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Opportunities for Writers

Updated: Feb 21

Hello writers! Whether established or emerging, young or old, published or yet-to-be-published, we want to encourage you in your writing forays. One of the best ways to forge a way forward with your writing craft is to get it out there in the world. Easier said than done? Well, here is something to motivate you: a list of all the upcoming writing competitions for Australians. We encourage you to choose one, and get writing! (Please note that the competitions are listed by due date.)



March

Mulga Bill Writing Award 2023 CLOSED Closing date: March 3, 2023

Goldfields Libraries and Eaglehawk Festivals Inc. are calling for entries from writers all over Australia for the annual Mulga Bill Writing Award. Writers are encouraged to take inspiration from the theme ‘gold’, and submit a poem (max. 25 lines) or short story (max. 2000 words).

Short story: $500 first prize, $150 second prize, Poetry: $200 first prize, $50 second prize

Entry fee is $5


The SCWC 2023 Poetry Award 2023 CLOSED Closing date: March 5, 2023

The Award is open to submissions of poems up to 50 lines responding to the theme “In Colour”, with four prizes to win totalling $1300.

The Award will have guest judge Peter Ramm, published South Coast poet and winner of multiple awards including the SCWC 2021 Poetry Award.

Submission fee per poem is $15/$10 for SCWC members.


Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition CLOSED Closing date: March 15, 2023 *NB: Tasmanian residents are only eligible to enter the Youth section

The theme for 2022 is ‘After Midnight’. Adults: $10 per entry Youth: Free

YOUTH: Max 500 words, one entry only (Australian residents) ADULT: Max 1,200, unlimited entries (WA residents only)


Peter Carey Short Story Awards 2023 CLOSED Closing date: March 16, 2023

This award is for short stories between 2000 – 3000 words, and is open to all Australian residents. The winning entry receives $2000, while the runner-up wins $1000. First and second prized stories will also be published in the Spring 2023 issue of Meanjin.

Entry fee is $15 per story


Daisy Utemorrah Award CLOSED Closing date: March 30, 2023

For an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction by a First Nations author. Open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people currently living in Australia. Open theme. Entry free.

Winner receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.


Northern Beaches Writers’ Group Competition CLOSED Closing date: March 31, 2023

Stories up to 2,500 words that are inspired by the theme of ‘RAIN’, along with at least one copyright-free image that reflects and enhances that story.

Stories can be non-fiction, fiction, or fiction inspired by true events. All genres and styles welcome.

Entry fee: $15. Multiple entries welcome.

Prizes: First place $250 + online publication. Second place $100 + online publication.


FAW Tasmania 2023 Nairda Lyne Award CLOSED Closing date: March 31, 2023

For an original, unpublished short story suitable for children aged 8-12 years.

First Prize $100 and winner’s name inscribed on a plaque in the State Library Launceston Branch. Hobart Bookshop voucher for the best Tasmanian entry.


April

CYA Competitions (U18, Aspiring & Published sections) CLOSED Closing date: April 11, 2023

Under 18s and Aspiring Writers sections are open themed and require first 5,000 words maximum, pitch and a single-spaced synopsis no longer than 600 words.

Published Writers section is also open themed and requires first 12,500 words maximum, pitch and a single-spaced synopsis no longer than 600 words.

Entry free for U18, $25 for Aspiring, $45 for Published. Prizes vary.


Under the Silver Tree Short Story Competition CLOSED Closing date: April 12, 2023

This year's theme is UNDERGROUND, and entries may be up to 2000 words in length.

First place wins $1000, and there are prizes for young people and local (Far West NSW) entries.

Entry is $10.


Peter Cowan Short Story Competition CLOSED Closing date: April 14, 2023

Entries may be up to 600 words in length. Open to all, as well as specific sections: Senior Writer Award, Novice Writer Award, Secondary Education Support Centre Student Award, Julian Cowan Youth Award.

Prizes are $50-$200.

Entry is $10 + Eventbrite fee, youth entries $5 + Eventbrite fee.


Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction CLOSED Closing date: April 21, 2023

Open to all women and non-binary writers residing in Australia.

Entries may be up to 2000 words in length, must be original, previously unpublished, and unperformed, and engage with the theme REVOLT.

Prizes are $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place, all with a book pack and publication on the Lip Magazine website included.

Entry is $10.


ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize CLOSED Closing date: April 24, 2023

For an original work of short fiction with a length of 2,000-5,000 words.

First prize $6,000, second prize $4,000, third prize $2,500.

Entry is $30, or $20 for ABR subscribers.


The Bronze Swagman Award CLOSED Closing date: April 30, 2023

All are welcome to enter works of bush poetry.

First place wins $1100, runners-up $350, highly commended $100 and the Tim Borthwick Memorial Award $100.

Entry is $25 per form (up to three poems) and includes a copy of the 2023 Bronze Swagman poetry book, posted on its publication.


