Published Award Rules

The Published sections of the CALEB Award are our opportunity to recognise and celebrate the best in Christian publishing from Australian and New Zealand authors.

The Published awards are held every two years, in the same year as the Omega Writers Conference. The awards are open to the following genres:

  • Picture books
  • Children’s fiction (early reader to middle grade)
  • Young Adult fiction
  • Adult fiction
  • Memoir/biography
  • Non-fiction excluding memoir/biography and devotional.

This is subject to getting at least seven entries in each category, and sufficient volunteers to judge. All categories except children’s picture books are electronic only. This makes it easier and cheaper for us to manage the contest (as we’re not posting books to judges). It also makes the contest cheaper for entrants, as they don’t have to provide hard copies of their books.

Entrants either email us a pdf file (which will be forwarded to judges) or provide free download codes from BookFunnel, Draft2Digital, or Smashwords.


Entrants must be citizens or residents of Australia or New Zealand.

Entrants must acknowledge the Nicene Creed, which is the Omega Writers Statement of Belief (

Entries should conform to a traditional Christian world view, as this is one of the criteria judges will assess.

Self-published books are eligible for the award.

Where books are written by more than one person, all contributing writers must be named on the entry form. Ghostwritten books may not be entered. Any entry found to contain ghostwritten or plagiarised content will be disqualified, and the entry fee forfeited.

Entrants confirm they are the sole author of the entry. Any entry found to contain plagiarised text (including insufficiently attributed quotations from copyright material) will be disqualified and the entry fee forfeited.

Books that have previously been entered in the CALEB Published Award may not be entered again.

Books which were previously entered in the Unpublished Award may be entered.

Fiction entries must be a minimum of 40,000 words (i.e. no short stories or novellas), as determined by computer word count.

Non-fiction entries must be a minimum of 20,000 words, as determined by computer word count.

All entries must be a maximum of 120,000 words, as determined by computer word count.

Children’s Picture Books

Children’s picture books will be judged in hard copy. Once your entry is confirmed and we have received enough entries for the category to proceed, then we will ask you to forward three (3) print copies to our Children’s Coordinator.

Finalists will be asked to forward an additional three copies for final-round judging within one week of the finalists being announced.

Alternatively, entrants may forward six copies in the initial round, with the understanding that unused copies will be donated to local schools or libraries, and will not be returned.

Other Categories

All other categories accept only electronic entries. This is to reduce costs for the entrants (as they no longer have to provide hard copies), and to reduce postage costs for Omega Writers. It has the added advantage of reducing our carbon footprint.

Please submit one pdf file of your full manuscript. This will be forwarded to the three first-round judges.

You may submit a watermarked pdf, but please ensure the watermark does not affect the reading experience. If judges are unable to read parts of your entry, they are not able to judge those portions. This will negatively affect your score.

Please do not submit a password-protected pdf, as these are impossible to read on some ereader devices. If we can’t read your entry, then we can’t judge it.

The pdf file should be no larger than 3MB. It can include your cover image, front matter, and back matter, but these are not required (e.g. if including the cover image would take the file size over the limit, then delete the cover image. We are judging your writing, not your cover).

If you use a service like BookFunnel, Draft2Digital, or Smashwords, then we will accept three (3) download codes. Please note that the download codes must be valid until 31 May, to give the judges time to download them. If your entry is selected as a finalist, then we will request an additional three download codes, which must be provided within one week of the finalists being announced.