First 5 Forever: Queensland Stories Songs and Rhymes

First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government providing strong early literacy foundations for all Queensland children aged 0-5 years. 

First 5 Forever is coordinated by State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with local government.

Since launching in 2015 there have been more than 2.5 million attendances at First 5 Forever activities in public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland.

Picture Book Competition 

First 5 Forever: Queensland Stories, Songs and Rhymes builds on the research that shows young children learn best by interacting with the important adults in their lives during everyday activities including talking, reading, singing and playing.

State Library is seeking applications from writers and illustrators to share their Queensland stories, songs, rhymes and illustrations.

If you have a Queensland story suitable to share with children aged 0-5 years and their families, submit an application for the chance to see your work come to life in the pages of an illustrated children’s book!


The prize 

Up to ten successful writers and ten successful illustrators will be selected to share in the commission prize-pool, each receiving $3,000+  and have their work developed by professional editors and publishers for publication in 2020.

Authors and illustrators must be able to demonstrate a connection to Queensland.


Applications for the Picture Book Competition have now closed. 

Judging is currently underway. 

All entrants should have now received a confirmation that their entry has been received. 



Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Can I submit multiple entries?

Yes! You can duplicate sections 1-2 of the entry form, but please complete a separate section 3 for each story. Multiple applications can be submitted in one email. 


Will I be notified when my entry is received? 

Yes! You will receive an email confirmation once your entry has been processed and progressed to the judges, after the closing date. 


How should I format my story? 

For formatting, typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman with double line spacing is what we prefer. However, anything that is simple and clear for the judges to read will be suitable. 


When will the winners be notified? 

Judging is currently underway. We'll notify all entrants of the outcome by email when judging is complete. 


Information and enquiries 

If you have any questions, please contact the State Library of Queensland.
Phone: 07 3840 7415