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Competitions: Writing

Credit to Shayne Denford at LibGuides, Saint Patrick's College, Campbelltown

Write the World writing competitions

Each month Write the World holds a new competition, developed around a particular idea or genre of writing, such as poetry, fantasy, sports journalism, or flash fiction. Competitions encourage you to dig deeper into the writing process, try out new genres and share your work with a sea of eager readers.

Open to: 13 - 18 years

Prizes: The winning entrant receives $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer receive $50.

Entry fee: Free entry however sign up is required

Closing Date: Monthly

More information : Click here for upcoming competitions


CYA Hatchlings

CYA Hatchlings competition

The brief: submit a picture book or chapter book.

Open to: all writers aged between 8 and 18 years of age.

Entry fee: free.

Prizes: first ($100), second ($60) and third prize ($40) will be awarded in each category.

Closing date: 11th April 2023.

Positive Words magazine

Positive Words magazine holds two major competitions each year, one closing 23 April and the other 31 October. 

Positive Words magazine also holds a monthly Mini-competition.

Click here for further information.

Nan Manefield Young Writers Award


The Brief: Submit either a poem or short story of up to 750 words.

Open to: Sydney NSW metropolitan, based young people, aged between 11 and 18 years of age.

Cost: free.

Categories: The competition is judged in five age categories by a panel of award winning authors.

Prizes: Prizes totalling over $2,000. All winners will also be offered the opportunity to attend a special writers masterclass.

Closing date: 30 April 2023.

More information: entry conditions and online entry form can be found on the North Sydney Council website.

Banjo Paterson Children's Writing Awards

The brief:  The awards are aimed at promoting Australian writing and writers. The only requirement is for Australian content. Short story entries must not exceed 1000 words and poetry entries must not exceed 30 lines (excluding title)

Open to: 16 years and under

Entry fee: $5 per entry

Prizes: 1st Prize: $200, Second Prize: $100, Third Prize: $100

Closing date: Friday 6th May 2022

Further information: Click here

RD Walsh Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize

The brief: The 2022 Sutherland Shire Environment Centre’s national Writing for the Environment competition invites writers – or those who want to write – to submit a fictional piece of prose on the topic of peace and sustainability.

Submission criteria: This national competition is open to Australian citizens only. For the 2022 Writing for the Environment competition, the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre will accept writing that is:

  • A piece of fictional prose that is no more than 800 words in length (pieces that go beyond the word limit will not be considered)
  • Original and on the theme
  • Creative, powerful (it makes an impact on the reader) and quirky
  • Clear in purpose

Categories: There are three age categories for the 2022 competition:

  1. Up to 18 years
  2. 19-25 years
  3. Over 65

Note: The submission form asks for your birthdate. Your age on the closing day of the competition is the age that counts.

Prizes: There are prizes in each age category.

  • * First prize $500
  • * Runner-up $100

Entry fee: Free entry

Closing date: Submissions must be received by 5pm AEST on Friday, 17 June 2022.

More information: Click here

My Place Competition

The Brief: Drawing on the text’s themes of continuity and change, the 2022 My Place Competition prompts students to reflect on life in their own evolving places and communities. What changes have occurred in the natural and built environments, and what remains constant? Do the people in your community have a long connection to the area or are groups ever shifting and changing? How has your own relationship to place changed or continued over time? We are asking Australian children: tell us about your place.

Participants are invited to submit a short story via the competition page between 15 August – 16 September 2022, with the following word limits applying:

Year 7 and 8 - Up to 1000 words

Open to: secondary students in Years 7 and 8

Prizes: TBA

Entry fee: Free entry

Closing date: 16 September 2022

More information: TBA

Children's Charity Network

Childrens Charity Network is a Victorian based not-for-profit organisation, which acts as an umbrella for different programs/initiatives. Its main aim is to build, foster and nurture confidence and self-esteem in all children.

