The West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award (WAYRBA) shortlist for 2016 has been announced, with just over half of the 58 books on the three shortlists coming from Australian authors/illustrators.
What this says about Australian books.
Although books nominated by young readers must meet the eligibility criteria (see below) they are not restricted to nominate books by Australian authors. This demonstrates that West Australian kids love Aussie books and that here in Australia, we have a children’s publishing industry to be proud of!
What is WAYRBA?
Launched in 1980, WAYRBA is the longest running Children’s Choice Book Award in Australia. Each year the young readers of Western Australian are invited to send in nominations for books they would like considered for the shortlist. From February to September, young readers all around the state vote for the books they have read. After collating all the votes, the winners in each category are announced in November.
Qualifying criteria is applied by the WAYRBA Committee after children have nominated.
- The book must have been published in the previous five years and be commercially available within Western Australia.
- Only one title from an author may be included on a shortlist, however, as there are three shortlists, this does not exclude another title from the same author appearing on a different shortlist.
- Each book can only appear on a shortlist once, and cannot be nominated in subsequent years.
- If the book is part of a series it must be able to be read as a stand-alone book (either as the first book in the series, or a series that is not impacted by strict reading order.)
- The author must be living.
Why are Children’s Choice Awards so Important?
Children’s Choice Awards offer an alternative to the some of the other prestigious, and much celebrated awards, where both the shortlists, and eventual winner are selected by adults. Children’s Choice Awards celebrate those books that children and teens love to read. Access to books selected by other young readers can also be a critical influence towards convincing reluctant readers to pick up a book.
“I have won three Hoffman awards at the WA Young Reader Book Awards and the trophies hold pride of place on my sideboard. I am so proud of them. The main reason is that these awards are chosen by the actual readers, the kids I wrote the books for, so that makes them special and the very best thing to win. Finding out you have appealed to a whole load of readers and written something that they liked, is a huge reward after all the doubt and uncertainty and self-doubt during the long haul of creating a manuscript. I hope the WAYRBA continues for many years, or as long as I keep writing at least.”
Norman Jorgensen, West Australian Award Winning Author
You can view the 2016 WAYRBA shortlists here