2023 IBBY Submission Guidelines

Project description

IBBY believes that every child should have access to books of the highest quality. For young people with disabilities, this includes reading material in accessible formats as well as stories that reflect their unique experiences.

Every two years, experts working with the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities select outstanding titles from around the world that are for and about children and young adults with disabilities. We promote the selected items on an international stage to highlight the importance of accessible formats and disability representation. Approximately 40 titles are selected in total, in the following categories:

  1. NEW! Accessible Formats: Books using different systems and designs can help make reading accessible for everyone. These may include braille, sign language, large print, non-verbal communication systems or tactile formats. It can also include easy-to-read books with simplified age-appropriate concepts and shorter text that are specifically written for young people with developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities. These books can be on any topic and do not have to relate specifically to disability. Submissions could also include design features that might help a young person access the book more easily, such as QR codes or AR (augmented reality).
  2. Portrayals of Disability: This section includes picture books, fiction, and nonfiction titles that depict people who are d/Deaf or have disabilities. These subjects do not include physical health issues, such as common childhood illnesses and injuries, unless they lead to chronic disability. However, mental health issues such as OCD or schizophrenia may be included.

What we are looking for

  1. Copyright: Books published in 2018 or later. Excellent books with older publication dates, which have not been previously submitted, may also be considered. All submitted books from mainstream publishing must have copyright; those without will not be accepted.
  2. Book types: Picture books, novels, biographies, or nonfiction, that are accessible for children and/or teens of varying abilities.
  3. Definition of Disability: For our purpose, disability may be physical, cognitive, neurodivergent, or affecting mental health or hearing. It is a prolonged condition that affects the life of a character rather than a temporary illness or injury.
  4. Characters: For books that feature disability in text and/or illustration, the characters must be fully developed, multi-faceted and have more to their life than their disability. In the case of fiction, the character can be the primary protagonist or a significant secondary character, but they should have an active role in the plot. Portrayals should be respectful and avoid harmful stereotypes.


It is the privilege of the IBBY National Sections to nominate books that are, in their opinion, outstanding examples. When publishers or authors contact us directly, we encourage them to contact their IBBY National Section with potential titles. For the 2023 selection, we are restricting nominations to a maximum of 12 total per National Section.

When the National Section has selected the titles that they deem to be outstanding, a publisher’s digital PDF file and a 2023 nomination form for each submitted title should be emailed to the project director in Toronto. The digital file will be used for evaluation purposes and will be deleted after the selection process is completed. Additionally, one physical copy must be mailed/shipped to the Toronto address included on the 2023 nomination form. The final selection will be the responsibility of the project director, assisted by a jury process. The National Sections will be informed of the results.

If a book is selected for the 2023 IBBY Selection, the publisher will need to provide an additional two physical copies of the book. One copy will be added to the permanent IBBY Collection, and the remaining two copies will be allocated to the international travelling exhibitions. After travelling around the world, the touring copies will be returned to the Toronto Public Library.

All submissions made to the project director will be kept in the permanent reference collection at the Toronto Public Library.

Please contact us directly at ibby@tpl.ca with any questions.

Launch of the 2023 Selection

The 2023 Selection of Outstanding Books will be launched at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March/April 2023. The illustrated and annotated print catalogue will be distributed worldwide by the IBBY Secretariat, and an electronic version will be posted on the IBBY websites at www.ibby.org and at www.tpl.ca/ibby. The 2023 selection will be available for exhibitions on request to the IBBY Secretariat.


Submission Form and Publisher’s digital PDF – 31 March 2022

Receipt of one physical copy – 30 April 2022