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 has been set up in 2021.
StoryLinks Competition Page
Enquiries: email

Sarah Brennan’s Clever Competitions
Runs regular writing competitions open to all students, anywhere in the world, in Years One to Six of primary school, as well as home-schooled children of equivalent grade. Chinese Zodiac competition closing 28 March 2021
More information

Author of Tomorrow
The Author of Tomorrow is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. Part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, it is an annual competition open to young people across the world who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. The Author of Tomorrow is open for submissions 1st March – 30th April 2021.

Prizes are awarded in three categories:

  • 11 and Under | 500 words | Prize: £100 plus £150 book tokens for your school
  • 12-15 years | 1,500 – 5,000 words | Prize: £100 plus £150 book tokens for your school
  • 16-21 years | 1,500 – 5,000 words |  Prize: £1,000

Books That Made Us: Youth Fiction Prize
Voiceworks are excited to announce the Books That Made Us Youth Fiction Prize in collaboration with the ABC and The Wheeler Centre! Students in Years 10–11 are invited to submit a short piece of fiction (up to 300 words) on the theme of Landscape. Entries close: 4 October 2021, 5pm AEDT
Australian fiction captures our everyday lives and dreams. It holds up a mirror to the nation, reflecting the good and the bad. In response to the anticipated new ABC series, Books That Made UsABC Education has teamed up with ABC Radio National’s Big Weekend of Books, The Wheeler Centre and Voiceworks to nurture the talent of young writers with a national competition. You can reflect on people, power and place in any landscape, whether it’s environmental, political, emotional or imaginative. Find out more

Child Writes Competition
Usually held annually but delayed because of Covid.  They are currently offering access to a free online Write Your Own Book Program.
Contact for more information.
In previous years:
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) .
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 closes mid-June each year.
More information

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. Closed 21 March 2021. Winners announced 19 April 2021.
More information

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers
Entries are now open and will close at 11:59pm AEST12 August 2021.
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 2021, the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers Mentor is Danielle Binks. The competition is for secondary school aged students (between the ages of 12 and 18 inclusive).
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

Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project
Essay writing competition for students in Years 5-8 and 9-12. Prize details: There will be three winners in each section: 1st prize ($500), 2nd prize ($200), 3rd prize ($100). Honorable mentions ($50) may also be awarded at the panel’s discretion. Closing date: November 7, 2021 Entry fee: Free entry.
More information

Kids News
Short Story Writing Competition. Has writing tips from Jackie French. Free entry for Kindergarten to Year 9. Entries closed 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. $5 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. No 2021 information up yet.
Youth first prize: $100
Closes mid September

Little Stories, Big Ideas
Little Stories, Big Ideas is a literary competition for secondary school students across Australia, where entrants aged 12 – 18 years respond to a specific themed prompt in 100 words or less, in any literary style they like. Entry is free, and there are terrific prizes on offer across two age categories. The competition runs four times per year, to coincide with school Terms.
We believe kids have a lot to say about the world in which they live. Little Stories, Big Ideas embraces themes that impact and shape their world, and are topical, relevant, and important. Think: climate change, environmental issues, diversity, respect, acceptance, inclusion, political landscape, asylum seekers and refugees, and more. Writing to a prompt allows entrants to explore and push boundaries with their creativity
Visit the webiste for full information about Little Stories, Big Ideas, including prizes and online entry portal.

My Place Competition
Drawing on the theme of diversity, the 2021 My Place Competition prompts students to reflect on and celebrate the diversity in their own communities. In 2021, we are asking Australian children: tell us about your place.  Open to primary students in Years 3 – 6 and special education students of all ages. Key Dates: Entries can be uploaded to the competition page between 16 August – 17 September 2020. Winners will be announced in early Term 4. My Place author Nadia Wheatley will be joining us for a student webinar ahead of the submissions date.
More information

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

Streamline Publishing
Writing Competition! Win $350 voucher for books for your school library.
In Lockdown and especially with CBCA BOOK WEEK looming, spread the word amongst your students of Streamline Publishing’s Australia-wide Writing Competition for Primary-aged students.
PRIZE: Best collective school library entry wins $350 in the form of a Dymocks book voucher, two copies of Streamline Publishing’s forthcoming picture story book entitled Terri Triceratops Is Free!, and the possibility of being published in a future collection.
Book Week Theme: New worlds, Old worlds, Other worlds.
Competition focus: DINOSAUR FICTION. Make up a crazy tale about your day with a dinosaur!
Length: Division One: Under 7yrs old: 350-500words., Division 2: Over 7yrs old: 500-1000.
Dates: From now until end of Term 3 2021 in all states.
Winner announced: Publication date of Terri Triceratops is Free!, Monday  1 November 2021.
Refer website, available approx. 14 August 2021.

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 
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 23 August 2021.

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 March for Writing competition. Up to $1000 cash prize.

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