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 CYA competition is prejudged by at least two volunteers. Our CYA volunteers are published, unpublished, and editors as well as avid readers of the genres.  CYA endeavours to have at least one published author/illustrator/editor judge adjudicate per entry sent into the competition. 

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. The same happens for illustrations, graphic novel and illustrated picture books entries.

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. (Some sections samples are still to be added here, please be patient.)


Hatchling ( 8 - 18 years) Sections: 

Category 1 - Picture Book for Preschool and Primary School

Category 2 - Novels

Category 3 -  Graphic Novel or Illustrated Picture Book (words & illustrations) or Middle-Grade Illustrated Novel

Aspiring/Unpublished Sections:

Category 1 - Preschool Picture Book

Category 2 -  Primary  Picture Book  

Category 3 - Picture Book - Primary Non-Fiction

Category 4 - A - Chapter Book - Younger reader

Category 5 - B - Chapter Book - Middle Grade - Older Readers 

Category 6 - Young Adults 

Category 7 -  Graphic Novel or Illustrated Picture Book (words & illustrations)

Category 8 - Illustrations

Published Authors:

Category 1 - Picture Books

Category 2 - Chapter Books & Novels 

Category 3 - Illustrations

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 Art Works: The editor in consultation with their art department looks at the artwork 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. 

Our volunteer Judges are UNPAID.

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. 

       © QMSA Holding Pty Limited 2018