About the CBCA Book of the Year Awards
The advocacy role played by the CBCA promotes the literary experience for children and assures the scope and vitality of Australian children's books. The annual CBCA Book of the Year Awards affirm the quality of some of Australia's most creative people and provide a boost to their capacity to devote time to their craft.
Established with the first awards in 1946, the annual CBCA Book of the Year Awards aim to:
- promote quality literature for young Australians by Australians;
- support and encourage a wide range of Australian writers and illustrators of books for young people aged 0 through 18 and;
- celebrate contributions to Australian children’s literature.
2024 Scheduled key annual dates
Mark your calendar with the following key 2023 CBCA Book of the Year Awards announcement dates.
Notables List: Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 7.00 PM AEDT
Shortlist: Tuesday, 27 March 2024, 12.00 PM (noon) AEDT
Winners and Honours: Friday, 16 August 2024, 12.00 PM (noon) AEST
Shadowers' Choice Awards: (TBC) Friday, 23 August 2024,
Entries for the 2024 Book of the Year Awards close: Saturday, 30 November 2024, 12.00 AM (midnight) AEDT
Awards dates into the future
Need to plan ahead?
Unless otherwise advertised, the Book of the Year Awards typically follow a regular calendar pattern. So if you want to mark your online calendar so these dates show up annually, enter your calendar entry with the following reoccurrence pattern:
- Notables list is announced 7.00 PM online (YouTube) the last Tuesday in February.
- Shortlist list is announced 12.00 PM (noon) online (YouTube) the last Tuesday in March.
- Registration for the Sun Project: Shadow Judging opens the last Wednesday in March.
- Entries open for the following years Book of the Year awards at the start of April (extended early bird entry entry savings availble).
- Winners and Honours are announced 12.00 PM (noon) online (YouTube) the third Friday in August (kickstarting CBCA's Children's Book Week®).
- The Sun Project: Shadowers' Choice awards are announced 12.00 PM (noon) online (YouTube) the fourth Friday in August (officially closing the CBCA's Children's Book Week®).
- Book of the Year Award early bird entry fee closes, 30 September (standard entry fee applies from 1 October).
- Entries for the following years Book of the Year Award closes, 30 November.
Award entry categories
There are currently six categories in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards.
- CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers
- CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers
- CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood
- CBCA Picture Book of the Year
- Eve Pownall Award
- CBCA Award for New Illustrator
You can lodge your entries for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards on the Awards Entry website.
History of the Awards
Since 1945 the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has grown from a small Sydney-based group to a national organisation which exerts a profound influence on children’s books. The advocacy role played by the CBCA promotes the literary experience for children and assures the scope and vitality of children's books. The annual CBCA Book of the Year Awards affirm the quality of some of Australia’s most creative people and provide a boost to their capacity to devote time to their craft.
Throughout the life of the Awards, a number of valued sponsors assisted with funding the monetary prizes. However, in the financial climate of the 1990s it became increasingly difficult to attract sponsorship.
In its golden anniversary year the CBCA 1995 Annual General Meeting in Brisbane adopted a proposal to establish an Awards Foundation. Margaret Hamilton (former National President) and June Smith (former National Vice-President), who presented the proposal, were appointed managers of the CBCA Awards Foundation and heads of the National CBCA Awards Foundation Committee. This national committee was made up of representatives from all Branches of the CBCA and reported to the National Council. The Committee's one million dollar goal was realised in 2006. The future and independence of the Awards are now secure but diligent financial management and growth of the capital investment with further donations are vital, to ensure their ongoing viability.
Prizes for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards are funded from the interest earned by the investments of the CBCA Awards Foundation. None of the principal is used for any purpose other than investment to earn the highest return. The Committee of Responsible Persons decides how much of the available interest will be divided amongst recipients of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards.
You can read more about our Awards Foundation dedicated page.