Below are listings of reputable national and international awards open to children's and YA writers and Illustrators. You will no doubt come across a number of others, which may or may not suit you. Read this salutary blog before entering.
New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: These awards recognise and reward authors and illustrators of high quality New Zealand literature for children and young adults. Their first incarnation was as the New Zealand Government Publishing Awards, from 1982 to 1988. Held as part of the Children’s Book Festival, from 1990-96 the awards were known as the AIM Children’s Book Awards. From 1997-2014, New Zealand Post sponsored the event and awards.
Sir Julius Vogel Awards: These are fan-voted awards for science-fiction, fantasy or horror fields. For a list of past winners, visit Christchurch City Libraries’ New Zealand Children’s Literary Prizes pages.
CLNZ Book Awards. Copyright Licensing New Zealand offers a number of awards, which include awards for writers of children's and young adult titles.
Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards: Administered by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, these awards recognise excellence in Australian literature for children and young adults. From 1946 until 1951, there was only one category of book. In 1952 the Picture Book category was created, a Young Readers’ category in 1982, the Eve Pownall Award for Non-Fiction in 1993, and Early Childhood in 2001.
Inky Awards: The Inkys are international awards for teenage literature, voted for online by readers of insideadog.com.au. There are three awards: the Golden Inky for an Australian book, the Silver Inky for an international book, and the Creative Reading Prize, won by a young person for a creative response to a book they love. The longlists are selected by the Centre for Youth Literature, a panel of six judges then selects the shortlist of six books (three Australian and three international). The shortlist is then open for online voting for 12 to 18 year olds.
The Queen's Knickers Award is funded by Nicholas Allan, author of The Queen's Knickers, and is awarded to an outstanding children's original illustrated book for ages 0-7. The aim is to recognise books that strike a quirky, new note and grab the attention of a child, whether this be in the form of curiosity, amusement, horror or excitement. The winner receives £5,000, as well as a golden Queen's Knickers badge, as depicted in Nicholas Allan's original book. The runner-up receives £1,000 and a silvered badge.
The CLIP (Youth Library Group of Chartered Librarians and Information Professionals), Carnegie, & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards: The Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.
Booktrust Awards: Booktrust (UK) administers a number of book prizes and awards that celebrate the best books for readers of all ages.
The Branford Boase Award: This award was set up to reward the most promising new writers and their editors, as well as to reward excellence in writing and in publishing. The Award is made annually to the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first time novelist.
The Children’s Laureate: First awarded in 1999, the role of Children’s Laureate is awarded every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate the outstanding achievement in their field. The appointment of a Children’s Laureate acknowledges the importance of exceptional children’s authors / illustrators in creating the readers of tomorrow.
Costa Children's Book Awards: Formerly the Whitbread Awards, Costa took over sponsorship in 2006. The Whitbread Awards started in 1971 and the first award for a children’s novel was given in 1972. In 1985 the Whitbread book of the Year was launched, and in 1996 children’s books were taken out of the main category and given a prize of their own. Entries must be by authors who have been resident in the United Kingdom or Eire for three years.
Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize: Administered and sponsored by the Guardian newspaper since 1967, this prize is awarded annually for an outstanding work of fiction by a British or Commonwealth author, which was first published in the United Kingdom. Picture books and books by previous winners are excluded.
Red House Children’s Book Award: This award was established in 1980 by author and librarian, Pat Thomson, then on the executive of The Federation of Children’s Book Groups. It is awarded to the best work of fiction published in the year preceding that of the award. The winner is chosen by nominations from children throughout the United Kingdom.
American Library Association Awards: The American Library Association (ALA), and its sub-committees, administer a number of awards for children and young adults' authors and illustrators.
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards: The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for excellence in literature for children and young adults began in 1967. All children’s and young adults’ books published in the United States, in the judging period, are eligible.
Phoenix Award: Established in 1985 by the (American) Children’s Literature Association, the Phoenix Award is presented annually to a book originally published in English, which did not receive a major award at the time of publication, 20 years previously.
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: The National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature was created in 2008 to raise awareness of the importance of young people’s literature in relation to literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people. Based upon recommendations by a selection committee, the Ambassador is named by the Librarian of Congress for a two-year term. The initiative is administered by the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC), and the CBC Foundation.
NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature: The NSK Prize was established by three sisters, Nancy Barcelo, Susan Neustadt Schwartz and Kathy Neustadt Hankin, to encourage the improvement of writing by children by honouring an accomplished contemporary writer for children’s literature.
Children’s Choice Book Awards: The Children’s Choice Book Awards were launched in 2008, with the Teen Choice Book Award added in 2009. Finalists come from the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices programme, which has run since 1975. Children and teens, with the help of teenreads.com, vote for their favourites. The awards are announced in May, as part of Children’s Book Week.
ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Awards. Includes John Newbery and Caldecott Awards
National Book Awards - Young People’s Literature Award
The Hans Christian Andersen Award: The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are presented every two years by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children’s literature. IBBY National Sections select and submit candidates to the International Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury to select the winners.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award: Established in 2002 by the Swedish government, this is an annual international prize for children’s and young adults’ literature. The award can go to authors, illustrators, or promoters of reading, whose work reflects the spirit of Astrid Lindgren.