Book of the Year Awards
Each year Speech Pathology Australia conducts its Book of the Year Awards.
Nominations for 2023 open
Nominations for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2023 are now open.
Download a 2023 nomination form .
Nominations for the Book of the Year awards in 2023 close on Friday 17 March 2023.
Questions regarding the awards should be emailed to the Association’s Book of the Year Manager.
Announcing the winners for 2022
Speech Pathology Australia is excited to announce the winners for its 2022 Book of the Year Awards. Congratulations to all the winning authors, illustrators and publishers.
The winners in the five categories in Speech Pathology Australia 2022 Book of the Year Awards are:
- Birth to 3 years: Hello World | Written by Lisa Shanahan. Illustrated by Leila Rudge
- Three to 5 years: A Pair of Pears and an Orange | Written and illustrated by Anna McGregor
- Five to 8 years: The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp | Written by Paul Russell. Illustrated by Nicky Johnston
- Eight to 10 years: My Brother Ben | Written by Peter Carnavas
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Authored Children’s Book Award: Somebody’s Land | Written by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing. Illustrated by David Hardy.
The winning entrant for the inaugural Decodable Book category is The MultiLit - InitiaLit Readers, Series 2 – The Wattle Series (Levels 10-16), published by MultiLit.
Download the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year 2022 poster .
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Important changes in 2022
For 2022, the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards have undergone two important changes.
- Only one copy of the book being nominated must be submitted at the time of nomination, NOT 12 copies as previously required.
If a nominated book is successfully shortlisted, then the nominator of the book will be asked to submit a further eight (8) copies for the purposes of judging. As in previous years, all nominators will be notified about whether their book has or has not been shortlisted.
- The Book of the Year has a new category: “Decodable Book Series”. Before nominating for this category, please read the eligibility criteria outlined in the nomination form.
New category added to the awards
In 2022, the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year awards will feature a new award category for Decodable Book Series.
Decodable texts are specifically written to be phonically controlled and align with a defined phonics scope and sequence. These are a graduated series of books that are designed for use in the early years of formal reading instruction, to support the explicit teaching of skills associated with decoding text. Decodable texts are also written for struggling older readers, where the content and accompanying illustrations are tailored accordingly.
Speech Pathology Australia has introduced this category in line with its support for approaches to early reading instruction that favour explicit teaching, using a scope and sequence about how the English writing system works.
Authors/publishers interested in nominating a book series should ensure their nomination satisfies the eligibility criteria outlined below.
- is written by Australian author(s);
- is readily available in Australia;
- was published within the last ten years;
- has quality production standards (e.g. quality graphics, design, paper stock);
- is a graduated, systematically organised series of books;
- aligns with a publicly available systematic synthetic phonics scope and sequence;
- comprises books with age-appropriate content (recognising that some series are for beginning readers and some are for struggling older readers);
- include illustrations that are developmentally appropriate and are a complement to, not a substitute for, the text;
- one copy of the ‘Decodable Book Series’ supplied with the completed nomination form.
View the judging critera for the new Decodable Book Series category .
Literacy is based on good oral language skills. The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote quality Australian books that help children get the best, most literate start in life.
Books are awarded for “Best Book for Language and Literacy Development”
in the following categories:
- Birth to 3 years
- 3 to 5 years
- 5 to 8 years
- 8 to 10 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Authored Children’s Book Award.
Each book is judged on its appeal to children, interactive quality and
ability to assist speech pathologists and parents in communication and literacy
development. Learn more about the selection criteria for the Book of the Year Awards .
Why a book award?
The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote children’s books as literacy tools, as well as raising awareness of the role speech pathologists play in helping children develop language and literacy skills. The awards:
- promote quality Australian children’s literature;
- enhance awareness of the role speech pathologists play in language and literacy development; and
- encourage a love of reading.
Past winners of the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards include Mem Fox, Graeme Base, and Morris Gleitzman. Who else has won the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards?
Hall of Fame Award
A Hall of Fame Award (‘Children’s Language and Literature Award’) is awarded to an outstanding candidate who has made a significant and sustained contribution to Australian children’s language and literature.
A children’s author may be nominated if they satisfy the following criteria:
- The author is Australian or resides permanently in Australia
- The author has published a significant number of books for children over a 10-year or longer period
- The books published by this author are, or have been, readily available in Australia
- The books published by this author must facilitate interaction and communication
- The books published by this author have quality graphics, design and production.
Nominate an author for the Hall of Fame (Children’s Language and Literature Award)
Nominations close each year on 15 March. Late nominations will not be accepted.