Thursday, March 05, 2015

It's our turn, Australia!

The 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia competition kicks off today in Ipswich.

Good luck to all the teams! Chances are that you'll win a book prize or two, discover even more books to read, meet like-minded kids and have a great deal of fun with the "sport of reading".

Of course, none of this would be possible without our wonderful sponsors and supporters.

In Australia, as throughout the world, the Kids' Lit Quiz is a not-for-profit association. There are no paid employees - from founder and quiz master, Wayne Mills, to the national coordinators, the state coordinators, adjudicators and committee members, everyone's a volunteer, doing what they do because they believe literacy needs to be both encouraged and celebrated.

So far, in the four years the Kids' Lit Quiz has operated in Australia, we're still looking for major sponsors and our only income is the registration fee paid by each competing team. On this shoe-string budget, it would be extremely difficult to put on each year's competition without the generous support of our sponsors and donors so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank them all sincerely. We couldn't do it without you!

Book Donations

We will give away over 300 books in the course of the 2015 Australian Kids' Lit Quiz.  

That's a lot of books! 

Each team (of four kids) that wins a round in each of the five heats gets to pick a book prize for that win. If the team has already won a round, the prizes go to the second placed team (and so on) so that 40 children in each heat win book prizes. Studies show that book rewards do not undermine a child's motivation to read (as prizes which are unrelated to reading may) and, although the Quiz is a literary competition, it is primarily about promoting literacy in school communities by inspiring and motivating kids to keep reading. 

Additionally, it's an important part of the Quiz is to ask questions of the audience in between rounds of quiz questions, to show the kids that their parents and teachers are also readers. These audience prizes are also books.

It's vital, of course, that the book prizes are good - that they're worth reading. After all, it's a reading competition and these are discerning readers. We can't just give them any old books and they've read so many books we can't just give them the most popular books. Thanks to the generosity of our book donors, we've some great book prizes to give out this year. Thank you: 

Allen & Unwin

Hardie Grant Egmont

Harper Collins Australia
Pan Macmillan Australia

Penguin Books Australia

Walker Books Australia and New Zealand

A particular shout out to Walker Books for sponsoring the Brisbane heat (thank you Steve Spargo!) and for providing books for the winners of the Canberra heat (arranged in association with Harry Hartog booksellers - thanks also Harry Hartog!)

Particular thanks to Tania Mc Cartney for her donation of books for the Canberra heat.
Collins Booksellers Orange

Harry Hartog

Huge thanks to Collins Booksellers Orange and Harry Hartog in Canberra for the provision of books and book vouchers and to Boomerang Books (online bookshop), SpineOut (online magazine) for the donation of books.

Finally, many thanks to Jenny Stubbs and the Ipswich Teacher Librarian Network for all the work they do to expand and develop the Kids' Lit Quiz in Queensland.

Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian Network


Trophies and Medals

For the third year in a row, Softlink is providing trophies and medals for the winning teams (we also give out certificates and ribbons to recognise excellent reading.)


Positive reinforcement of the value of reading cannot be underestimated in keeping kids reading through the ages of 10 to 13 years, when most kids can read but often choose not to do so. Softlink's continuing and valued support in providing this reinforcement is greatly appreciated.

The 2014 Australian team were delighted with their trophies. Their coach says that the entire school community was proud of the achievement and impressed by the recognition and reward that reading could bring. Most importantly, having the trophies on display in the library boosted enthusiasm for reading throughout the school.


Monkey Baa Theatre Company's home in Darling Harbour

With a record number of teams participating in the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia (and throughout the world - over 1000 schools have, so far, participated in the 2015 Quiz with more to come), it's important to find appropriate venues and we're very grateful to following schools for hosting heats of the 2015 competition:

IPSWICH: Ipswich Girls Grammar School
BRISBANE: Bulimba State School
ORANGE: Kinross Wolaroi School, Orange
ACT: Canberra Grammar School
SYDNEY: Cerdon College, Merrylands

Thank you also to the following booksellers for providing  pop-up book shops at the heats:

A Lot Of Books, Ipswich
Riverbend Books, Brisbane
Collins Booksellers, Orange
Harry Hartog, Canberra

The pop-up book shops really add to the excitement and celebration of books at each heat. We hope you all have a successful day with all those book loving audiences and participants.

We're also delighted that the 2015 National Final will be held at  Monkey Baa Theatre Company's Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre. You can read more about Monkey Baa in Daria O'Neill's post for Reading for Australia, here.


I've never met an author who wasn't a reader first and the support that the Kids' Lit Quiz has received from authors throughout the world and over the years has been nothing short of amazing. You have only to look at the impressive list of contributors to Reading for Australia on the right sidebar to see the generous support given to the Kids' Lit Quiz by children's book authors, illustrators and others working in the field of children's literature.

At every Kids' Lit Quiz competition authors are invited to compete against the schools teams (their success is variable - sometimes they win, often they don't!) to see what great readers can do (and why they should keep on writing!)

Thank you to all the authors participating in the 2015 Australian Kids' Lit Quiz. If you click on each author's name in the photo captions below (and they're in no particular order), you'll find more information about that author - and, perhaps more importantly for some readers, more about their books!

Sheryl Gwyther
Angela Sunde

Samantha Wheeler
Deborah Abela
Michael Gerard Bauer

Oliver Phommavanh
Chris Bongers

Richard Newsome
Nicholas and Alison Lochtel
Emma Allen
Gina Newton

Stephanie Reeder

Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors, donors, supporters, hosts, authors and school communities. We hope the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia is an enjoyable and fruitful experience for all of you and that you all come back next year.

Anyone who is interested in supporting the 2016 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia competition should have a look at our Sponsors page and contact the National Coordinator, Nicole Deans, at And you should come along to any one of the heats or final in the 2015 competition to have a look - entry is free and you might even win a (book) prize! The locations are here.

Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favour!


  1. And we have our first result in the 2015 Australian Kids' Lit Quiz:

    "A fantastic heat today at Ipswich! First Place Ambrose Treacy College, 2nd Place St Aidan's Anglican Girls School 1, 3rd Place Pullenvale State School.

    A great start to the Australian Competition. Good luck to Ambrose Treacy College in the National Final. Brisbane Heat tomorrow. Good luck to all the teams taking part."

  2. Results from the Brisbane heat:

    "A very close heat today with just .5 between first and second place! Thanks to Bulimba State School for a wonderful venue and great hospitality. 1st Place Anglican Church Grammar 1, 2nd Citipoint Christian College Team 1 and 3rd The Gap State High School. Well done to all 18 teams that took part. Next heat is Orange, NSW on Tuesday 10th March."