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HELPING WRITERS REALISE THEIR
CREATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL DREAMS

Competitions and Opportunities

A guide to writing prizes, awards and competitions in 2022

The audience at the announcement of the 2021 mindshare Awards. Photo via mindshare

Whatever your writing goals for 2022, you’ll find a range of opportunities in our round-up of literary prizes, competitions, fellowships, calls for submissions and more below.

Subscribe to our weekly e-news for the latest opportunities straight to your inbox, and view a list of Australian and international publications here.

Writing prizes are a great way to give yourself a deadline, build your publication credits, as well offering a financial incentive at any stage of your writing career. Keep an eye on our program of workshops to get you ready to enter your best work.

Please note that inclusion on this page is not an endorsement. Writers should always carefully check terms and conditions for information on fees, rights, and eligibility.

Do you have an opportunity to share? Submit it for review here.

2022

JANUARY

Nature Writing Competition
Enter an original short story up to 3,000 words, relating to any land, water or marine environment in the City of PAE area. Cash and book prizes as well as Writers SA and Port Environment Centre memberships. *Deadline extended: now closes 30 January.

Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets
Seeking outstanding poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name. Closes 7 January.

Penguin Random House – Berkley Open Submission Program
The Berkley Open Submission Program opens a direct submission channel in the hopes of reaching more potential authors. They are looking for full-length adult novels in the following genres: romance, women’s fiction, mystery, suspense and thrillers, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Submissions close 9 January.

New Course – Guided residency program in Finland, Spring 2022
Setting the course & rituals for your creative practice
. Residency program for artists, performers and creative professionals 
at Arteles Creative Center in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. Program duration: 1 month periods in April / May 2022 Applications close 13 January.

The 2022 Kat Muscat Fellowship
The annual Kat Muscat Fellowship offers professional development up to the value of $5,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a young person of an underrepresented gender. Closes 14 January.

DEBRIS
DEBRIS is now calling for pitches for Issue 02— Hospitality, guest edited by Alana Lentin, Anne-Marie Te Whiu and Anna Yeon. Contributors are invited to interrogate the theme of hospitality from all its angles: the relationship between hospitality and inhospitableness, between being a host and being welcomed or shunned—and others we are yet to discover. Closing 15 January 2022.

The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
Awarded annually to the best manuscript written for young readers, the $10,000 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing aims to discover incredible new books by exciting authors. Opens mid-January.

ART WORKS: Call Out for Artists and Writer in Residence
Guildhouse is calling for expressions of interest from South Australian writer and artist teams. Closes 17 January.

SCWC Poetry Award
The SCWC Poetry Award 2022 seeks poems responding to the theme ‘ways to water’. Many of us have living connections to the places where the land meets the sea. We live and breathe the salt air; we swim and surf; we snorkel and fish; we walk and think and dream. We are part of Sea Country, a place of deep time, stories and memories. We’d like you to tell us about your experiences on the coast, on the beach, in the ocean. What is your ‘way to water’? Closing 17 January.

2022 Calibre Essay Prize
ABR welcomes entries in the 2022 Calibre Essay Prize, worth $7,500. The Prize is open to all essayists writing in English. We seek essays of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. Closes January 17.

Australian Book Industry Awards
The ABIA award ceremony is Australia’s book industry’s night of nights. Nominations are open from 18 January.

The Saltbush Review Issue 2
The second issue of the Saltbush Review is seeking submissions of short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction (including essays and life writing) of up to 3,000 words on the theme of ‘Land.’ Shorter works such as flash fiction are also welcome, as are works that challenge genre boundaries. Closes 31 January.

The Masters Review Short Story Award For New Writers
The annual contest for emerging writers, with cash prizes up to $3000, publication online and agency review. Closes 31 January.

The ASA Award Mentorship Program
Open to writers and illustrators, the mentorship offers one-on-one advice, free ASA membership, access to events and services to develop their work to a publishable standard. Closes 31 January.

Pocketry Almanack Journal
Issue 5 is currently open for submissions of poetry and art. Closes 31 January.

Australian Plays Transform
APT have a range of professional development opportunities for playwrights, and have launched their 2022 opportunities. Various dates.

Erin Thomas Playwright Fund
Open to national applicants living in a regional area, priority focus on early career playwrights. Closes 30 January.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

FEBRUARY

Silver Tree Poetry Competition
Under the Silver Tree Cooperative Bookshop is conducting a poetry writing competition, with total prize money of $1,500. No theme. Max 50 lines. $10 entry fee. Closes 1 February.

Slinkies Under 30
Slinkies is looking for writing under 10,000 words of any genre, from writers aged under 30, entries close 1 February.

black&write! Fellowships
Do you have a story to tell or a poetry collection to share? Applications are now open for the 2022 black&write! Fellowships for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers from across Australia. Two Fellows will each receive $10,000 prize money, manuscript development and publication opportunities. Applications close 2 February.

Screenrights’ 2022 Cultural Fund
Supports projects that foster the creation and appreciation of screen content, with grants available for up to $50,000 per project. Opens 4 February.

Max Afford Playwrights’ Award
Submissions now open for playwrights aged 18-40! The award is $30,000, which includes $15,000 in prize money to the playwright and up to $15,000 towards creative development with a director, dramaturg and a cast of actors facilitated by Australian Plays Transform. Closes 6 February.

The Russell Prize For Humour Writing
Presented by State Library of NSW, The Russell Prize for Humour Writing was established at the bequest of Peter Wentworth Russell to promote humorous writing, with the winner receiving $10,000 with the children’s award valued at $5,000. Entries close 8 February.

2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Over $10,000 in prizes, over 80 categories. Indie book authors and publishers who have a book written in English released in 2020, 2021 or 2022 or with a 2020, 2021 or 2022 copyright date are invited to enter, ebook entries close 11 February.

