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.
StoryLinks Competition Page
Enquiries: email competitions-children@booklinks.org.au

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

Playwriting competition with Ursula Dubosarsky
Reading Australia has partnered with the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF) to present an exciting opportunity for aspiring storytellers! For years 5-8 students. Closes 30 April 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

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 em@boogiebooks.com.au 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 close on Monday 15 June 2020 at 4.00pm.
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. 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. $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

Somerset Storyfest competitions
Somerset Storyfest have a number of competitions covering story, poetry and song writing. 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 
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? Closed 24 August 2020.

Voiceworks
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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