11 Opportunities for Young Writers and Artists May – July 2016
I recently spent time with a young friend who expresses his creativity across multiple platforms. On this occasion, he needed advice about the writing, editing and publishing process. As I prepared to meet with him, I undertook a little research into possible competitions and publishing opportunities for his work. Turns out there’s quite a few in the coming months.
I thought there might be other young creatives interested in submitting their work, so I’ve collated a list of 11 competitions and/or publishing opportunities for young writers and artists in Australia.
1. ‘What Matters?’ Essay Competition
What Matters? is an annual competition run by the Whitlam Institute. Entrants are invited to respond to the question ‘What matters?’ by expressing their views on any subject or issue they care about.
The brief: write a 400 – 600 word opinion piece on what matters to you and why.
Open to: school students in NSW, Tasmania and ACT.
Categories: years 5-6; years 7-10; years 11-12.
Closing date: 6 May 2016.
Check out the What Matters Writing Competition page for more details and to download an entry form for your particular state.
2. Shaun Tan Art Award
This award is named after artist Shaun Tan, who grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth and began drawing and painting for small-press magazines as a teenager. Since then, he has gone on to create (and win multiple awards for) numerous books such as The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia.
The brief: create an original drawing, painting or other 2D creation, no larger than 1 metre x 1.5 metres in size.
Open to: Western Australian school students, aged 5-18 years.
Categories: lower Primary (years 1-2); middle primary ( years 3-4); upper primary (years 5-6); lower secondary (years 7-9); upper primary (years 10-12).
Closing date: 5.30 pm Monday 9 May 2016.
Submit: register online and print out confirmation. Deliver art work (and confirmation) in person or by mail to the Subiaco Libary.
More info can be found on the Subiaco Library website.
3. South Perth Young Writers Award
The brief: Write a piece of prose up to 1500 words.
Open to: students living in or attending schools in the City of South Perth
Categories: year 1; lower primary (years 2-3); upper primary (years 4-6); lower secondary (years 7-9); upper secondary (years 10-12).
Closing date: Saturday 14 May 2016.
Submissions: Entries may either be submitted in hard copy on standard A4 paper or emailed to email@example.com
4. Broken Ski Awards
The brief: the Broken Ski Award will be awarded to the best submitted original verse (poetry).
Open to: all Australian students (there is also a separate open section for adults)
Categories: under 10; 10-12 years; 12-18 years; open (over 18)
Closing date: 30 May 2016.
5. Make Your Own Story Book
The brief: create a picture book or story book that tells an original story, using original text and illustrations.
Open to: Western Australian students from pre-primary to year 8.
Categories: years PP-2 picture book; years 3-4 picture book; years 3-4 story book; years 5-6 picture book; years 5-6 story book; year 7-8 picture book; year 7-8 story book.
Closing date: 5 pm 10 June 2016.
Check out further info for the Make Your Own Story Book Competition and download an entry form, which spells out instructions and guidelines in detail, including the difference between a picture book and a story book.
6. Rees Prize for Young Writers
The Rees Prize for Young Writers is a new competition created by the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA (FAWWA) to support young Australian writers and to honour WA writers Coralie and Leslie Rees.
The brief: submit up to three short stories on the theme of ‘Mars and Beyond’. Each story should be a maximum of 1,000 words.
Open to: Australian writers 21 years of age and under.
Categories: 11-13 years; 14-17 years; 18-21 years
Closing date: 30 June 2016.
Check out further info about how to enter and what the submission requirements are.
7. Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
The brief: each student may write up to 3 poems. Poems should be a maximum of 80 lines. No illustrations, graphics or decorations to be submitted. Poems on any subject are accepted, although there is an optional theme of ‘waiting’.
Open to: students enrolled in Australian educational facilities.
Categories: lower primary (years K-3); upper primary (years 4-6); assisted learning primary; lower secondary (years 7-9); upper secondary (years 10-12); assisted learning secondary; multicultural NSW award.
Cost: school entry: $25 for up to 30 entries submitted and $50 for over 30 entries submitted. Individual entry (i.e. home schooled or school is not participating): $15.
Closing date: 30 June 2016.
More info can be found at the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards website.
8. The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers
The brief: submissions of fiction or non-fiction may be up to 3,000 words in length. Submissions of poetry may be up to 100 lines in length. One entry may be submitted, per category, with a maximum of 2 entries across the 3 categories.
Open to: Australian secondary students, aged 18 and under.
Categories: fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.
Closing date: 9 am 1 July 2016.
More info and online entry can be found on the Express Media website.
9. Randolph Stow Young Writers Award
The brief: Write a poem or short story.
Open to: students in years 3-12, attending school in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
- lower primary (Years 3 & 4): Prose – Max: 500 words, Poetry – no minimum stipulation
- upper primary (Years 5 & 6): Prose – Max: 1000 words, Poetry – no minimum stipulation
- lower secondary (Years 7 & 8): Prose – Max: 1500 words, Poetry – no minimum stipulation
- middle secondary (Years 9 & 10): Prose – Max: 1500 words, Poetry – no minimum stipulation
- upper secondary (Years 11 & 12): Prose – Max: 2000 words, Poetry – no minimum stipulation
Closing date: 5 pm Friday 1 July 2016.
Check out the City of Greater Geraldton Regional Library website for further info or to download an entry form.
10. Tim Winton Award
Award winning author Tim Winton decided he wanted to be a writer when he was ten years old. He is now the author of over 25 books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction and books for children.
The brief: write a maximum of 2000 words in prose. All entries must be made online. To enter, register your entry details from Monday 13 June and upload a copy of your story in word document format.
Open to: Western Australian students.
Categories: lower primary (years 1-2); middle primary (years 3-4); upper primary (years 5-6); lower secondary (years 7-9); upper primary (years 10-12).
Closing date: 5.30 pm Monday 4 July 2016.
Check out the Subiaco Library website for more information, including online entry information, frequently asked questions and tips for teachers and parents.
Other Writing Opportunities
Voiceworks is a magazine that publishes work by Australian writers and artists (and international students) who are under 25 at the time of submission.
Voiceworks are currently calling for submissions for Issue #105, with the theme of ‘Nerve’
The Brief: Fiction and non-fiction up to 3000 words; poetry up to 100 lines.
Deadlines: Non-fiction pitches – Sunday 12 June 2016; fiction, poetry and completed non-fiction pieces – Sunday 19 June 2016; visual art and comics – Sunday 17 July 2016.
For more info and to submit online check out the details on the Express Media website.
Over to You
Is there something on the list that might appeal to someone you know? Which of these will you throw yourself into? And if you know of any competitions or publishing opportunities that aren’t on this list, then please let me know so I can pass the information on to other aspiring writers and artists.