The Readings Children’s Book Prize


The Readings Children’s Book Prize winner 2016

The winner of the 2016 Children’s Book Prize is J.C. Jones for Run, Pip, Run.

This year’s prize had a strong shortlist, and Run, Pip, Run won over the judges with its unique main character and exciting story that tackled big issues. The judges said: ‘Run, Pip, Run is a book that will be celebrated widely and live in our hearts for a long time to come. Congratulations to J.C. Jones and to her beloved character Pip for winning the 2016 Readings Children’s Book Prize. We hope Readings’ customers will also enjoy this brilliant book, perfect for boys and girls aged 9–12 and for families to read together.’

2016 Guest Judge Sally Rippin said: ‘Pip is a spirited character full of heart and courage who readers will fall in love with from the first page. Her story is wild and adventurous yet written in such a way that it always feels believable as the author skilfully and compassionately introduces us to a complex and sometimes confronting world many of us will never know.’

You can read the rest of the judges’ report here, and a Q&A with J.C. Jones here.

You can also find the full Readings Children’s Book Prize shortlist for 2016 here, complete with comments from the judges. You can also buy a specially priced pack of all six of the shortlisted books.

About the Readings Children’s Book Prize

The Readings Children’s Book Prize, established in 2014, recognises and celebrates books that families love reading together, or that children read under the covers with a torch late into the night because they can’t bear to put it down – books they tell their friends about. The Prize aims to raise the profile of debut and on-the-rise Australian authors that we believe could make an important contribution to the rich variety of Australian publishing.

Previous recipients include Trace Balla for her graphic novel Rivertime, which the judges described as ‘a stunning debut that heralds the arrival of an exciting new Australian author–illustrator’, and Julie Hunt for her fantasy adventure Song For A Scarlet Runner, which our judges said had ‘stolen the heart of every judge on the panel’.

The Readings Children’s Book Prize in 2017

Each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a panel of Readings children’s book specialists. 2017 judges include Athina Clarke (Malvern), Alexa Dretzke (Hawthorn), Dani Solomon (Carlton) and Holly Harper (Carlton). Once the shortlist has been decided, a guest judge will join the panel to select a winner. In 2017, the winner will receive prize money of $3000.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2017

  • The Readings Children’s Book Prize is open to a work of published fiction, written for children aged 5–12 .
  • The author must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency at the time of entry.
  • To be eligible for the 2015 Prize, the author should have published no more than three children’s books in this category (Junior/Middle Fiction for ages 5-12). Picture books and YA novels are not eligible and will not be counted. A series published within a 12-month period is considered as one book.
  • Graphic novels, or illustrated narratives, are eligible for entry.
  • Books of co-authorship, including books written by an author and illustrator, will be eligible.
  • Books authored by more than two authors will be eligible.
  • If the winning book has been written by an author and an illustrator it will be judged on a case by case basis as to whether they will jointly win the Prize and share the prize money.
  • Books published only in e-book form are not eligible to be entered.
  • Self-published works are not eligible to be entered.
  • Entries must be published in English.
  • Authors must be living at the date of publication.
  • To be eligible for the 2017 Prize, books must have been first published between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2017 Prize round, this period is from 1 January 2016, through to 30 June 2017.
  • Authors who win the Readings Children’s Book Prize will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2017

  • There is no process for entering the Prize. The judging panel will decide on eligible titles and invite respective publishers to submit no more than seven reading copies of the nominated book for Prize consideration throughout the eligibility period.


Enquiries should be directed to Readings Carlton children’s buyer and prize manager, Angela Crocombe at