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How the Inky Awards work

The process

Eligible books are submitted for consideration via a nomination form on

A longlist of 10 Australian books and 10 international books is then selected by Centre for Youth Literature teen alumni, with the Centre for Youth Literature staff acting as the filter for coordination and eligibility.

The longlist is read by a panel of seven teenaged judges, who whittle the list down to a shortlitst of ten books (5 Australian, 5 international).

The shortlist is published on Inside a Dog and anyone aged 12-18 can vote for their favourite. The Australian book with the most votes receives the Gold Inky Award and a cash prize, and the international book with the most votes wins the Silver Inky Award.

Longlist & shortlist selection

The longlist will reflect the quality and diversity of current young adult literature.

Books will be selected on the basis of their originality, quality, readability, voice, character, age-appropriateness and something else that you can’t put your finger on, but you know it when you see it.

Books will not be selected either by their popularity or their “message”.


The Inky Awards are for fictional novels, poetry, anthologies and/or graphic novels first made available to the Australian public during the eligibility period (the previous calendar year). This includes publication in Australia and imports distributed by Australian publishers (for the Silver Inky Award). Titles are only eligible if they are readily available to Australian young adults in printed form, in schools, bookshops, and public libraries.

Sequels are not eligible for inclusion. 

Books may be a work of joint authorship or editorship. 

All works must be in English. Bilingual editions where one of the languages used is English are also eligible.

To be eligible for the Gold Inky Award, authors must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
Where books are a work of joint authorship and/or illustration, 50% or more of the content must be by an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia to be eligible for the Gold Inky Award.

To be eligible for the Silver Inky Award, authors must be a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia.

The Australian book and the international book with the most votes will be the winners. In the case of a tie, voting will be extended for a further 24 hours.

In all cases not covered by these conditions and guidelines, or where there may be scope for interpretation, the nominator should seek clarification from the Awards Coordinator on 03 8664 7014 or



Voting guidelines

  • You don’t need to register or ‘join’ in order to vote, but you do need to submit a valid email address.
  • You must be aged between 12 and 18 years old to vote.
  • You can only vote once for the Gold Inky Award, and once for the Silver Inky Award. Every attempt will be made to prevent multiple votes.
  • Votes must be submitted using the online voting form.