Aspiring (Unpublished)



Prize for each section

$100.00 per category, (1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20) submission of short listed entries to at least one children’s publisher.


The winning entry and short-listed finalist will be considered by a publisher of children’s books, with no guarantee of publication. Author/Illustrator retains copyright.

Entry Fee

$20.50 (includes GST)

PayPal/credit card only. No cash or cheques.


1.    Picture Book: Text only for preschool aged children up to 500 words in English. Open theme.

 2.    Picture Book: Text only for primary aged children up to 500 words in English. Open theme.

 3     Picture Book: Non-Fiction - Text only for primary aged children up to 500 words in English. Open theme.

 4.    Chapter Book - A:  Text only for younger primary aged children. First 1000 words in English. Open theme.

5.   Chapter Book - B: Text only for older aged children (Middle Grade). First 1000 words in English. Open theme.

6.    Fiction writing for Young Adults.  

Required: First three chapters up to 5000 words and a one page single spaced synopsis.

a)    Judged by CYA: First 1000 words in English.  Open theme. Rest: UNJUDGED by CYA.

b)    Short listed: Final judge will read your synopsis and your chapters.

7.   Graphic Novel or Illustrated Picture Book or Illustrated Middle grade novel: (words & illustrations): Fiction or non-fiction – any age group within CYA. 3 pages of graphic novel or 3 pages of illustrated picture book, up to 500 words. 3 illustrations of middle grade novel, with the words present on the pages.  Words in English. (Complete story to accompany - not judged.) Open theme.

8.    Illustration:

Option 1: Illustrate up to three (3) pages of the extract, written by T.M. Clark – Extracted from: Sam Treasure: Whales Garden (Chapter book aimed at 6 - 8 year’s age group).


Option 2: Illustrate up to three (3) pages of picture book written by T.M. Clark – Jabiru's Bush Dance. (Picture Book concept aimed at 3 – 6 years age group.)

Extract is not mandatory to appear on the page.


OPTION ONE:     © T.M. Clark – Sam Treasure: Whales Garden

                            (Chapter Book: 622 Words extract. Aimed at 6 – 9 years.)

Chapter 1

From the journal of Sam Treasure: –

         December 1st

Today I left boarding school behind for seven weeks, and joined my Grandee for the Christmas Holidays. I haven’t seen him since the funeral. Geez, it’s already two months since the car crash.

Grandee’s bought a new boat – ‘Kitten’. My Grandee has a warped sense of humour, she’s huge, an 11.6m catamaran with motorised and sailing options.

She is awesome!

I haven’t seen a fishing rod come on deck. Yet.

The water is so clear you can see the fish, even the harbour’s sandy bottom looks clean.

I was worried about having to go to the toilet, in case IT floated up and everyone could see. But Grandee says Kitten’s ‘dunny can’ is a chemical type. No flushing out into the ocean anymore.

Tomorrow we begin our holiday around the Whitsunday Islands.

Chapter 2

 ‘Rise and shine, sleepy head!’ Grandee called. ‘The sun’s up and the sea’s calling us! There’s even dolphins in the harbour.’

Sam shot out of bed and up onto Kitten’s deck.

‘Good Morning,’ Grandee passed him a steaming mug. ‘Hot chocolate.’


Grandee smiled. ‘Small things I do remember.’

Sam slurped from his mug, and remembered his Grandee’s last visit home to Melbourne. How Sam would climb into his parents’ bed, and snuggle with them for a ‘family hug’. Mum had brought in their morning drinks, always hot chocolate for Sam. They chatted for a while with Grandee as he sat on the bottom of the bed.

They used to be a family. 

Sam’s eyes filled with tears. He looked away.

 ‘I miss them,’ Grandee said.

‘Me too,’ Sam said turning his face back towards his grandfather.

‘I used to take your Dad fishing when he was your age. He hated boats. He threw up all the time. Fed the fish every trip.’

‘Yeah. When he was driving behind a bus he would gag on the smell of the diesel,’ Sam replied. He reached for the tissue box Grandee offered.

