The Centre for Children’s Literature

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Writing competitions

Writing and Illustrating Competitions

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Book Links The Centre for Children’s Literature presents
the annual StoryLinks Short Story Competition
For children in Grades 4, 5 & 6

Write a short story of no more than 1000 words – any subject.
It must be fiction and all your own work.
Entries close 17 September 2021. The winner will be announced 18 October 2021.The winner will receive $100 and have their story published on the StoryLinks website. An online entry form will be set up in 2021.
Enquiries: email


Andy Griffiths Kids Writing Competition
Each year Dymocks and Pan Macmillan invite Australian kids to get creative and enter a writing competition that’s judged by the one and only Andy Griffiths.
The one major prize winner will receive their story framed with illustrations by Terry Denton. The top 5 entries (including the winner) will each WIN* an Andy Griffiths book pack containing 8 books each supplied by Pan Macmillan valued at $116.88 each.
Not running in 2020
More information

Child Writes Competition
The Entry Fee $10
The prize: The winning writer and the winning illustrator will be mentored to publication of a collaborative children’s picture book, worth over $1000 each (or total prize pool $2500) .
In 2020 the competition is limited to Australian 10 year olds, born in 2010 only.
Entries close when 500 entries have been received.
More information

CYA Conference Writing and illustrating competitions
Closes each year in April. For ages 8-18.
More information.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry competitions. Entries accepted: March 1 to June 30, results announced during early September. More information.

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

Get Songwriting
For Year 9 – 12 students. Put your pen to paper or fingers to keys and try your hand at songwriting. Prize pool of $1700. The competition will close on Monday 15 June 2020 at 4.00pm.
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The Golden Pen Writing Award
This award is part of the Scribblers Festival in WA. It is open to students in years 4-12 in junior, middle and senior catgeories in WA only. Closes 21 March 2021. Winners announced 19 April 2021.
More information

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers
Entries are now open and close at 11:59pm AEST on Monday 17 August 2020.
The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers is a developmental award open to Australian secondary school-aged students across the nation. The prize recognises writing excellence in three categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Entries can include writing for readers of any age. Shortlisted writers get the opportunity to receive mentorship from an established author. In 2020, the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers Mentor is Will Kostakis. The competition is for secondary school aged students (between the ages of 12 and 18 inclusive).
More information

Independent Education Union Qld and NT Art Design Awards and Literary Competition
The Literary Competition invites Queensland and Northern Territory students and teachers to share their literary prowess by submitting either poetry, short stories or non-fiction prose. Entrants are invited to submit their poetry, short stories or non-fiction prose.The competition is open to entrants from students (years 5-12) and teachers in Queensland state and independent schools and Northern Territory independent schools.
More information.

Ipswich Poetry Feast
Ipswich Poetry Feast competitions for children and adults, closes around mid July each year. More information.

John Marsden and Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers
This is a developmental award open exclusively to Australian secondary school students in categories of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  For young writers aged 12 to 18, the prize provides an unforgettable experience. Fifteen shortlisted writers receive feedback on their work and are invited to participate in an exclusive creative writing workshop and special event presented by the Melbourne Writers Festival. Prize winners  also receive a $500 cash prize and a book pack courtesy of Hachette Australia. The prize recognises excellence in three creative writing categories: fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
More information

Kids News
Short Story Writing Competition. Has writing tips from Jackie French. Free entry for Kindergarten to Year 9. Entries close 3 July, 2020.
First prize winners in each age category will take home 10 copies of their winning short story published into a printed book with a personally designed cover plus an iPad and Harper Collins book pack.
There are also prizes for one runner-up and three highly commended entries in each age category.
This year’s competition (2020) has been expanded into four categories: Kindergarten to Year 2, Years 3-4, Years 5-6 and Years 7-9. More information.

KSP Writers Centre Spooky Stories Competition
YOUTH  category (8-18 years): Max 500 words. Free to enter
Youth first prize: $100, certificate, complimentary print copy of Spooky Story anthology
Youth second prize: $25, certificate, complimentary print copy of Spooky Story anthology
Closes end of March
More information

KSP Writers Centre Short Fiction Competition
YOUTH  category (10-17 years): Max 1000 words. Free to enter
Youth first prize: $100
Closes mid September

My Place Writing Competition
The Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association are calling on students in Years 3–10 to create stories about ‘Your Place’ in this historically significant time. The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped students’ lives, and historians of the future will want to know how this looked and felt for them, their families, and their communities. The 2020 My Place Competition asks students to reflect on this moment in time and share their thoughts, observations, and experiences through creative writing.

To inspire those entering the 2020 My Place Competition, the ACTF and ALEA hosted a Q&A webinar with author Nadia Wheatley. Teachers and students had the opportunity to hear Ms Wheatley discuss her classic picture book, the importance of writing about our own communities, and how she gets her ideas for stories from the place where she lives. The Q&A webinar can be viewed on the ACTF YouTube Channel. Entries for the 2020 My Place Competition can be uploaded to the competition page between 25 May 2020 – 26 June 2020.

Redgum Young Writers Award
The Young Writers’ Award, designed to discover the talent of children aged between 9 and 13 years of age. Entries close December. Entry is free. Each shortlisted entry will receive a $150 Redgum Book Club voucher and Certificate of Achievement. The winner of each category will receive a $250 Redgum Book Club voucher and winning entry from each category will be published as hard copy book and in e-book format.
More information

Short Australian StoriesSTUDENTS: storybombing #Litfest2444 Phone It In is open to any person residing in Australia between the ages of 15 and 18. It is free to enter and you can submit more than one entry if you wish. Includes Writing Tips and Guides.

Somerset Storyfest competitions
Somerset Storyfest have a number of competitions covering story, poetry and song writing. More information.

Spencil Creative Writing Competition
Write a short story, poem or comic (500 word limit) and feel free to illustrate it too! The more individuality and flair you want to add to your piece the better so let your imagination run wild! Categories: 8 years and under, 9 years and older. Entries close at 11:59 PM Sunday 12 July 2020. Winners announced Friday 17 July 2020. (Note you will be added to the Stencil mailing list.) More information.

Toolangi C J Dennis Poetry Competition
Themed: Environment/Climate Change. Free entry for students.  Primary and Secondary School sections. More information. Entries close 1 September 2020. Entry Form

Voices on the Coast writing competition 2020
Mooloolaba Rotary, the University of the Sunshine Coast and Voices on the Coast are excited to launch this year’s Telling Stories competition entitled “I should have been more careful!”. Open to students from the Sunshine Coast and hinterland in Grades 4 to 9. Home schooled children in grades 4 to 9 are very welcome to participate. Total prize money $750. Need more information on how to enter? Closes 24 August 2020.

Voiceworks is a national literary journal that features exciting new writing and art by young Australians. Their purpose is to create a space for people under twenty-five to develop their creative and editorial skills and to publish, and be paid for, their fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and comics. Each selected piece goes through a collaborative editing process, and they provide individualised feedback for all unsuccessful submissions. Find out how to submit.

Write4Fun Poetry and Short Story Competition and Art Competition
For P-12 students. Entry Free. Closes end of April for Writing competition and September for Art competition. Up to $1000 cash prize for each competition.
More information

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