Young Writers: Competitions
If you’re a young writer in Australia, and have been wondering about opportunities to submit your work, then look no further. This post contains a list of writing competitions for young writers in Australia, together with useful information such as word limits, closing dates and links to entry forms.
Be sure to check back regularly, though, because I’ll update the post whenever info about other competitions (or publishing opportunities) are released. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter, in which I always include a list of opportunities for the coming month.
The competitions listed are in order of closing date, apart from the first one listed, as it has a different competition each month.
1. Write the World (ongoing monthly competitions)
Write the World describes itself as a ‘community of young writers (ages 13-18), hailing from over 80 countries’. Write the World holds monthly competitions, developed around a particular idea or genre of writing. The competitions encourage you to try out new genres and share your work with other readers, as well as offering the opportunity to receive peer and expert feedback, before submitting your final piece.
Upcoming topics include:
- November—novel writing excerpt (drafts for expert review due Monday 9 November; submissions due Tuesday 17 November)
- December—creative Nonfiction (drafts for expert review due Monday 30 November; submissions due Tuesday 8 December.
Entry fee: Free.
Prizes: Winning entrant receives $100. Runner-up and best peer reviewer are awarded $50. All three winners will be featured on their blog.
More info: For a more detailed information about each topic, including deadlines (for draft and final submissions) and prizes, head to the Write the World website.
2. Junior Writers Club Anthology: A Most Unusual Pet
The brief: Submit stories, poems, and pieces of non-fiction on the theme ‘A Most Unusual Pet’.
Open to: students aged between 8 and 18. If you are currently 19, you can submit a story so long as you are enrolled in year 12 during 2020, either at a school or homeschool.
Prize: to be published in the anthology.
Closing date: Friday 13 November 2020.
More information: head to the Junior Writers Club website.
3. Wombat Books Illustration Challenge
The brief: Choose one or multiple spreads from the manuscript of Can I Sleep tomorrow? to illustrate. Use an A4 or A3-size page (landscape) for each illustration spread.
Open to: Australian school-aged students aged 5 to 18.
Entry fee: the purchase of one of Wombat Books previous illustration challenges.
Prizes: Winning illustrations will be published in a new book due for release in 2021. Illustrators will receive two free copies of the book. They will be acknowledged on the Wombat Books website and social media.
Closing date: Monday 30 November 2020.
More information: visit Wombat Books’ website.
4. 2021 Storyfest National Novella Writing Competition
The brief: Submit an original novella that is between 8,000 and 20,000 words.
Open to: all current secondary students attending school or being home schooled in Australia.
Entry fee: $20.
Prizes: State winners will receive personalised advice on their winning manuscripts from Penguin Random House (Australia). State winnners will also have the opportunity to attend Somerset Storyfest, be billeted by students of the Somerset Wordsmiths’ Club, and attend Storyfest in 2021. The national winner, which will be announced at Storyfest, will receive a monetary prize and a full editorial report.
Closing date: Friday 4 December 2020.
More information: visit Somerset Storyfest’s website.
5. 2021 Somerset National Poetry Prize
The brief: Submit an original poem up to 50 lines.
Open to: Secondary students in Australia, including home school students.
Categories: Junior Secondary (years 7 to 9) and Senior Secondary (years 10 to 12).
Entry fee: $15 per poem.
Prizes: One winner and up to five short-listed highly commended runners up will be selected from each category. The winner in each category will receive $300 and have the opportunity to attend Somerset Storyfest and be billeted by students of the Somerset Wordsmiths’ Club.
Closing date: Friday 4 December 2020.
More information: head to Somerset Storyfest’s website.
Over to You
Just a quick note: if you do enter a competition, take time to read the guidelines carefully to ensure you’re entry meets the requirements, so that it’s accepted. This can include seemingly minor details such as size, font and spacing of your text.
If you’d like some guidance on what to look out for, then take a look at an earlier post of mine, Writing Competitions: What You Need to Know Before Entering.
What are you waiting for? Start writing, keep writing – and let me know how you go!