Furphy Literary Award CLOSED Closing date: April 30, 2023

Open to all Australians aged 18+ with the theme 'Australian Life in All Its Diversity.' The work must be fiction or narrative non-fiction and the length is no more than 5,000 words.

First place wins $15,000, second place $3,000, third place $2,000.

No entry fee is mentioned.


Silver Tree Poetry Competition CLOSED Closing date: April 30, 2023

Open to all Australians of all ages, open theme, poetry only up to 50 lines length.

First place wins $1,000, Junior entry $200, highly commended $100.

Entry fee is $10.


May

The Writing Prize CLOSED Closing date: May 1, 2023

Open to all Australians of aged 40 years and under.

For the best writing on the question, 'Why is ‘A Voice to Parliament’ important and how will it be of benefit to Australia?' Length 4,000-5,000 words.

First place wins $10,000.

No entry fee.


Kyogle Writers Festival Poetry Competition CLOSED Closing date: May 1, 2023

Open to all Australians.

For the best poem of any style on the theme 'beginning', with a maximum length of 35 lines.

First place $250, second place $100, third place $50.

Entry fee is $5.


RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize CLOSED Closing date: May 31, 2023

Open to Australian citizens under different age categories (u19, 19-26 and over 60).

For the best fictional prose on the theme, 'Your vision of the future.'

Prizes in each category, up to $500.

No entry fee.


The Australian/Vogel’s Award for Young Writers CLOSED Closing date: May 31, 2023

Open to Australian citizens under aged under 35 years.

For a 50,000-80,000 piece of fiction, Australian history or biography.

Winner receives $20,000 and publication by Allen & Unwin with an advance against royalties.

Entry is $25.


June

Ros Spencer Poetry Prize CLOSED Closing date: June 23, 2023

Open to all Australians.

For original and unpublished poems of up to 60 lines, of any theme, for an opportunity to be published in the anthology Brushstrokes 2023.

First place wins $1001, second place $299.

Entry fee is $10.


AAWP Writing Prizes CLOSED Closing date: June 28, 2023

The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) publishes the literary journal Meniscus and the writing journal TEXT, and hosts a number of creative writing competitions.

Open to all Australians of various ages and stages, according to each prize.

AAWP / ASSF Short Story Prize AAWP / Westerly Magazine Life Writing Prize AAWP - UWRF Translators' Prize Sudden Writing Prize (U25 yrs) AAWP/UWRF Emerging Writers' Prize

Click the link for information on each prize and the associated prize money/award.

Entry fee is $20.


Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards CLOSED Closing date: June 30, 2023

Poetry competition with various age sections, open to all students enrolled in Australian education facilities.

Click the link for information on each prize and the associated prize money/award.

Entry fee is $20 for up to 3 poems (where home-schooled or school is not taking part), and school entries are $30 for up to 30 entries, $60 for 30-100 entries and $80 for more than 100 entries.


Henry Savery National Short Story Award CLOSED Closing date: June 30, 2023

Hosted by the Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania, this award is open to all Australian residents.

Open themed short story of up to 2,500 words.

First prize $400, second prize $100.

Entry fee is $5.


University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor's International Poetry Prize CLOSED Closing date: June 30, 2023

Open to all writers aged 18+.

Open themed poem of up to 60 lines.

First prize $15,000, second prize $5,000, international winner $5,000.

Entry fee is $25 ($15 concession).


July

SD Harvey Short Crime Story Award CLOSED Closing date: July 1, 2023

Hosted by the Kennedy Foundation and recognises excellence in this genre of writing, either fiction or non-fiction. It is open to all budding crime writers and journalists, and word limit is 2,000 – 5,000 words.

First place wins $1,000.

Entry fee: $60


The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

CLOSED Closing date: July 7, 2023

For works of adult fiction or adult narrative non-fiction. Entries must include the first three chapters, up to 20,000 words in length, a one-page synopsis, a chapter breakdown and a statement up to 750 words about how winning the prize will further your writing career.

Prize: Winning Entry: $10,000 and a 12-month mentorship with Hachette Australia


The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize

CLOSED Closing date: July 15, 2023 (extended)

Open to first nations writers and writers of colour, for a work not exceeding 4,000 words.

Theme: ARCHIVE. Archives are not merely sites where knowledge is retrieved, but sites where knowledge is produced. What is placed in an archive is often a monument to political authority—and the narrative that authority wishes to tell.

Prizes: Winner $10,00 Second place $2,000


E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition CLOSED Closing date: July 15, 2023

Open to all Australians aged 18+ and hosted by Family History ACT and the University of Tasmania.

For a short story on the theme of family history/genealogy, of length 1500-2000 words.

First place wins $1000, second place $500.

Entry fee is $30 ($20 for FHACT members).


