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Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program

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Are you a budding writer?

Do you have a manuscript ready and would love to be published?

and the

2021 winners are


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The Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program has been re-launched in 2021 with sponsorship by Cathie Tasker who will mentor the winner.  Fremantle Press will provide 2 runners-up with access to their online writing course plus the text How to be an author by Georgia Richter & Deborah Hunn.


The Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program aims to foster the talent of aspiring writers of children's literature across Australia and is open to all Australian citizens residing in Australia.

CBCA NSW Branch and Cathie Tasker are delighted to enter into a five year partnership to ensure that this important program encouraging aspiring writers is maintained. The winner receives the Cottesloe Mentorship and the Charlotte Waring Certificate.


Cathie, a publisher and editor, now works as an independent creative writing consultant. Over her career, she has commissioned nearly 800 books. She is passionate about books and reading, in line with the objects of the CBCA NSW Branch.


When asked about how the Cottesloe Mentorship came about, Cathie Tasker said - “I loved judging the CBCA  Book of the Year Awards, and joined a great panel of other judges. The face-to-face discussions about the quality of books submitted were a highlight of my year. When the judges came together in Perth, Alan, my husband and I wanted to follow a long-held dream - to watch the sun set at Cottesloe Beach. We hoped it would  be a special moment for us. Alas this was not meant to be due to torrential rain. Dreams can come true but not always as we imagine them. I have named the Mentorship for that moment with the hope that  the Cottesloe Mentorship will be a special moment for an aspiring writer.”


Fremantle Press is a proudly not-for-profit publishing house with a 45 year history of discovering and nurturing new and emerging writers. Their popular seminars at Perth and Adelaide Festivals The Business of Being a Writer, inspired the book How to be an Author by Georgia Richter & Deborah Hunn which features practical advice from people who live and breathe books. It is accompanied by a monthly podcast hosted by book marketer Claire Miller and publisher Georgia Richter. An active Facebook group with special guest authors and publishing experts is there to answer your queries and questions, and cheer you on in your writing journey.

To find out more click here. 

​2019 Winner

Trudi Sommers - Dandy Lion and the Fireflies: The Tree Whispers

Authors whose careers have been launched by this program include the best selling/award

winning Michelle Cooper, Kristy Eagar, Jacqueline Harvey, Nathan Luff and Oliver Phommavanh. 

Full list of previous winners is here.

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2019 Winner - Trudi Sommers

Entry Details

Entries opened May 19, 2021 and closed August 31, 2021.

The longlist  announced November 8.

The winner will be announced online at 7.30pm on November 30. (link coming)

Cost of entries: CBCA members: $50. Non-members: $65 These prices include GST.

Entries will be received in these categories - Young Adult, Middle Grade and Picture Book.

Entrants must upload the entry form found below. There is a different entry form for each category.  Please enter in the category best suited to your manuscript. If submitting multiple manuscripts, one entry form per manuscript needs to be completed.


How to write a pitch guide.

Please read the Terms & Conditions carefully and comply with all the conditions outlined. The terms and conditions also contain information on how files are to be formatted, saved and uploaded.

Term and Conditions are here.


The Entry form requires separate uploads of the following forms along with your manuscript.​ You may find this easiest with a gmail account.

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