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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

The Inky Awards

WATCH LIVE STREAM of Australia’s teen choice book awards

Wednesday 4 September 2.15 pm – 3.00 pm


Founded in 2007, the Inky Awards are Australia’s only teen choice book awards. The Inky Awards give young adults across Australia the opportunity to vote for their favourite YA release of the year. The awards are divided into two categories: the Gold Inky for Australian fiction and the Silver Inky for international fiction.

For a behind the scenes look at the Inky Awards, check out our Inky Awards blog, featuring news, reviews and interviews with our judges. For additional resources to bring the Inky Awards into your classroom or library, check out our Inky Awards Resource page.

The 2019 Inky Awards Longlist has been announced!

The 2019 Inky Awards Shortlist has been announced.

How does it work?

Each year, publishers are invited to submit eligible books via an online form on insideadog.com.au. This form will be made available when nominations open between December and February (date to be advised). State Library Victoria staff will ensure that all submissions are eligible (see eligibility guidelines below), and notify publishers if any of their submissions are removed from the entry pool.

A longlist of 10 Australian books and 10 international books is then selected by Inky Awards teen alumni. 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.

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

The shortlist is published on Inside a Dog and anyone aged 12-19 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.

Check out all previous Inky Award winners and shortlisted titles here.

December: Publishers submit books for consideration, January: Longlist selected by committee of Inky Awards alumni, February: Inky Awards Judges applications are open, March: Longlist and judges are announced, July: Judges meet to select shortlist, Shortlist is announced and voting opens, August: Voting closes, September: Winners are announced

Get Involved

Nominate a book

Nominations for the 2019 Inky Awards are now closed. 

Eligible titles can be nominated for the Gold or Silver Inky Award through our online webform. Only publishers are able to submit nominations for the Inky Awards.

Become a Judge

Applications are currently closed

If you love reading, talking about books and debating what makes a great book, then you can apply to be an Inky Awards Judge! Applications are open in February each year.

Vote in the Inky Awards

Voting for the 2019 Inky Awards will open in July.

Young people can vote online at insideadog.com.au. You don’t need to register or ‘join’ in order to vote, but you do need to submit a valid email address. You can only vote once for the Gold Inky Award, and once for the Silver Inky Award.


  • Which books are eligible?

    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 per cent 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.

    In all cases not covered by these conditions and guidelines, or where there may be scope for interpretation, the nominator should seek clarification from Centre for Youth Literature staff on 03 8664 7014 or insideadog@slv.vic.gov.au.

  • What does an Inky Awards Judge do?
    • Reads all 20 longlisted books (which you get to keep) within three months (mid-March to mid-June).
    • In consultation with the other judges, selects the shortlist of 10 books.
    • Acts as a champion for the Inky Awards. This means responding quickly to media requests, encouraging your peers to vote in the Awards, both in person and on social media, and being willing and able to do public speaking events (at your school, at writing festivals). Centre for Youth Literature staff will mentor you to help you prepare for any public appearances.
  • How do I apply to become a Judge?

    To apply, you will be asked to complete an online form and upload a written or video application. Please note that written applications must not exceed 500 words (PDF preferred) and video applications should have a running time of no more than 3 minutes.

    If you’re looking for tips on how to submit an AMAZING application, here’s 2015 judge Jordan’s video application2012 judge Elizabeth’s written application, and a video with some advice from 2013 judge Lily.

    Applications will open in February 2019.

    If we like your application, you will be invited to the second round – a ‘face-to-face’ interview (via online video call). Interviews will be held in early March, 2019.


    The Small but Necessary Print:

    To be an Inky Judge you must be:

    • 12-18 years of age (If you are in year 11 or 12 at high school we ask that you seriously consider your ability to meet the intensive reading requirements – as well as your own study demands – prior to applying.)
    • Living in Australia, and staying in Australia throughout the duration of the judging period (March to September).
    • Available in the week of 24 – 28 June, 2019 to convene (online) with the other judges. This is a critical part of the judging process and may mean missing your book club/soccer training/drama/choir/other evening lessons for that week.

    If your application is successful, we will require written permission from your parent/guardian.

  • Who can vote in the Inky Awards?

    The Inky Awards are a choice award for teenagers (12-19 year olds). Whilst we cannot control who votes for the awards (as to do so would make the voting process unappealingly restrictive), we do ask that you only vote if you are between 12 and 19 years of age.

  • What happens if there's a tie?

    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.