Current competitions

These are writing competitions that are open to Australian residents at the moment. They are not run by the NT Writers’ Centre, so please contact the individual organisation listed if you have any specific question about any competition.

Wollongong Writers Festival: Short Story Prize 2019

Closing Date: 1 October 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://wollongongwritersfestival.com/short-story-prize

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will be awarded for a previously unpublished story of up to 2500 words on the theme ‘All Lit Up’. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. Highly commended will also receive publication in Mascara Literary Review, and $250. The winning and highly commended stories will be announced at the Festival launch on Friday evening, November 22, 2019. read more

Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing 2019

Closing Date: 7 October 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: http://www.newc.org.au/thunderbolt-prize-2019.html

Entries are now open for the 2019 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing. In this, the seventh year of the Prize, there are six awards on offer for crime writers. All genres of crime writing are eligible, from hard-boiled to comic, paranormal to rural, historical to contemporary, noir to cosy. Entries welcome from anywhere in Australia, from published or unpublished writers. $10 for adults, $5 for Youth. No limit on number of entries per entrant but a fee must be paid for each individual entry. read more

The Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

Closing Date: 30 August 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/pages/the-dorothy-hewett-award-for-an-unpublished-manuscript

Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002) is considered one of Australia’s leading writers whose work captures and disrupts ideas of normalcy in twentieth century Australian culture. As a staunch feminist and, for a long time, a communist, Hewett gave voice to the marginalised. In 1986, Hewett was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to literature. Hewett won the Western Australian Premier’s Poetry Award in 1994 and 1995 for her collections Peninsula and Collected Poems: 1940-1995. The Dorothy Hewett Award is open to all writers who have completed a manuscript and are seeking publication. The work must be fiction, narrative nonfiction or… read more

The Horne Prize 2019

Closing Date: 16 September 2019
Entry Fee: No
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://www.thehorneprize.com.au/about

Aesop and The Saturday Paper have been cultural partners since 2014, promoting the written word through an annual calendar of events. Together, they nurture writers of longform non-fiction through The Horne Prize, an essay award valued at $15,000. This year’s prize will be presented in early December for an essay of up to 3000 words, addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian life’ – shining light on a particular aspect of who we are, from a contemporary perspective. Entries are open until midnight on Monday September 16, 2019. read more

Buzz Words Short Story Prize 2019

Closing Date: 2 September 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/p/buzz-words-prize-2019.html

The Buzz Words Short Story Prize is an annual prize awarded to recognise excellence in short story writing for children. The story must be suitable for readers 8 to 11 years. There is a first prize of $1,000 and second $500. The next top five entries will be assessed and edited by the competition sponsor, Dianne Bates. The manuscript must be an original short story of up to 1,500 words for children aged 8 to 11 years and must be written in English by an Australian adult. read more

Boroondara Literary Awards

Closing Date: 30 August 2019
Entry Fee: No
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/about-council/awards/boroondara-literary-awards

The Boroondara Literary Awards are run by Council in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Balwyn. Held annually by the Boroondara Library Service since 1999, the Awards celebrate the creativity of writers and poets within the City of Boroondara and nationwide. We strongly encourage applications from young people. Winners of the 2019 Boroondara Literary Awards will be announced on Thursday 21 November in a special ceremony at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Prizes include: more than $5,000 in prize money across various age groups in the Young Writers’ category more than $3,500 in prize money in the Open Short Story category. read more

26th Scarlett Stiletto Awards

Closing Date: 31 August 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://www.sistersincrime.org.au/the-scarlet-stiletto-awards/

The idea for a national award for short stories, written by Australian women and featuring a strong female protagonist, was cooked up over a few glasses of wine in 1994 at a convenors’ meeting in St Kilda, Victoria. The purpose was to support and unearth new talent. This has been achieved in spades. In the 25 years to 2018, 3471 stories have been entered with 26 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners – including category winners – going on to have novels published. $10,060 is on offer in prize money. Closing date: 31 August 2019 Maximum length: 5000 words Entry fee: $25… read more

The Best of Times Short Story Competition #28 Spring 2019

Closing Date: 31 October 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: www.bestoftimes.com.au

For humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words. read more

Peter Porter Poetry Prize

Closing Date: 1 October 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5583:2020-peter-porter-poetry-prize&Itemid=856&idU=1

Australian Book Review welcomes entries in the sixteenth Peter Porter Poetry Prize. The Porter Prize, which is worth a total of AU$9,000, is open until midnight, 1 October 2019. The Porter Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry. It honours the life and work of the great Australian poet Peter Porter (1929–2010), an honoured contributor to ABR for many years. All poets writing in English are eligible to enter. First Prize: AU$7,000 Four other shortlisted poets: AU$500 each Judges: John Hawke, Bronwyn Lea, and Philip Mead Entries close: midnight, 1 October 2019 read more

Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

Closing Date: 15 September 2019
Entry Fee: No
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: http://www.queenslandtheatre.com.au/Artists/QPDA

Queensland Theatre are calling for entries for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2020-2021 (QPDA). The QPDA is a development award assisting writers and performance makers to grow their first drafts, pitch documents, sample scenes, or creative development findings into a production-ready text. If you have an idea for a show that Australian audiences need to see on our stages, we want you to enter. This national award is open to individual artists and collectives of all levels of experience working across different performance practices. Application deadline is 15 September 2019. read more

2019 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

Closing Date: 9 September 2019
Entry Fee: No
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://writersvictoria.org.au/calendars/opportunities-competitions/2019-deborah-cass-prize

Early career writers of migrant background are invited to apply for the 2019 Deborah Cass prize. The winner receives a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript is presented to Black Inc. publishers for consideration, with the winning excerpt published in Mascara Literary Review. The award package is designed to help an early-career writer finish their manuscript and get their book published. Deborah Cass (1960-2013) made significant contributions to legal scholarship, and focused on creative writing after retiring from her academic position. The Deborah Cass Prize was established in 2015 by Deborah’s friends and… read more

Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship

Closing Date: 30 September 2019
Entry Fee: No
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://maygibbs.org.au/p/the_ian_wilson_memorial_fellowship.html

Applications from authors or illustrators of literature for young people, that explores Australian voices and themes read more

The 2019 Southern Cross Short Story Competition

Closing Date: 14 October 2019
Entry Fee: Yes
Prizes Offered: Yes
More Information: https://www.ballaratwriters.com/competitions/southern-cross-short-story-competition-2019/

Ballarat Writers Inc invites writers to enter the 2019 Southern Cross Literary Competition. The competition asks for short stories to 3000 words, with an open theme. First prize is 1,000 AUD, second prize $400, third prize $100. The judge in 2019 is Lee Kofman. read more

View Past Competitions