Make Your Own Story Book Competition

2019 competition opening soon…

Make Your Own Story Book ACT CBCA (1)

Create a Picture Book | Create a Story Book | Categories | Entry Requirements | Entry Form | How to EnterDrop Off Points  | Judging  |    Awards and Sponsorship | Return of Entries  | Resources & Articles | Frequently Asked Questions  | Contact MYOSB Coordinator

Click on link to see the 2017 Winners 

2017 Competition

Do you love story books? 
Have you ever wanted to create your own? Now is your chance…
Write and illustrate your own picture or story book for the chance to win great prizes.

Register your school’s interest at

Create a Picture Book

  • Combine words and illustrations to tell a story
  • The story can be told through the illustrations alone

Create a Story Book

  • Relies on the written word to tell the story
  • Illustrations are complementary, not essential to the story
  • Excitement and interest are conveyed through the plot, language and characterisation


  • Years 1-2 Picture Book
  • Years 3-4 Picture Book
  • Years 3-4 Story Book
  • Years 5-6 Picture Book
  • Years 5-6 Story Book
  • Special Needs Junior (1-3)
  • Special Needs Senior (4-6)
  • Australian Nature Book

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Entry Requirements (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)

  • Create a picture or story book that tells an ORIGINAL story using original text and original illustrations
  • Include the conventions of book production – back and front covers, title page, blurb and author profile
  • Produce a book that is well bound
  • Hand written or typed text
  • All text proof-read by an adult
  • Photos must be taken by the student
  • Illustrations must be produced by the student
  • Original illustrations and original photos can be scanned
  • One author per book
  • You must live in the Canberra Region

Minimum word limit: None

Maximum word limit: 500 words for a picture books and 5000 words for a story book

Maximum page size: A4 (30cm x 21cm)

Maximum cover size: 34 cm x 25cm



Make Your Own Story Book ACT CBCA banner

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How to Enter

Entry is for students in Year 1-6 from CBCA member schools only. Entry is free.

Institutional membership information can be found here.

Current Primary School Members

Brindabella Christian School

Burgmann Anglican School

Canberra Girls Grammar School

Daramalan College (primary school eligible)

Farrer Primary School

Gold Creek School

Harrison School

Holy Spirit Primary School

Lyneham Primary School

Macquarie Primary School

Orana School

Sacred Heart Primary School

St Monica’s Primary School

St Vincent’s Primary School

Turner Primary School

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Entry Drop-Off 2017

Entries can be dropped off at Harry Hartog Bookseller on the Ground Floor of Woden Plaza, during business hours.

Northside schools – please contact the coordinator for a closer location.

Entries can also be mailed to: CBCA ACT Branch, PO Box 421 Curtin ACT 2605

CLOSING DATE FRIDAY 28 July 2017 Late entries cannot be accepted.


Entries are judged on originality, creativity, language skills and fulfillment of the entry requirements. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Make Your Own Story Book ACT CBCA banner

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Awards 2017

Winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony with celebrated author Jackie French during ACT Children’s Week!

Date: Wednesday 25 October 2017

Time: 2.00pm

Location: Belconnen Library

One First Place and one Highly Commended prize will be awarded for each category.

The Field Naturalists’ Association of Canberra will also award the Bettong Prize for the Best Australian Nature Book.

Participation Certificates will be placed inside all other entries.

Sponsorship 2017


ACT Children’s Week

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Return of Entries 2017 

All entries will be retained for display in ACT Libraries during September and October 2017.

Entries will be returned in November 2017.

No responsibility can be accepted for lost or damaged books.

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ResourcesMake Your Own Story Book ACT CBCA portrait

We have made a number of resources available to support the students and to promote the competition.

Examples of previous winning entries for the WA competition can viewed at

View 2016 Award Winners here.

Tips for writing and illustrating – 

  • Find tips for writing picture books here and here
  • Find tips for writing chapter/story books here 
  • To see different examples of Australian children’s illustrators, try The Style File

How to make your book – 

For information on how to physically make your book, look here

Here are some resources from Vicki Woolley, President of the Canberra Craft Bookbinders Guild:

  • Take a look at the work of young contemporary design binder Kate Holland, in particular the book Southern Harvest where Kate shares the binding style and design aspects for the text block
  • Books to borrow from the local library:  ‘Bookcraft – Techniques for binding, folding and decorating to create books and more’ by Heather Weston and ‘Making Handmade Books’ by Alisa Golden


Would you like some extra help in getting those books ready before Friday July 29?

The ACT Branch of the CBCA is offering a free 1 hour workshop for member schools in the Canberra area to assist students in producing their books.

The workshop will cover:

-What makes a great story book (examples of published books; ideas; what judges are looking for)

-What elements are necessary in a book (cover, blurb, end pages)

-Writing (narrative, strong sentences)

-Illustrations (examples from published books)

-Book construction (how to put the book together)



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Materials to promote the competition –

All artwork and downloads are for use only in conjunction with MYOSB activities and publicity to do with the competition. For any other use of the images in conjunction with MYOSB contact the MYOSB Coordinator.

Image - landscape

Image - square

2017 MYOSB A4 Flyer


Newspaper Articles:

“Young authors have a story to tell” by Georgina Connery, The Chronicle, Canberra Chronicle 07/06/2016 Chronicle Canberra 7 June 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enter a graphic novel?

Yes. The category you will enter your graphic novel in will depend on the word count. Enter the Picture Book category if it is 500 words or less. Enter the Story Book category if it is more than 500 words.

Can I work with another student?

Entries need to be created by one student only.

The creator of each story book needs to be both the author and illustrator.  You will need to create the original text and original illustrations by yourself.

Can I make an alphabet or counting book?

All entries need to be story books – with a beginning, middle and end.


Can I use clip-art or pictures cut and pasted from the internet?

All illustrations must be the original work of the student.

If you are using photos they must be taken by the student.

Can I write a poem or short story book?

All entries need to tell a single story.

If you would like to write an original single story using verse or rhyme you can.

Your story will be judged on whether the picture or story book tells an original story using the original text and original illustrations.

Can I write an information book?

All entries need to tell a story. You can try ‘creative non-fiction’ where your information becomes part of the story.

How long can my story be?

Minimum word limit: None

Maximum word limit:
500 words for a picture book
5000 words for a story book

How do I know if my school is a member?

If you can’t see your school listed in the member section, contact the coordinator at to check if they have joined recently.

I am home schooled. Can I still enter?

Please contact the coordinator at for further information.

I live outside of Canberra. Can I still enter?

If you live outside Canberra in one of the following NSW council areas you can enter the competition.

Capital Region:

  • Bombala
  • Boorowa
  • Cooma-Monaro
  • Eurobodalla
  • Goulburn-Mulwaree
  • Harden
  • Palerang
  • Queanbeyan
  • Snowy River
  • Upper Lachlan
  • Yass Valley
  • and Young
How do I get my book back?

All books will be returned to you through your school.

If you are home schooled, your book will be returned to the address on your entry form.

Who made the MYOSB Competition logo?

Our cute koala logo was made by amazing local author and illustrator Tania McCartney.

Have a look at her website for some story book inspiration.

Please direct all enquiries to Krys Saclier at

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