Book Award2024-04-04T18:08:20+11:00

ENTRIES ARE INVITED FOR THE 2024 FAMILY THERAPIST’S AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Please be advised that entries are now open for the 2024 Family Therapist’s Award for Children’s Literature.

 

Awards Categories

  • Children’s/youth novel
  • Younger readers’/picture book

A $1,500 Award for each category will be presented to the winning authors and illustrators.

Closing Date: 1 May 2024

To enter a book, you will need to send a copy to each of the four members of the Family Therapist’s Award Committee. The criteria for entry is below. Details for where to send the books can be obtained by the contact form below and will be sent in reply email.

Criteria

  • The book should be in English and first published in 2023, either in Australia or if published overseas then the author and illustrator must a) be Australian citizens or b) have lived in Australia for the two years immediately preceding the year of publication.

  • The book should be appealing to children.

  • The book should contain a realistic and balanced depiction of family life according to what are known to be the characteristics of a family developing and evolving in a healthy manner. Such a family may evidence some or all of the following:

    • it progresses through some credible obstacle to the full development of one or more of its members
    • it copes with a crisis in ways which do not restrict the present or future options of family members
    • it contains at least one family member who works for a solution that has potential for positive impact on other family members
    • it treats all of its members with respect
    • it displays a full emotional range

    It is expected that these characteristics will be displayed by a range of family configurations, e.g. couple family, re-partnered parents and step-children, parents with or without grandparents or other relatives living in the home, single parent.

  • If contemporary, the book should embody the more enlightened values of the present. It should not invite its readers to accept racist or sexist attitudes or unthinkingly condemn unfamiliar customs and values, although some characters, like people, may display such racist, sexist, or prejudiced behaviour.

  • The author should portray people credibly and sympathetically, demonstrating respect for each member of the family and showing understanding of the constraints under which these individuals live and act.

  • If a book claims to be historical then it should be, as far as possible, historically correct, without rewriting history in the image of today.
  • If minorities are portrayed, they should be with understanding and accuracy.

It is hoped that awards will be made for both a Children’s novel and a younger readers’ or Picture Book published in 2023. In the case of an illustrated book the prize will be equally divided between the author and the illustrator.

Contact us

For information on how to enter, please submit form below with subject ‘Book Award’

    2023 Book Award Winners

     

    AUSTRALIAN FAMILY THERAPISTS’ AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

    Announcement of the Thirty Sixth Annual Awards

    (for books published in 2022)

    An annual prize of $1,500 in the Older Readers category of the Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature is to be awarded to one entrant, who will receive $1,500. The winner is:

    The Bravest Word – by Kate Foster – Teenager, Matt is struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety. He feels he lets everyone down, his soccer coach, his soccer team, his mates, his parents. He tries to “push through”, often using self blaming language, and is encouraged in this by his mother who tells him to “stop being so silly”.

    Matt increasingly withdraws from sport, school and friends, compounding his downward spiral of self-blame, and feelings of letting everyone down. When Matt and his dad rescue an abused abandoned dog, he finds something to motivate him. As Matt nurses the dog back to health, he turns a corner in his own wellness journey as he focusses outwards and not inwards. He starts an anonymous blog from the dog’s point of view about healing and finding love and care.

    “The Bravest Word” is an authentic depiction of the experience of depression and anxiety. Matt experiences a “tight chest”, frequent tears, difficulty eating, sleeping a lot. Matt’s father supports him without pressure and eventually his mother realizes too that teenage depression is real, and that “pushing through” doesn’t work. At the end of the book, Matt’s friends open up about their mental health, and Matt says he will get through with their support, the support of the psychologist he starts seeing, and his family.

    Learn more about The Bravest Word

    An annual prize of $1,500 in the Younger Readers/Picture book category of the Australian Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature is to be awarded to one entrant, who will receive $1,500. The winner is:

    How to be The New Person – by Anna Branford – Hazel moves house and changes schools after her eldest sister has experienced bullying. Hazel struggles with the changes however she finds unexpected connections in her new environment. Those new connections assist in her new challenges. A good book for ‘tweens’ coping with transitions.

    Learn more about How to be The New Person

    BOOKS USEFUL FOR THERAPISTS

    The following books tell stories which may enhance therapists’ insight into specific problem areas. The Committee strongly recommends that therapists read these selections critically before deciding whether or not they are appropriate to share with their particular clients. Because of the sensitive nature of some of these books it is important, if they are used, that they be only one tool within an ongoing therapeutic relationship – inclusion in this list does not mean a book is recommended as a self-help book.

    BOOKS FOR OLDER READERS:

    No Words – by Maryam Master – A quote from Claire Atherfold which typifies this book and the story. – “This book tackled challenging topics such as mental health, bullying and the experiences children face as refugees, No Words is quite a personal story for Master to share. It takes inspiration from her own experiences growing up in Iran and being forced to flee to Australia at the age of nine. It is a reminder that you cannot know the difficulties that others are dealing with or how much your kindness might help.

    The Bravest Word – Kate Foster – Teenager, Matt is struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety. He feels he lets everyone down, his soccer coach, his soccer team, his mates, his parents. He tries to “push through”, often using self blaming language, and is encouraged in this by his mother who tells him to “stop being so silly”.

    Matt increasingly withdraws from sport, school and friends, compounding his downward spiral of self-blame, and feelings of letting everyone down. When Matt and his dad rescue an abused abandoned dog, he finds something to motivate him. As Matt nurses the dog back to health, he turns a corner in his own wellness journey as he focusses outwards and not inwards. He starts an anonymous blog from the dog’s point of view about healing, and finding love and care.

    PICTURE BOOKS/YOUNG READERS:

    A Blue Kind of Day – by Rachel Tomlinson – A simple, poignant story by psychologist Rachel Tomlinson and artist Tori-Jay Mordey, about the power of patience, care and empathy, and listening to our bodies and to the people we love. This book is recommended to be read by caregivers and children together.

    How to be The New Person – by Anna Branford – Hazel moves house and changes schools after her eldest sister has experienced bullying. Hazel struggles with the changes however she finds unexpected connections in her new environment. Those new connections assist in her new challenges. A good book for ‘tweens’ coping with transitions.

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