OzKids Art Program

The Ozkids Art Program showcases the talents of Australian children and provides a platform to enter their work and have it assessed by a panel of experts. All approved entries are published here on the website. Some are selected for publication in our OzKids Magazine and at the end of the year, the Winners are Announced.

Competitions include Young Australian Writer Awards.

So what are you waiting for, get started today.

Closing Date: 30.09.2022

Mosman Youth Awards in Literature

The Brief:

Students are invited to submit a piece of prose and/or poetry from the Categories below:

Dates 1 March and close 31 May 2023


  • Entrants will submit ONE piece of original PROSE of not more than 1,000 words on a theme of the writer‘s own choice
  • Senior – Years 10, 11, 12

  • Junior - Years 7,8,9


  • Entrants will submit ONE piece of original POETRY of at least 20 lines on a theme of the writer‘s own choice
  • Senior – Years 10, 11, 12

  • Junior - Years 7,8,9

Open to: Students across Sydney

Cost: Free

Prizes:  Prose
Senior – Years 10, 11, 12
1st Prize — $350
2nd Prize — $150
Highly Commended – $100

Junior – Years 7, 8, 9
1st Prize — $200
2nd Prize — $100
Highly Commended – $75

Senior – Years 10, 11, 12
1st Prize — $250
2nd Prize — $150
Highly Commended – $75

Junior – Years 7, 8, 9
1st Prize — $150
2nd Prize — $100
Highly Commended – $50

Submission Rules:

  • All entries are to be submitted online. No hard copy entries will be accepted.
  • Your entry must be typed on A4 white paper leaving a 3cm margin on the left side of the page

Further information: Mosman Library Service 9978 4091.


Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition

Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition

The Brief: Max 500 words, one entry only

Theme: After Midnight

Entry fee: Free

Closing Date: 15 March 2023 (5pm)


Little Stories. Big Ideas

The brief: In 100 words or less (not including title), write your story incorporating the theme 'Love'

Open to: There are two categories, one for students in years 7 to 9 and one for students in years 10 to 12. This is so students compete against similar aged peers.

Prizes: The winning entries from both age categories will all receive prizes from our sponsors, along with a certificate of achievement. At the judge’s discretion, Encouragement Awards will also be distributed to honourably-mentioned entries.

Entry fee: free.

Closing date: 7th April 2023

More information:

Future Leaders Writing Prize

The brief: The Future Leaders Writing Prize is designed to recognise and reward talented young writers. It aims to encourage expressive and creative writing. Year 11 and 12 students in Australian secondary schools are invited to submit a piece of writing (800 to 1,000 words). The writing can be fiction or non-fiction and on any topic

Open to: Year 11 and 12 students in Australian secondary schools

Cost: Free entry

Prizes: The award winner will receive $1,000. Where there is more than one winner the prize money will be shared. The winners of the Future Leaders Writing Prize will have their work published.

Closing date: 1st May 2023

Further information: Click here

What Matters National Writing Comp

The brief: Submit an original written work of up to 600 words in prose or poetry, either fiction or non-fiction. Start with an issue of significance to you, and express your views with conviction

Open to: school students in years 5 to 12 from Australia.

Categories: Years 5 and 6, years 7 and 8, years 9 and 10 and years 11 and 12.

Entry fee: free.

Prizes: Prizes are awarded in 4 categories: Years 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12. $350 for each category winner and $200 for each category runner-up. Winners and runners-up will also receive a book pack from Allen & Unwin.

Closing date: Friday 6 May 2022.

More information: visit Whitlam Institute’s website or click here for Competition Guidelines.

Best Australian Yarn Short Story Comp


The brief: Submit fiction that is between 1500 and 2500 words.

Open to: Australian published and unpublished writers, students, anyone over the age of 12.

Categories and prizes: overall winner – $30,000; WA Winner – $4000; Regional Australia winner – $3000; Youth winner – $2000 plus mentoring; Reader’s Choice – $2,000; Other nine shortlisted for the overall prize – $1000 each.

