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The 2019 National Child Writes Competition

Congratulations to the WINNERS


Congratulations to the shortlisted writers and illustrators 

Illustrator: Ayla Johnston, Amy Cetinich

Writers:  Ruby Liebowitz, Allegra Clarke, Isabella Ho, Abigail Leslight, Chelsea Green, Rafael Seimer, Harshika Madhivanan and Amelie Guerin


Amelie Guerin Round One 20192020
Rafael Siemer Winner Round Two Writing.j
Ayla Johnson Round Two 2019.jpeg

The 2017 / 2018 National Child Writes Competition

Dearest Writers and illustrators for the 2017/2018 Competition...
What a massive year plus one! The competition was a little slow this time, simply because all the team at Child Writes were completely distracted by International Read to Me! Day as well as the Child Writes program. I
n saying that, we did receive incredible entries and were so proud to announce the following children were all short listed for the final judging for the 2017/2018 National Child Writes Competition.



  • Laura Hoade – Grafton NSW

  • Yixuan Yang ‘Paradise’ - Artamon Public School NSW

  • Zoe Wang, Brisbane, QLD - writing

  • Jessica Oorburg, Birchgrove Public School Fete, NSW 

  • Wilson Foo "Dragon' Wrath’

  • Asher Teller' The Pander Without Glasses'

  • Jeremiah Wang 'Bicycle Story’- Claremont WA

  • Samratha Dewan Redeemer Lutheran College

  • Beth Lonie Gladesville 

  • Lainey Hodges St Johns Primary School Dubbo



  • Luke Harper – Balgowlah NSW

  • ​Sarah Fernando, Wheelers Hill, VIC - illustration

  • Raphaella Glow

  • Bella Campbell - Barwon Heads Primary School, VIC

  • Jordan Tenison-Woods, Brisbane QLD


Yixuan Yang and Amy de Malmanche (writing) and Emily Wang and Luke Harper (illustration)

Please know the entry fee has already been transferred to The Child Writes Fund account and as soon as we raise $5000, we will be asking you all to nominate a school in need, somewhere where children can very much benefit from a 5x5 version of the Child Writes course – creating their own picture book.  This gift is really a gift of self efficacy and one that demonstrates your support of children who are less fortunate than yourselves and may not have that incredible person in their corner like you have.


Thank you thank you thank you again.  
















Luke is now writing to accompany his own illustrations for a book 'Pigeons & Popcorn'

(Yixuan, Emily and Amy have effectively withdrawn from the process) October, 2019

Luke Harper - ‘Pigeons and Popcorn’ to be released July 2020


Book description:


Jimmy and his friends are known as ‘The Flock’, and
usually spend their days playing and eating. When a
horrible eagle steals their sacred popcorn, they are
indeed startled into action!



The 2016 National Child Writes Competition

Dearest Writers and illustrators 
Trust me when I say congratulations to you ALL especially as it is mind-blowingly scary to share your work, to have it judged and to be included or not included in the winners circle. It is daunting and this makes you the writers and creators of the future. Our whole team was incredibly impressed by the calibre of entries again this year, from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.  The judges were humbled to be involved and we sincerely thank Jackie Hosking, Romi Sharp, Renee Price, Jenny Graham, Georgie Donaghey and Kaylene Hobson.
To the parents and teachers who choose to be literacy champions – we applaud you. The most entries were from Balgowlah Heights Public School, followed by Exeter Primary School, where the Art Teacher, Amy Jory ensured record entries and we are delighted to be sending both schools gift as our way of thanking and recognising these schools of excellence!
Now, drum roll…
There is an extraordinary case of both our writer and illustrator both coming from Balgowlah Heights Public School – ensuring we make a trek there again to launch ANOTHER book next year! 

Congratulations to writer 

This year, the runners-up were only pipped by one point each

and we thought it too exciting for words, so we are offering a

second book deal to writer NINA RICHARDS(Chevallum State

School, Queensland) and illustrator AVA MACCUSPIE 

(Auburn Primary School, Victoria) 
To the list, earnest and hearty congratulations to

the following for their highly commended recognition:
writer: Lucia Jans (Balgowlah Height Public School, NSW)
illustrator: Emily Wang (Camberwell Primary School, VIC)
Wishing all the writers and illustrator our very very best. You will all be acknowledged with a personalised certificate of achievement as we truly believe it beyond courageous to enter a national competition like this!