Grandee blew his nose too. ‘I see so much of your father in you, Sam.’


‘Yes, especially your eyes, and some of your mannerisms, however, the way you move your hands and walk like a duck, belong to your mum.’

‘I don’t have a duck’s walk!’ Sam protested.

Grandee raised his grey eyebrows.

Sam grinned.

‘Look at those dolphins. We’ll follow them out. Let’s get Kitten moving!’ Grandee went to start the motors.

Once out of the harbour, Grandee set the course in the GPS, it’s colour screen showed they were heading towards the tip of Hook Island, to Stonehaven. He showed Sam how to call up the different maps programmed into the tiny device.

‘Wicked,’ Sam said.

Grandee explained that if Sam were to push “home” on the ocean side of the island, the GPS would take them directly over Hook Island and back to Airlie Beach. The GPS did not register that between Butterfly Bay and Airlie Beach lay an island. As if they could sail over land!

‘Computers are not quite ready to take over sailing yet,’ Grandee said, ‘see this button where you can zoom in on your position? Notice the depth underneath us, here?’ He pointed to the left hand corner of the instrument. ‘Remember this. It’s important. It’ll make sure you never run aground. The alarm will beep when you go below a depth of 1.5m. That’s the clearance we need underneath Kitten to remain safe.’

‘Okay,’ Sam said.

Soon they were anchored off Stonehaven.

‘It’s a good fishing spot.’

‘Oh no …’ thought Sam, ‘here we go.’

But Grandee didn’t bring out a fishing rod. Instead, he lowered the bright yellow rubber dinghy, climbed in and started the motor. ‘Coming?’


OPTION TWO:    © T.M. Clark – Jabiru’s Bush Dance  (Picture Book: 361 Words. Aimed at 3 – 6 years.)

Animals seated on the musician’s stage.

Tree kangaroo whistled on a gum-leaf

The red-throated skink drummed.

Frilled lizard swung a bullroarer around and around.

Possum played the piano.

Swamp hens swished their feathers.

Bandicoot did ballet and Brolga danced the blues.

Kookaburras sang the chorus

Swans swayed to the rhythm.

Cockatoo danced a calypso.

Black kites and fruit doves joined in the bush dance.

Jabiru stayed on the edge of the clearing.                                  

Emu joined in on the dance floor and did an electric boogaloo.

A pair of magpie geese did a mambo, their tuxedos grand, as they honked to the rhythm of the night band.

Cassowaries families did the cha cha. 

Wallabies waltzed.

Jabiru stepped into the dancing crowd and did jazz hands.

No one cared how anyone looked, as long as they could feel the groove.

The table was laden with food for a feast.

Witchetty grubs wiggle in wet tropical leaves.

Worms in web bowls.

Nectar glistened in bush flowers.

Small fruits piled high.

Nuts, seeds, grass tubers and berries. 

White tail rat sneaked figs, his favourite snack.

Bettong picked at the truffles.

Quizzy Quoll appeared.

The orchestra went silent.

No animals danced.

‘Can I join the band?’ Quoll showed them his clap sticks and moved to the stage.

Dingo and fox sat outside the dance circle. ‘Can we join in the dancing?’

Jabiru approached them, and did jazz hands.

Dingo did jazz hands.

Jabiru jived.

Fox did the flamenco.

Jabiru did the jitterbug.

Dingo and fox did it too.

Eastern tube nose bats blew into didgeridoo’s, and the band reignited.

Crickets played concertina’s.

Butterflies fluttered around, all dressed with glitter and velvet sheen as the animals danced together, footed, flighted and pawed.

Gliders did a glorious boogie-woogie.

Water rats did the rumba.

Bush turkeys performed the tango.

Galahs and the lorikeets bobbed along with the wild-song.

Jabiru called everyone on to the floor for a last jig.

All danced together for the final hurrah.  

Old man Owl hotted that the bush dancing was done.

The orchestra bowed to a round of applause. 

The dances departed, and the floor was left bare, except for Jabiru who kept dancing jazz.


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