max size - A4 minimum size.

  4. Paper entries must not be folded. A3 size can be placed in a cylinder available from Australia Post.

  5. Mounting types are welcome to be put on your paper display entries as the electronic files are used for judging and the paper copies for display. 

  6. Max 3 pages (up to 500 words only) per entry of Graphic Novel & Illustrated picture books. 

  7. Middle-Grade Illustrated Novels ONLY: 3 illustrations of a middle-grade novel, with the words present on the pages. Entry must be original and not previously published in any format, nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast. (Complete story to accompany - not judged.)  Set out as you would on a page (See Brian Falkner – Northwood or Michael Gerard Bauer & Joe Bauer's – Eric Vale, Epic Fail, or Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer – Between The Lines, for examples of this category – it's varied and exciting.)

  8. Published Section Illustrators ONLY:  DRAFT mock-up and two completed pictures from that same layout/mock-up. (No word limit.)

  9. The full text on your story must be submitted to help the judges understand where the illustration fits into the story, but the TEXT FILE WILL NOT BE JUDGED but is used in the judging process for the artwork. 

  10. Ensure when you lodge your electronic entry form that your files are attached.

  11. Text Files: either in Microsoft Word format or Word compatible ONLY.

  12. Illustrations: JPG format ONLY. 


Note: The bigger the graphics file, the better – please don't skimp on the resolution for smaller files as your work is judged in high resolution. If the scan files are not good, the organiser will ask for better files to be sent. For submissions over 10MB please contact us via email us at for a Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive link

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