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Competition for Writers and/or Illustrators aged 8-18


14138245_10154504334576170_8019781769149308191_o2017 CYA Competition


The 2017 competition dates are:

Opens: 09th January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017 – Last email by 24H00 – (Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +10 hours.) No late entries will be accepted.

Short listed awards will be notified by 20th June 2017.

Winners will be announced at the CYA Conference held on 1st July 2017.  Prizes will be mailed if winners are unable to attend the conference.



  • All writers/illustrators who are 8 – 18 years old (as at 30th April 2017) worldwide, who have not been published in book format within the CYA genres.
  • All entries must have a parent or guardians electronic signature of permission on the entry form.
  • Contest entry may not be contracted or published in any form when entered.

How to submit entries

All entries are lodged electronically. Illustrations, graphic novels and illustrated picture book entries to use mail address below.

  1. Make sure you have read the Category requirements (AspiringHatchling or Published), Preparing Your Entry and Checklist sections before submitting your entry.
  2. All entries electronically submitted. Includes payment via PayPal/credit card only. No cash or cheques.
  3. Illustrations ONLY sent to: CYA Conference, P.O. Box 275, Bribie Island, Queensland, 4507, Australia.
  4. All entries will be automatically acknowledged by email on receipt to the primary email address specified in the entry. Invoices are emailed out at the time of payment being completed.
  5. Paper copies (illustrations only) must be received by 27th June 2017.


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 no earlier than 31st August. CYA will announce the date that 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 organisers discretion.


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

If you shortlist, your entry goes in front of a professional editor.

ALL illustrations go in front of a professional editor.

Other important info

  • Do not identify yourself on the contest entry.
  • All results will be published on the CYA Conference web site.
  • Each written entry must be original work, unpublished nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast.
  • Each illustration entry must be original work, but photocopied or computer printout only, unpublished nor accepted elsewhere for publication or exhibition.
  • All writing entries will be destroyed after the competition, and the electronic files deleted.
  • Illustrations will be displayed on the CYA web site and physical copies may be retained to display at future conferences.
  • Illustrations are not returned.

Special Note from co-ordinators

This competition is designed to help authors and illustrators 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 guide lines (print just as a publishing house has guidelines), do everything in your power to make that entry arrive in a neat condition — appearances count!


If you have any questions you can contact us on: info@cyaconference.com


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Like to Write and Illustrate Your Own Books?


Today, my talented friend, Tania McCartney is visiting Writing Classes For Kids to talk about writing and illustrating your own books.

She has some fabulous information to share, and at the end of this post there’s a link to some great prizes including copies of the book.

Over to you Tania :)

image018Writing and Illustrating Your Own Books with Tania McCartney

Do you know what an author who also illustrates (or an illustrator who also writes) is called? When I visit schools, I often ask kids this question. My favourite response so far was when someone said:


I loved that! In truth, they are simply called ‘Author Illustrator’ but I much prefer Authorstrator, and I’m so stealing it.

Most times, on the cover of a picture book, you will notice two names … the author, who, of course, pens the story—and the illustrator, who creates all the pictures. Sometimes, though, you might only see one name, and that’s because both the words and the pictures have been done by the same person.

An Authorstrator. ;)

Sometimes, it’s easier to be an Authorstrator. Publishers and editors only have to deal with one person. There’s no arguments about how pictures should look or how words should sound. The images and the text tie together really well, as the Authorstrator already knows how the pictures will complement the words.00a-cover-pastel

Even for authors who don’t illustrate, they can still ‘see’ in their mind how the pictures might look—and sometimes an illustrator may not be able to make that vision come true. So authors who illustrate have a lot more control—they can dictate how things will look.

But of course, being an Authorstrator is double the work! And it can be lonely. Really lonely.

On the other hand, when TWO people create a book together… two heads are often better than one. With my books, my illustrators bring such magic and new ideas to my text. I really value and appreciate their thoughts and cleverness. They always add wonderful things to the story—and they even see things I never imagined myself. I’ve never been disappointed!au-diverse-kid-girl-japanese

Working together is also lots of fun—having someone to bounce ideas around with, and enjoying the fabulous process of creating something together. It’s also a lot less work! But you do lose some control, and sometimes you may not agree on what’s been written or illustrated.

I’ve only been an Authorstrator once so far. My new book, Australia Illustrated, took me an entire year to write and draw—and this was almost full-time. I drew over 1,000 individual images to create the book—can you believe that? And it was a LOT of hard work.

act-arboretum-boy-3I was very lucky in that I could pretty much create what I liked—and this is not always the way! Oftentimes, an editor or publisher will want to guide you, and that’s okay, too.

Because this was my very first Authorstrator experience, being able to create Australia Illustrated the way I wanted really helped me succeed. I had no idea how I was going to do it all—I just learned as I went along. And do you know what? The very BEST way to learn is with experience. So yes, I was very, very lucky.

Authorstators might sometimes do the typography, layout and design, too. Typography is the setting of the text on the page. You may notice that this text is placed on a blank space so it’s easy to read. The illustrator, of course, must plan space for the text when they first do their drawings.034-vic-mel-icons

Layout and design is how the pages and cover end up looking. It’s how the images are laid out on the page, how they fit around the text, and how the covers (front and back), endpapers and spine look. I’ve done this for several of my books and I absolutely love it.

So, there you go—you’ve officially met the Authorstrator. The Jack- or Jill-of-All-Trades who can take words and pictures and make them into story. Hopefully stories you’ll be enjoying very soon.


027-nsw-sydney-ferriesSee more of Tania’s work at www.taniamccartney.com or follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @taniamccartney

Australia Illustrated is published by EK Books and will be on sale 1 November in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, with a release date of 28 November in the UK. Hardcover, clothbound, 96 pages, AU$29.99, ISBN: 9781925335217 www.ekbooks.org


  • WIN a copy of the book (There three to give away, thanks to EK Books)
  • WIN an original watercolour image from the book (two to give away)
  • the chance to name some of Tania’s book characters!

Enter here at Tania’s Blog






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