Monday, 4 April 2016

Calling Australian and Kiwi Writers!

by Iola Goulton

Entries for the 2016 CALEB Prize are open

Omega Writers have announced that they will again be running the CALEB Prize in 2016. The CALEB awards were inaugurated under the leadership of Anne Hamilton, who said:
CALEB is an acronym: it stands for Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books. That’s why Omega Writers sponsor the CALEB Prize. It’s about giving all entrants a higher profile for their books, regardless of whether they win or not . . . Promoting excellence, for the glory of God, so that the highest quality books are given that little bit of extra ‘oomph’.
Simon Kennedy, current President of Omega Writers, says:
Omega Writers exists to educate, support and inspire Australasian Christian writers towards excellence, impacting society with grace and truth. We want our words to change the world.
There are three categories for the 2016 CALEB Prize for faith-inspired writing:

  • Published Children’s Picture Book
  • Published Fiction
  • Unpublished Manuscript

It is hoped that more categories can be added in future years . . . but for that to happen, Omega Writers needs volunteers to organize and judge categories. I’d encourage you to prayerfully consider this—I’ve found judging competitions is a valuable help to my own writing and editing.

Who can enter?

Residents and citizens of Australia and New Zealand with books published during the 2014 or 2015 calendar years (so, yes, missionaries based overseas are eligible to enter).

Can self-published books enter?

Yes, as long as the book was produced as a paperback or hardcover. Digital-only ebooks aren’t eligible (but if you want to enter your self-published ebook, you do have time to publish paper copies via CreateSpace or IngramSpark).

Does my entry have to be Christian?

No, but it does have to be inspired by some aspect of your Christian faith, and it must reflect language, themes and a world view that honour Christ. The motto of Omega Writers is Words that change the world: that’s probably a clue as to what the judges will be looking for.

Will I get feedback on my entry?

All entrants to the Unpublished manuscript category will receive feedback on their entry.

When will I find out if I’ve won?

There will be two rounds of judging. A shortlist for each category will be published in September, and the winners of each category and the overall winner will be announced at a Gala dinner to be held at the Omega Writer’s Conference on 29 October 2016.

What are the prizes?

Category winners will each receive a cash prize of AUD 250, and an engraved trophy.
The overall winner will receive an additional cash prize of AUD 500, an engraved trophy, plus AUD 300 towards the fees for any Omega Writers conference or workshop over the following 12 months.

If I win the Unpublished prize, will my book be published?

It’s a possibility—that decision isn’t up to Omega Writers! But at least two Australian publishers of faith-inspired fiction are expected to be present at the awards dinner, so who knows?

How much does it cost to enter the CALEB Prize?

AUD 50 for members of Omega Writers, and AUD 60 for non-members. You can join Omega Writers for AUD 52 per year.

When do entries close?

Monday 18 April 2016.

Additional information and entry instructions are on the Omega Writers website:

Omega Writers Conference

The conference will run from 28-30 October, and will be held at the Edmund Rice Retreat and Conference Centre in Sydney. Further details will be announced once program details have been finalized—applications to present a session, lead a workshop or participate as part of a panel are open until 16 April. An Expression of Interest form is available on the Omega Writer’s website, at

For those organized types who are already on the lookout for cheap earlybird airfares, there will be a shuttle bus from Sydney Airport to the venue on Friday afternoon, departing at 1:30pm. A return shuttle will go on Sunday afternoon, leaving the venue at 1:30pm and Omega say “it is expected to take about an hour to reach the airport” (if Sydney traffic is anything like Auckland traffic, that should probably read “at least”. I look forward to being proven wrong).

Are you planning to enter the CALEB Awards, attend the conference or both?

Do you have any questions about the CALEB Awards? 

Simon Kennedy, President of Omega Writers, has promised to drop in later today and answer any questions, so now is your chance.


  1. Congratulations to the Omega team who've put these awards together. I also like the idea there are monetary awards (unusual in Christian book awards) but very normal in most book award programs.

    1. Yes, there are some good incentives for entering!

  2. Thanks for the comprehensive overview, Iola! As you mentioned, I'm very happy to answer any questions, both here and on Facebook. Only a couple of weeks left to get your entries in!

    1. Thanks, Simon (and the others on the Omega committee), for all your work in putting this together.

  3. Iola, thanks for providing an update on the Caleb Prize and the Omega Conference. Btw, early afternoon traffic does move well in Sydney, unless there's an accident or something out of the ordinary. It's mostly freeway driving from the airport to the venue.


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