The 2019 National Child Writes Competition

Is now OPEN... 

                                                              Round Five (the final round!) is open until 30 November. 

Unlike previous years, where the competition was opened for a certain period of time during the school year, now it is open until we reach a certain number of entries.  Each term, we will open a 'round' and the winner of the writing section and the winner of the illustration section will go straight to the Short List.

The Short List will be announced as soon as we reach 500 entries via www.facebook.com/ChildWrites and the winners will contacted directly by either telephone or email. 

The prize: The winning writer and the winning illustrator will be mentored to publication of a collaborative children’s picture book, worth over $1000 each (part of a prize pool of $2500 donated by Boogie Books)

Entry fee: Yes, there is an entry fee… $10. 

All proceeds will be going one way - to the Child Writes Fund, ensuring we can give the experience of creating stories and books to many many other children in need. Thank you thank you thank you! 

The National Child Writes competition is a unique and exciting opportunity to see your name in print! The winning writer will be paired with the winning illustrator, to be mentored (by Emma Mactaggart) through the Child Writes program and to produce what we expect to be an extraordinary book! This book will be published by Boogie Books as both a hard copy publication and an ebook with Amazon, and will be promoted and distributed by Boogie Books and Child Writes. Royalties will be paid to the author and illustrator, for book sales that are generated.

We want your voice to be heard, so this is a fantastic opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas and abilities in word or artistic form.

The Child Writes competition is open to all Australian primary-school aged child writers and illustrators. The judges will be looking for originality, creativity and character, as well as correct punctuation and grammar for writers and consistency of artistic skills for illustrators.

Child Writers: Submit a story suitable for a children’s picture book, no longer than 800 words. All story entries will need to be submitted by email, in Microsoft Word format.

Child Illustrators: Submit three full colour A4 sample illustrations, showcasing at least three different characters and settings. All illustration entries will need to be scanned and submitted by e-mail as PDF documents. (Please don't spend a fortune doing this - your school should have a scanner you can access or locations like OfficeWorks only charge $0.40 per a4/a3 page!)

In the case of a short list, original illustrations may be requested to be sent by post.

Entry Cost: $10 per submission.

Enter the Competition

Further terms and conditions can be found on the entry form.

Still curious? Check out the work from previous winners. 2013 winners, Kate McCullough and Charlotte De Laine teamed up to create the very successful The Lost Calf which is available in our bookstore as a PDF or a hardcopy or from The Messy Incident by Grace Benedetti and Veronica Perez-Torres. The 2014 winners Jayde Rumoro and Abby Johnstone have been flat out as they elected to print their book in hardcover and have had book launches in Sydney and Melbourne for Mitten the Kitten. Latest winners, 2015, Keagan Wallace and Ali Coburn, successfully launched their book A Crash of Rhinos, with proceeds being directed to the International Anti-poaching Foundation and it is now available at the Adelaide Zoo.   

Guest Judges

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham is passionate about education and helping children reach their potential. Her website AbcJenny focuses on developing children’s writing and reading skills, through stages not ages.

She has 20 years Primary Teaching experience and is currently working as a Literacy Specialist for a Specialist School. She has worked in a variety of school settings; mainstream schools, remote Indigenous Community, mining town, and country schools. She has taught students from aged 4 to 16 and specialises in Student Welfare and Literacy.

Jenny is an Educational Consultant and Writer for DSP Learning, creating teacher worksheets and phonics based stories for their iPad app, Oz Phonics.

She writes educational reviews of children’s books and creates Teacher Resource Booklets linked to the Australian Curriculum. Flying Turtle Publishers in America have published Jenny’s resources in their early readers. Her love of children’s literature she shares with her two sons. Story telling is a part of their life, whether they are fishing, at the beach, driving to school or on one of their many weekend adventures.

Renee Price

Renee Price is a children’s author, songwriter and entertainer from Newcastle, New South Wales. She began taking her passion for writing seriously, in 2010, after teaching in early childhood and primary school settings for eight years. In 2012, Renee held the role of Editorial Coordinator at Newcastle’s Child magazine, working within various aspects of the publishing industry, including reviews of children’s books and music, and composing articles for the publication. In December 2014, she released her first picture book; Digby’s Moon Mission, through her brand, Create It Kids, and has produced a dramatisation of the story, incorporating song, storytelling and some puppetry, too! Renee performs for audiences aged three to eight, within libraries, early childhood services and primary school settings. She has developed a series from her first publication, with Digby’s second book due for release in late 2016, and will continue adapting each story for dramatisation.

Renee is a current member of Australian Society of Authors, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Children's Book Council of Australia NSW branch and Newcastle sub-branch.

Romi Sharp

Romi Sharp is an early childhood and primary teacher, blogger, writer, reviewer, mum of two and compulsive reader of all things picture books! Her reviews have appeared in several literary publications, including CBCA's Reading Time, Junior Books + Publishing, Boomerang Books Blog, Creative Kids Tales and her own blog, My Little Story Corner, that aims to foster a love of reading through fun and educational curriculum activities relating to current picture books.

Romi is also the founder and director of the writers' online support group, Just Write For Kids, an Australian community of emerging and accomplished authors and illustrators offering encouragement and resources to assist publication journeys.

Particular teaching roles such as Reading Intervention, ESL (English as a Second Language) and Art have played a part in the way she experiments with words, ideas and perspectives when writing stories.

She lives in Melbourne with her husband, two daughters and fluffy dog, who all certainly keep her on her feet!

Website: www.romisharp.wordpress.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner Twitter: www.twitter.com/mylilstorycrner Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner Just Write For Kids Blog: www.justkidslit.com JWFK Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/justwriteforkids JWFK Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/justwriteforkidsaustralia JWFK Twitter: www.twitter.com/jwfkblog

Jackie Hosking

Jackie is a lover of rhyme and meter. Her poetry and stories in verse have appeared all over the world. Her rhyming picture book The Croc and the Platypus (an Australian reimagining of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat) was shortlisted for 2015 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards and appears on the 2015 Premier’s Reading Challenge Booklist. Jackie is a member of The Australian Society of Authors, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and The CBCA.

She is also a Books in Homes role model. Jackie has been teaching rhyme and meter to poets of all ages for over ten years and her Meter Matters workshop has toured throughout regional NSW thanks to The Dorothea Poetry Awards.


We would love to give children all over Australia the opportunity to uncover their writing and artistic skills through the National Child Writes competition again this year. Please help us to spread the word by downloading the images below and sharing them with your school, social networks, websites, community noticeboards, or with children you think have a voice that the world needs to hear.


For the school with the most entries, we are going to send a super-duper book pack- with The Lost Calf and our latest books Imagine (with teachers notes) and Slow Down Sarah AND Child Writes: Creating Children's Picture Book is Child's Play as our way of saying 'thank you!' Sharing the first hand experience of creating a book is something we know fosters a love of literature! This is exciting stuff indeed!

Spread the Word (to download)

Child Writes Competition Banner. (Spread the Word)

Child Writes Competition Banner Child Writes Competition Banner (738 KB)

Child Writes Competition Box. (Spread the Word)

Child Writes Competition Box Child Writes Competition Box (320 KB)

You'll be amazed when you discover what children can do!