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UC announces winners of creative Centenary competition

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney was awarded equal second place for outstanding children's picture book for Riley and the Jumpy Roo

Amanda Jones

3 March 2014: The University of Canberra has announced the winners of a children's book writing and illustration competition focused on sharing Canberra stories.

The Get Real Canberra 2013 Picture Book Competition celebrates Canberra's special places, heroes and proud young population.

To mark the Centenary of Canberra, students and members of the public were invited to submit books written, illustrated or first published in 2013 with Canberra as the central theme.

The Tallest Tree by University design student Xiang (Emma) Lei, won the major prize of Outstanding Children's Picture Book and Best Illustration.

Her book tells the story of two young children who have an exciting adventure on Mount Ainslie as they search through the scribbly gums to find a magical tree that their grandfather saw when he was young.

University student Batool Razaak's Fatima and Ali was joint-second place winner for the top prize and also won Best Bilingual Children's Picture Book, for her mini children's counting book that counts to ten in both English and Arabic, interwoven with many of the places and faces of Canberra.

Competition organiser and University of Canberra College lecturer Jane Cassidy described the quality of the shortlisted entries as "exceptional," with local high school and University students, published authors, illustrators, architects and the general public taking part.

In previous years, the long-running competition was just open to writing and graphic design students, but to celebrate the Centenary, a wider field of students and creative individuals from the community were invited to take part, with winners sharing in $2000 prize money.

The winners were selected by a panel of University alumni and academics as well as celebrated authors and illustrators of children's picture books.

A selection of shortlisted and winning entries will be on display in the International Learning and Teaching Centre Library, Level A, Building 5 for two weeks.

The winners are:

Outstanding Children's Picture Book- Xiang (Emma) Lei The Tallest Tree (University of Canberra student) $700 + $100 from The Children's Book Council Australia ACT Branch Award

Equal Second Place Outstanding Children's Picture Book- Tania McCartney & Kieron Pratt Riley and the Jumpy Roo (published author illustrator) and Batool Razaak Fatima and Ali (University of Canberra student) $200 each

Best Illustration- Xiang (Emma) Lei The Tallest Tree (University of Canberra student) $200

Best Writing- Grace Bryant Oh No, Rollo! (public entry) $100 + ACT Writer's Award

Best Early Readers Information Book- Cynthia Breheny Inside Canberra (local architect) $500

Best Bilingual Children's Picture Book- Batool Razaak Fatima and Ali (University of Canberra student) $100