FAQ: Kids' Lit Quiz Australia

These questions are commonly asked by schools considering participating in the Kids' Lit Quiz.

Please contact the National Coordinator, Nicole Deans, at kidslitquizaustralia@gmail.com if you have a question not answered here or if you require more information on any point.

The 2013 Australian team  at the world final in Durban, South Africa

1.   How does our school participate in the 2016 Kids Lit Quiz Australia competition?

The 2016 competition will be held between 4 and 18 March 2016.


Armidale March 4,
Ipswich March 10,
Brisbane March 11,
Orange March 14,
Canberra March 16; and
Sydney March 18.

If your school is located in one of these regions, contact the National Coordinator at kidslitquizaustralia@gmail.com to obtain a Kids’ Lit Quiz information pack (this includes an entry form - to be completed and returned - and pre-test questions to get you started).

Return the entry form and enclose $100 ($25/ student) for registration and payment for each team. 

See also this link for more information about the 2016 Australian Kids' Lit Quiz competition.

2.  How many teams may a school enter?

A school may enter two teams. A team consists of four students. The composition of the team is up to the school. Some combinations are: all Y6, all Y7 or all Y8 or a mix of grades or all girls or all boys or a mix.

3. Are teams allowed to make substitutions?

No substitutions are allowed. But students and parents are encouraged to come along as supporters.

4. Is there a reading list?

The Quiz is all about reading for pleasure. We want students to read widely and unfettered by a list. It is our belief that a list acts as a test in disguise. This is an opportunity to meet other like-minded students who simply enjoy reading.

5.  How do schools answer the questions?

One person in the team, usually the best speller, records the team’s answer onto a supplied answer sheet. The team works collaboratively.

6. What name does each team use?

Teams must use their school’s name. If there are two entries from the same school then one team becomes School I the other School II.

7.  Is there a toilet break?

There is a break after 75 minutes for a snack and toileting.

8.  Is there a visual category?

Yes. Every year there is one category that is visual - where shown pictures or photos must be identified.  No teams know in advance the topic of the visual category.

9. How can I best prepare my team(s)?

Select students who read widely from a range of genre. Use the pre-test only as a rough guide. Some schools arrange inter-class play-offs to aid selection, others arrange parents/librarians/past participants to act as mentors.

Also, have a look at quizmaster Wayne Mills' tips for schools here and sample questions from past quizzes here.

10.  How long does the Kids’ Lit Quiz™ last?

Three hours.

11. Why should our school enter a team?

The Quiz provides an incentive for a school’s better readers to extend their reading and to broaden their literary knowledge. The benefits of the Quiz are well-supported by research. (Harrington 2008, Jacques 2012).

It's also great fun and most kids come away feeling motivated, excited and curious about books, regardless of their team's result on the day.

12.  My children are home-schooled.  Can we enter a team in the Kids' Lit Quiz?

Teams in the Kids' Lit Quiz are nearly all school teams, as described at Q&A 2. 

A community group wishing to enter a team in the Quiz should contact the National Coordinator to advise of their circumstances.  In most cases, community teams such as a team coached by the librarian of a regional public library or a group of home-schooled children, will be allowed. As with school teams (see Q&A 3), no substitutions will be allowed once the competition has started.     

13.  I'm not sure whether the Quiz is right for our school, can I have a look first?

Of course, have a look at the 2016 program here. Entry is free and anyone with an interest in children's literature is welcome to attend. You might even win an audience prize...a book, of course!

Also have a look at the Kids' Lit Quiz demonstration video here.

14.  Are there any plans to expand the Quiz to other Australian states?

Yes. If you would like to bring the Quiz to your state or town, please contact the National Coordinator to find out how!

The Kids' Lit Quiz started in New Zealand in 1981 but was only recently introduced to Australia - in 2012 (where we had 13 teams competing). We've grown quickly since then and, in 2016, will have 6 heats in three states.

Internationally, the Kids' Lit Quiz is also growing, operating in the United Kingdom since 2003, South Africa since 2005, Canada and the United States since 2011 and Singapore and Hong Kong in 2013.

Founder and Quizmaster, Wayne Mills, wants to expand the Quiz to 20 countries by 2020 including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Republic of Ireland. He's also had requests to take the Quiz to Uruguay, Botswana, Bahrain, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kenya.