Not Quite Write – Flash Fiction Competition

CLOSED Closing date: July 16, 2023

A flash fiction competition with a twist! The competition commences on 14 July 2023, and at this time, NQW will announce the competition criteria by email to those who have registered for email updates. Writers will then have 60 hours to submit a 600-word piece of original fiction in response to the given criteria.

Entry is free

Prizes: Winner $300


Albury City Short Story Award

CLOSED Closing date: July 25, 2023

Open to any theme, with a word limit of 3,000 words

Entry fee: $10

Prizes: Winner $1,000, Second place $200 book voucher, Third place $100 book voucher


Short Stories Unlimited Competitions CLOSED Closing date: July 31, 2023

Open to all, with sections for poetry or short story on the theme 'urban'. Absolute upper word limit of short story section is 5,000 words.

Poetry: first place $50 and copy of anthology, highly commended (x2) $25 and copy of anthology. Short story: first place $200 and copy of anthology, second place $100 and copy of anthology, third place $50 and copy of anthology, highly commended (x2) $20 and copy of anthology.

Entry fee is $5 poetry, $10 short story.


Port Writers Open Writing Competition

CLOSED Closing date: July 31, 2023

For short fiction (up to 2500 words) and poetry (up to 32 lines).

Entry fee: $10 per entry (maximum of 3 entries per category)

Prizes: Winner $200, Second place $50, Hastings Prize for local author $50 (for local writers in the Port Macquarie-Hastings geographic area)


August

Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition CLOSED Closing date: August 1, 2023

Open to all Australians.

For a short story on the theme of detour/s, of length 1000 words.

First prize wins a $250 Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher and anthology cover art based on story, top 40 entries will be published.

Entry fee is $15.


The Best Australian Yarn Short Story Competition CLOSED Closing date: August 1, 2023

Everyone has a story to tell. Share yours in the world’s richest short story competition for published and unpublished writers.

Word limit: 1000 – 25o0 words

Prizes:

  1. Overall Winer $50,000

  2. Runner up $3,000

  3. The Navitas ESL Prize $3,000

  4. The First Nations Storytelling Prize $3,000

  5. Regional Australia Winner $3,000

  6. Readers Choice $2,000

  7. Eight Shortlisted Finalists $1,000 each


FAW Tasmania Poetry Prize CLOSED Closing date: August 31, 2023

Open to all Australians.

For a poem on any theme, of no more than 60 lines in length.

First prize wins $150, second prize $50.

Entry fee is $5.


September

New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-fiction

CLOSED Closing date: 28 September, 2023.

Word limit: up to 2,500 words

Entry fee: $10

Prizes: Winner $500


KSP Poetry Competition

CLOSED Closing date: 27 September, 2023

Entries must be original and unpublished. All poetry styles and themes are acceptable.

Entry fee: $10 per poem, no limit on entries

Prizes: Winner $300, plus a weekend residency at the KSP Writers’ Centre, Second place $150


Woorilla Poetry Prize 2023

CLOSED Closing date: 30 September, 2023

Judith Rodriguez Open Section

Word limit: up to 50 lines per poem

Entry fee: $20 per poem

Prizes: Winner $3,000, Second place $500


Scribes Writer Short Story Competition – 2023

CLOSED Closing date: 30 September, 2023

Genre: Short Story

Theme: Open

Work limit: 1,000 words

Entry fee: $10 per entry

Prizes: Winner $200, Second place $100


October

Stella Prize

CLOSED Closing date: 12 October, 2023

A major literary award that celebrates and promotes the work of Australian women and non-binary authors. For novels of all genres; memoir; biography; history; short story collections; poetry collections; verse novels; novellas.

Entry fee: Earlybird $66, general $88

Prizes: Winner $60,000. Shortlisted $4,000. Longlisted $1,000.


2023 Ernestine Hill Memorial Award

CLOSED Closing date: 21 October, 2023

Type: Short Story, in a rural setting

Word limit: 4,000 words

Entry fee: $20 per entry

Prizes: Winner $1000


November

The Readings New Australian Fiction Prize

Closing date: 30 November, 2023

Open to Australian authors, for their first or second work, published by a recognised Australian publisher between June 2023 and May 2024.


The Marj Wilke Short Story Award

Closing date: 17 November, 2023, 5pm.

Open to Australian women writers over the age of 18 years, for a short story up to 1,500 words length, open theme.

Entry Fee: $15 or $40 for maximum of three (financial members of the Society of Women Writers Queensland Inc may submit one entry free).

Prizes: First $350, second $150, and The Lauren Elise Daniels Encouragement Award $50.


December

2024 Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award

Closing date: 15 December, 2023

The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award recognises the best original book, in the judges' opinion, that is published in Australia in the previous calendar year. Submissions must deal with any aspect of Australian life and can be in any field or genre of writing, verse or prose.

Entry fee: $50

Prizes: Winner $50,000.


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