The Judging Process

Only the co-ordinators of this competition know who’s name goes with which entry. All the judging is done by the title of the entry, not names, so the entrants remain anonymous.


The first round of the CYA competition is judged by at least two CYA judges. Our CYA judges are published, unpublished, and editors as well as avid readers of the genres.  CYA endeavours to have at least one published author/editor judge adjudicate each entry submitted. 


The judges use a standard score sheet per writing category. The scores are tallied as a percentage, and the final results are based on that percentage. 


Please note that examples are given of previous years, and the sheets do evolve with each year to keep abreast of the publishing industry requirements. 


Note For Published Authors: 

The rhyming and non-rhyming sheets are scored separately to different final amounts, and then made into a % - the same judging sheet is used. The entries are then added together, and the top 3 of the combined picture books are shortlisted. 

The top three (minimum) per category are shortlisted and sent to the final judge, who is editor in a children’s Publishing house. The editor reads the entries in no particular order and decides on the winning sequencing. 

Note For All: 

Although the shortlisted entries are seen by multiple editors as many choose to look directly at CYA Conferences short-list each year, only the final judge decides on the placings.

Everyone receives their score sheets back from CYA, for information purposes only. 

Please note: That the hatchlings competition is judged at the same high standard as the other CYA competition as editors do not give lenience towards a younger author/illustrator. It’s the work that needs to shine through — not the age of the creator.

Judges decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Under no circumstance does CYA Conference change their final winners of this competition.