We wish you every best for the future of your writing and creating and we look forward to your support for next year’s competition.


The 2015 National Child Writes Competition

The short list for the National Child Writes Competition 2015 - illustrators
Jaimie Cates – Balgowlah Heights Public School, NSW
Ali Coburn - Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School, VIC
Zoe Howard – Wenona School, VIC

The short list for the National Child Writes Competition 2015 - writers
writers second...(again, in no particular order)

Zoe Gallagher – Scone Grammar School, NSW
Isabella Hartley  
Keagan Wallace – Scotch College, Adelaide, SA
Emma Donald – The Glennie School, Toowoomba, QLD
Jessica Maher – St Francis de Sales Primary School, QLD
Lauren Peach – Balgowlah Heights Public School, NSW
Mali Hoadley - NSW
Sophie Roussos – Balgowlah Heights Public School, NSW
Briony Pannell – Encounter Lutheran School, SA



And the winners were:


Ali Coburn and Keagan Wallace...



The 2014 National Child Writes Competition

And the winners are:


Jayde Rumoro (writing) – St Monica’s Public School, VIC
Abby Johnstone (illustration) – Balgowlah Heights Public School, NSW


The 2013 National Child Writes Competition

The winner of the writing section is... (drum roll!)  

Kate McCullough from Charters Towers, Queensland.  Kate home-schools through Charters Towers School of Distance Education.

The winner of the illustration section is... (again! drum roll!)  Charlotte De Laine from Balgowlah Heights Public School, Sydney.


Kate and Charlotte will work through the correspondence version of the Child Writes program, mentoring from by Emma Mactaggart, writing and illustrating their collaborative picture book, which will be published by Boogie Books at the end of 2014. 


Exceptional Commendations to the short-listed entrants…. (Each child will be given certificate and a signed copy of 'Child Writes: Creating a Children's Picture Book is Child's Play' AND an 'auto pass' to enter next years competition as our guests!)


Meghann Plant from Goomeri in Queensland
Veronica Perez-Torres from Glen Huntly in Victoria

Sophie Stone - also from Balgowlah Heights Public School, NSW
Stacey McCullough from Charters Towers, QLD


Elise Villanueva, Mount Annan Public School, NSW
Emily Fletcher from Talara Primary College
Brianna Tucker, Highfields State School, QLD
Riley Davison Blackall State School, QLD
and finally...Special Mention (receiving a certificate) to 
Grace Benedetti from Brisbane, QLD

To all the other entrants… You certainly didn't make it easy for us as judges to pick a winner!  The calibre of entries was extraordinary and I would invite you to consider next year’s competition.  Not winning certainly doesn't mean you have lost.  For some, it was a matter of adhering to the competition guidelines (word length, number of illustrations), for others it was simply being expressive and true to yourselves.  Each and every one of you have achieve something many adults only dream of... writing or illustrating AND BEING BRAVE ENOUGH TO SHOW OTHERS!

As we read or viewed each entry, we certainly were not looking at the finished product, because the prize is a year of mentoring to learn how to write a picture book, how to illustrate a picture book.  Rather, we chose entries that provoked an emotional response and the used of all the senses, where the use of language was melodic and imagery powerful.  

(I personally loved that I would go back time and time again and in disbelief, look at the age of the child writing, wishing upon a thousand stars I was capable of producing such magic at the same age!)
 It was a pleasure reading and viewing and I have to say the future for Australian literature is 
looking bright! 

Thank you. With kindest regards
Emma Mactaggart & Ainsley Shepherd. 

Highly Commended
Grace Benedetti (writing) Carolyn Swalwell Guardian Angels School, QLD
Veronica Perez-Torres (Illustration) 

Special Collaboration
Kate McCullough – School of the Air, Charters Towers, QLD
Stacey McCullough – School of the Air, Charters Towers, QLD


With fond regards from the Child Writes team


What they say

Child Writes has discovered two rising stars in Kate McCullough and Charlotte De Laine

Tania Cox, author

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