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;
- support and encourage a wide range of Australian writers and illustrators of children’s books and;
- celebrate contributions to Australian children’s literature.
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.
Read more about our Awards Foundation here.
There are 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 (previously the Crichton Award for New Illustrators administered by the CBCA Victorian Branch)
For entry information and eligibility criteria, please see our Entry Information page.
Entries for the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards are now open. Please access our online entry form here.