Omega Writers

Christian Writers Award Australia

The CALEB Award from Omega Writers is a Christian Writers Award. It recognises the best in Australasian Christian writing, published and unpublished, giving Christian writers an opportunity to be celebrated for their commitment to their craft.

CALEB stands for Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books. In the Biblical book of Joshua, Caleb was one of two spies to go into the land of Israel and bring back a good report. Caleb said that the Israelites would have success because God was with them, even though there were giants ahead of them.
As Christian writers in the Australasian region, we can often feel dwarfed by the apparent ‘giants’ of international publishing. However, God is still with us in our writing, and we can press on with courage and encouragement in him.

The aim of the CALEB Award is to provide a Writers Award for Christian Writers in Australia New Zealand and the south Pacific, and to encourage and promote Christian writers who are courageously writing and publishing books from a Christian worldview.

The CALEB Award

Supports excellence in Australasian Christian writing by encouraging and educating writers, regardless of genre.

Encourages excellence in Australasian books by recognising and rewarding our best writers writing from a Christian worldview.

  • The CALEB Award has two streams – published and unpublished – which run in alternate years. There is also a biennial Barnabas Award, recognising a writer who goes out of their way to support and encourage others in their writing journey.
  • The CALEB Award is run by volunteer members of Omega Writers. Our judges are also volunteers, and we
    welcome Christian readers and writers from Australia, New Zealand and the south Pacific to contribute as
  • The award is open to members and non-members to enter; however, the Omega Writers President and CALEB
    Award Coordinator are not eligible to enter. Competitors may judge in the same year that they enter, but they are
    prohibited from judging in the same category as their own entries.
  • The Barnabas Award is chosen on the merit of nominations received by the CALEB Committee.
  • Entry fees for the CALEB Award are $70.  Current Omega Writers members receive a $30 discount. Members can find their discount entry code here in the Members page of this website. There is no fee to nominate for the Barnabas Award.

Published Awards

The Published sections of the CALEB Award are our opportunity to recognise excellence in writing by Christian authors, and celebrate the books they have published.

The Published Awards run in even years with the expectation of announcements at the biennial Omega Writers conference.

Depending on the year, the Published awards may be open to the following genres:

In 2024 the Published Award was open to:

  • Published Adult Fiction 
  • Published Young Adult Fiction
  • Published Middle Grade and Early Reader
  • Published Picture Books 
  • Published Adult and Young Adult Nonfiction (excluding Devotionals)

Chosen categories are subject to receiving a minimum of seven entries in each category and sufficient volunteers to judge. We reserve the right to change or cancel categories based on entries and the availability of volunteer judges.

Entries for all categories except children’s picture books will be electronic only. This makes it easier and cheaper for us to manage the contest (as we’re not posting books to judges). It also makes the contest less expensive for entrants, as they don’t have to provide hard copies of their books. Entrants will provide a PDF or EPUB file, which will be forwarded to judges.

Prizes will be announced at a Gala dinner at the Omega Writers Conference in 2024.

NOTE: If, for whatever reason, entrants feel their book is unsuitable for digital submission but would like to have their book included in the award, please contact the CALEB organising committee. Print entries may be possible, depending on judging availability, but will incur an additional fee to cover postage and handling.
Click the link to download a PDF copy of the Published Awards rules.

Unpublished Awards

The CALEB Unpublished contest exists to support and encourage unpublished writers towards the pursuit and achievement of excellence. In line with most other reputable writing contests, only unpublished writers are eligible to enter the CALEB Unpublished Award.

The Unpublished Awards run in odd years with the expectation of announcements around October in the non-conference year. The next Unpublished Award will take place in 2025.

All entries and judging are anonymous. Entrants will receive feedback from three judges at the conclusion of judging. Anonymous feedback is a valuable gift, and is a common reason for entering a contest for unpublished writers.

The Unpublished awards are open to the following genres:

Click the link to download a PDF copy of the Unpublished Awards rules.

Barnabas Awards

The Barnabas Awards are our opportunity to encourage writers on their writing journey.

There are two streams of the Barnabas Award:

Encouragement Awards

(up to three awards given biennially)

The Barnabas Award

(one biennial recipient)

Encouragement Awards are opportunities to celebrate emerging writers who Omega Members believe are worthy of encouragement and recognition for their  commitment, attitude and development of their writing craft.

The Barnabas Award recognises writers who give selflessly to support and encourage other writers in the writing journey. This award celebrates the invaluable impact of such encouragement and acknowledges the often unseen work these writers do to lift others up. 

Announcement of winner will occur at the
same time as the CALEB Unpublished Award.

If you’re a current paid member of Omega
Writers, we would like to invite you to nominate a fellow Christian writer for an Encouragement or Barnabas Award.

Writers eligible for nomination for the Barnabas Awards are:

The Barnabas Awards are awarded on the merit of nominations received by the CALEB Committee.

To nominate a writer for one of these awards you must:

Your name and email address
The name and email/website address of the author you’d like to nominate (so we can contact them if they win).
The Award you are nominating that writer for: Encouragement Award or Barnabas Award
Up to 200 words explaining why you believe this writer should receive this prize.
Nominations are open in July 2025.

Past Winners

Previous winners of CALEB are listed here.