Entry fee: free.

Closing date: Tuesday 31 May 2022.

More information: visit the competition’s website.

2022 Kids News Short Story Writing Competition

The brief: Write a short story on any theme or topic of your choice. For entrants in school years 5-9: Your short story must be between 500 and 1000 words.

Open to: All Australian resident students from Preparatory to Year 9 studying in an Australian school

Cost: Free

Restrictions: Only one entry per person permitted. If an entrant is under 18 years of age, they must obtain the permission of their school and parent or guardian before entering this competition. All entries must be submitted by a registered teacher from the entrant’s school and entries must be accompanied by a signed Permission to Publish and Consent form signed by a parent or guardian.

Prizes: Years 7-9 : Main prize & Runner up - HarperCollins book pack consisting of books (valued at $100), Highly Commended prize - A HarperCollins book pack consisting of books (valued at $50)

Closing date:  5:00pm [AEST] on Friday, 24 June 2022

Further information:

Dorothea Mackeller Poetry Awards

The brief: Write a poem with an optional theme: ‘in my opinion’. Please note that it is an optional theme. The Society encourages students to write about topics and experiences that spark their poetic genius (in whatever form they choose).

Open to: Australian students.

Cost: depends on the number of entries a school or individual is submitting.

Categories: Lower Primary (Years K – 3); Upper Primary (Years 4 – 6 + 7 in SA); Assisted Learning Primary; David Maher Award for Small Schools; Junior Secondary (Years 7 – 9); Senior Secondary (Years 10 – 12); Assisted Learning Secondary; Schools Award; Kurrunbede Award.

Prizes: Monetary prizes and gift packs are awarded to category winners and runners-up.

Dates: March30 June 2023.

Further information: Go to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards website. There you will find info about conditions of entry and fees involved, as well as learning resources to help you get creative.

Poem Forest

The Brief: 

POEM FOREST is a free nature writing prize that breathes life back into the natural world that sustains us.

Created by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with The Australian Botanic Garden, POEM FOREST invites students and teachers to use their words to make positive climate action. For every nature poem received a tree is planted to help heal habitats and create a POEM FOREST for future generations. In 2021, over 5,000 poem trees were planted.

Open to: All students


  • Lower primary (F–Year 3)
  • Upper primary (Years 4–6)
  • Lower secondary (Years 7–9)
  • Upper secondary (Years 10–12)
  • Threatened Species (F–12)
  • Accredited Teacher (All ages)
  • The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan Local Prize (F–12)
  • Wollongong Community Greening Local Prize (F–12)

Prizes: The following prizes will be awarded to the best poem in each category:

  • $500 cash
  • $100 book pack from Magabala Books, Pantera Press, Wonderground Journal
  • Seeds from the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
  • Judging notes and winner’s certificate
    Highly Commended prizes in each category will also be awarded a book from Magabala Books
  • The Threatened Species Prize (F-12) will be awarded to the best poem written in response to Australia’s threatened species. See the list of threatened florafauna and ecological communities. The prizes for this category are as listed above.

  • The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan Local Prize (F-12) will be awarded to the best poem by a student living or studying on Dharawal Country within the Camden and Campbelltown LGAs. The prizes for this category are as listed above, plus a private garden tour for you and your family. Choose from a Sunset Spotlight Tour through Cumberland Plain Woodland, private First Nations Cultural Tour, or behind-the-scenes PlantBank and Nursery Tour

Entry fee: Free entry

Closing date: 23rd September 2023

More information: Click here

Tips for entering Writing Competitions

Cover image credits

Blazek, L. (2017, July 25). Workplace in my office with coffee [Photograph]. Unsplash.

Jardim, E. (2018, May 18). Books and coffee cup on a desk [Photograph]. Unsplash.

Olinger, H. (2018, February 7). Journaling [Photograph]. Unsplash.