Australian Writing Competitions

I began to put together a list of Australian (and NZ) writing

competitions for personal use and thought it may help others.

Australia has many excellent writers that need to be found.


I will add competitions as I hear of them, but if you know of

any competitions, contact me to have it included.


I take no responsibility for the competitions themselves,

if you may find something that interests you,

check details on the competition websites to see they are for you.


Happy writing


City of Rockingham Short Fiction and Poetry Awards

October 23, 2020

Various caregories including Open, Emerging Writer, Local Resident, Over 50's, and Youth.

Authora Australia

October 25, 2020

Literary journal Authora Australia seeks poetry and prose on the theme of “red” for its second issue

Port Stephens Literature Award 2020

October 30, 2020

Short stories up to 2000 words on any topic.   Prizes $300/$150/$50. 2x$25 highly commended. $50 Readers choice award

Magabala Fellowship

October 30, 2020

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers and writers who have published at least one book are invited to apply for the $10,000 Magabala Fellowship

Wyong Writers Open Competition

October 31, 2020

Short story set in the pandemic.   max. 500 words

The Best of Times Short Story Competition

October 31, 2020

Humourous short stories up to 2500 words.   Prizes $800/$200

Robyn Mathison Poetry Prize

October 31, 2020

theme of “flora or fauna” (entry fee, cash prizes)

ASA/HQ Commercial Fiction Prize

November 1, 2020

For commercial adult fiction (But NOT erotica, fantasy, science-fiction or horror)

2021 Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship

November 7, 2020

The prize was established in 2019 to discover and nurture a powerful new Indigenous voice in Australian literature.

The Horne Prize

November 9, 2020

The Horne Prize (free entry) offers a $15,000 prize and publication for an essay of up to 3,000 words addressing some part of the theme “Australian life”,

The Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize

November 16, 2020

The Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize seeks travel-themed fiction to 3,000 words (entry fee, cash prizes and publication)

Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets

November 16, 2020

cash prizes and publication (entry fee)

Write the World – Monthly competition

November 17, 2020

For young writers - aged 13 to 18.   Novel writing excerpt.  Draft for expert review by Nov. 9th. Submit by 17th.

Walker Books

November 25, 2020

Walker Books has an open call for unpublished kids and YA manuscripts

Joyce Parkes Women’s Writers’ Prize

November 30, 2020

for short prose  in fiction or fact (cash prize, entry fee)

Somerset StoryFest Novella Competition

December 4, 2020

The Storyfest National Novella Writing Competition is open to all Australian high school students. It is a wonderful opportunity for serious student writers, encouraging them in their literary growth - and there are also some fantastic prizes on offer!

Somerset StoryFest Poetry Prize

December 4, 2020

The purpose of the Somerset National Poetry Prize is to encourage a love of writing poetry amongst secondary school students, to affirm it as a worthwhile literary pursuit, and to stimulate excellence in writing. It also aims to inspire and enrich youth literature.

Write the World – Monthly competition

December 8, 2020

For young writers aged 13 to 18.   Creative non-fiction.   Drafts for expert review bt Nov 30th, submit by Dec 8th.

Copyright Agency First Nation Fellowship

December 10, 2020

For aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  All genres of fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, children's books, screenwriting, and others

Colin Roderick Award

December 11, 2020

The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies presents the annual Colin Roderick Award (cash prize, entry fee) for the best original book, published in Australia during 2020 in any genre an in prose or verse, dealing with any aspect of Australian life.

Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize

December 18, 2020

Manuscripts to 80,000 words. No theme requirements.   For 18 yrs and over.

Kembla Flame Written Bush Poetry Competition 2021

December 24, 2020

This is a written Bush Poetry competition and is for poems written with consistent rhyme and meter. There is also the requirement that the theme or subject matter must be Australian by nature.

Sweet Delights

January 10, 2021

Gumnut Press seeks submissions for its romance anthology Sweet Delights, involving sweets and desserts

2021 Calibre Essay Prize

January 15, 2021

ABR (Australian Book Review) welcomes entries in the 2021 Calibre Essay Prize. The Prize is open to all essayists writing in English. We seek essays of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. We welcome essays of all kinds: personal or political, literary or speculative, traditional or experimental. Founded in 2007, the Calibre Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new non-fiction essay.

SCWC Poetry Award 

February 1, 2021

The inaugural SCWC Poetry Award  seeks poems responding to the theme “every body”, and while the contest is run in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Wollongong Art Gallery, entries (entry fee, cash prizes, publication) do not have to respond that.

Next Generation Indie Book Award

February 12, 2021

Calling all indie book authors and publishers, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors who have a book written in English released in 2019

Ada Cambridge Writing Prizes

March 31, 2021

The Ada Cambridge Writing Prizes for biographical fiction and poetry (entry fee, cash prizes) are open to writers who live in Victoria

Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Essay Competition

March 31, 2021

  1. Essays will be fully developed, independent works and will be no more than 1500 words long.
  2. Essays will be on a topic of the author's choosing.
  3. Essays will not have been published elsewhere.
  4. Writers will be New Zealand citizens or New Zealand permanent residents aged between 16 and 21 years old in the year of competition