The CALEB Award is the major writing award from Omega Writers.
CALEB stands for Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books. The CALEB Award recognises the best in Australasian Christian writing, published and unpublished.
Omega Writers want the CALEB Award to be one way we educate, support, and inspire our unpublished and published writers, by recognising and encouraging excellence.
Who Can Enter?
The contest is open to books by Australian or New Zealand Christian authors, or Christian authors living in Australia or New Zealand. Entrants must confirm they agree with the Omega Writers Statement of Belief.
Entries must be written from a Christian world view i.e. they must be consistent with the Omega Writers Statement of Belief and not contain objectionable content (e.g. profanity, sexual situations, or excessive violence.)
1 April – contest opens for entries
30 April – entries close
1 July (approximately) – finalists announced
October – winners announced at the Omega Writers Conference
Proceeds from the CALEB Award will support the Omega Writers Conference scholarship fund.
The winner of each category will receive a prize to the value of AUD 400 plus an engraved trophy.
In odd years, the Published Award will be open to:
- Picture books
- YA fiction
- Memoir or biography or autobiography
- Fiction (excluding romance and fiction with romantic elements)
Picture books are heavily illustrated children’s books in which the artwork plays an indispensable role in communicating story. Picture books are designed to be read aloud and have a story that that parents, grandparents, and teachers will willingly read aloud over and over and over.
Picture books are typically 32 pages long, and may be hardcover or paperback, traditionally or self published.
NOTE: Manga and comics for young people are not considered picture books. They may be eligible in the YA category or general children’s category in alternate years. If unsure, please contact the CALEB Coordinator at caleb [at] omegawriters [dot] org.
Young Adult Fiction
Young Adult fiction can include fiction in any genre, aimed at readers aged between 13 and 18 years old. As such, the language, content, and themes should be consistent with the issues faced by this age group.
Adult Fiction (Mystery, Suspense, Speculative, Women’s Fiction)
Adult fiction is fiction aimed at adult readers (i.e. not young adults). Entries can be in any genre except romance or fiction with romantic elements.
Memoir and autobiography are both about the author. The difference is that autobiography tends to cover the author’s whole life, while memoir focuses on a specific theme, and only relates events relating to that theme.
Biography is written about someone else, and may be a whole of life book, or may focus on a period of their life, or on a specific theme.
Books in this category are often referred to as narrative non-fiction, which follows many of the rules of fiction (e.g. showing the story from a single point of view, and avoiding telling).
In even years, the Published Award will be open to:
- Fiction (romance, fiction with romantic elements, and women’s fiction)
- Children’s fiction (early reader to middle grade)
- Nonfiction (excluding memoir/biography/autobiography)
Fiction (romance, fiction with romantic elements, women’s fiction)
Romance novels have a romance as the central plot thread, and have a emotionally satisfying ending (commonly referred to as a happy ever after or happy for now ending). Fiction with romantic elements has a major romance subplot, and removing the romance element would negatively affect the overall plot.
Women’s fiction centres around the emotional change in a female main character, and may or may not include a romance subplot.
Children’s Fiction (early reader to middle grade)
Early reader fiction is aimed at children aged five to eight who can read independently. Middle grade fiction is aimed at children aged eight to twelve. Both feature age-appropriate plots, characters, themes, and language. Some novels will have illustrations, but the story is the key element.
Nonfiction (excluding memoir/biography/autobiography and devotionals)
Any nonfiction title except memoir, biography, autobiography and devotionals.
We want the CALEB Unpublished contest to support and encourage unpublished Australasian writers towards excellence.
Therefore, in line with most other reputable writing contests, the Unpublished Award is only open to authors who have not previously been published in fiction. This includes any fiction genre, for any age group, however published (traditionally published through a large trade publisher or small press, self-published, or published through a vanity press or pay-to-publish operation).
The Unpublished Award categories are:
- Odd years: adult fiction (all genres)
- Even years: young adult fiction (all genres)
We hope to expand the contest to include book-length non-fiction in future years.