The Stringybark Open Theme Short Story Award 2022
Now accepting entries of stories up to 1,500 words. Stories must have must have a link to Australia. Award value: over $1000 in cash and books. Entry fees: $14 for one story, $26 for two stories, $36 for three stories (max). Closes 13 Feb 2022.

Mona Brand Early Career Writer Award
The $30,000 Mona Brand Award is presented every two years to an outstanding Australian woman – cis, trans, non-binary inclusive – writing for the stage or screen. Entrants for the Award will have had a compelling, professional work first produced or broadcast or screened between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2021. Closes 14 February.

Kids & YA Festival call for submissions
Submissions welcome from authors, illustrators, e-book and traditional trade publishers, independent publishers, agents and other interested parties. Involvement may take the form of panel speakers, chair responsibilities, or interactive sessions at the festival. Closing Monday 14 February.

Heroines Women’s Writing Prize & Anthology
The 2022 Heroines Women’s Anthology and Heroines/Joyce Parkes Women’s Writing Prize is now open for submissions of short fiction and poetry. The prize is awarded to one piece of short fiction and one piece of poetry that is published as part of the Anthology. 1st prize for both Poetry Short Fiction is $1000. Entry $15. Closes 28 February.

Minds Shine Bright Writing Competition
The Minds Shine Bright writing competition is seeking your short stories, flash fiction, scripts and poems. The theme is confidence. The entry fee is $5. Prizes include overall winner $1000, category winners $500, commended $100 and publication in anthology. Closes 28 February.

Heroine’s Anthology and Women’s Writing Award
Now open for submissions of short fiction and poetry. In 2022, the 1st prize for Short Fiction is $1000 & 1st prize for Poetry is $1000. Entries close 28 February.

Book link Awards for Children’s Historical Fiction
Book Links celebrates outstanding work of fiction that increases the awareness and understanding of history in children. The Award is a prize of $1000. Entries close 28 February.

The Human Writers
Looking for unpublished writing by older adults 60+ who may or may not have writing experience. Accepting memoir, musings, fiction, poetry of 1000 words or under. See website for writing prompts. Closes mid-2022.

The PM’s literary awards
Celebrating Australian talent and literature with winners in each category awarded $80,000 tax free. Shortlisted entrants are awarded $5,000. Usually opens late February.

Copyright Agency Cultural Fund
A range of grants are offered for Australian writers, the application details and dates will be uploaded in February 2022.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

MARCH

Carclew’s Project & Development grants for individuals
Carclew offers grants to early career artists aged 26 years or under, for arts projects with a tangible outcome and/or skills and career development. Project & Development grants for individuals provide up to $10,000 and are offered twice per year for activity occurring in the following six months. The current round is for projects undertaken July – December 2022. Closing 1 March.

KYD New Australian Fiction
New Australian Fiction 2022 will once again showcase stories from Australia’s best and brightest established and emerging writers. Submissions open on 24 January and close on 4 March.

The Peter Carey Short Story Award
Organised by the Moorabool Shire Council, and writers Wayne Marshall and Jem Tyley-Miller, the award is for short stories between 2000-3000 words, and is open to all Australian residents. Entry is $15 per story. The winning entry receives $2000, while the runner-up wins $1000. First and second prized stories will also be published in the Spring 2022 issue of Meanjin. Longlisted entries will be judged by Melissa Manning, Melbourne-based author of the prize-listed Smokehouse story collection. Opening for entries on January 31 and closing at 6pm AEDT March 17.

The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year
The awards aim to promote children’s books as literacy tools, as well as raising awareness of the role of speech pathologists play in helping children develop language and literacy skills. The awards are now in their nineteenth year. The awards are open to Australian children’s book publishers, their authors and illustrators. Nominations close 18 March.

The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition
The competition invites wordsmiths to be inspired by the words of William Shakespeare with original work of 2000 words or less. Cash prize. Closes 25 March.

Watershed Creative Prize
An initiative of the City of Salisbury, SA artists have the opportunity to submit in a range of mediums on the theme of sustainability, including poetry, short stories, play writing and more. First prize in $2000 with runner up prizes. Closing 28 March 2022.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award
Open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers currently living in Australia. This annual award is presented to an Indigenous writer for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction. The winner receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books. Closes 30 March.

Ethel Webb Bundell Literary Awards
Short Story and Poetry categories are now open to all writers – open theme. Prizes: First $400; Second $200; Third $100. Entry fees: $10 per entry. Max three entries. Closes 31 March.

Best Australian Science Writing and the UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing 2022
Entries are now open for writers to submit their pieces for consideration in The Best Australian Science Writing 2022 and the UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing 2022. Submissions for the anthology must have been published in print or online in Australia or globally between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022. Closes 31 March.

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize
The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is an annual prize for an unpublished poem written by an adult for children aged 7–11. Closes 31 March.

Overland fiction submissions
Now open. Payment for stories published in the print journal is $500, online is $150.

2023 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature
The awards offer a total prize pool of $167,500 across six national and five South Australian categories, including the coveted Premier’s Award worth $25,000 for the overall winner. Nominations usually open in March.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

Steph Bowe Mentorship for Young Writers
Open to Australian children’s writer under the age of 25, the winner will be paired with a middle-grade or young-adult author to develop their manuscript; a 12-month membership with Express Media, Voiceworks and the state writers’ centre of their choice. Opens March.

APRIL

Little Stories, Big Ideas
A literary competition for secondary school students across Australia, where entrants aged 12 – 18 years respond to a specific themed prompt in 100 words or less. Free entry, terrific prizes. The competition runs four times per year, to coincide with school terms. Term 1’s theme is ‘responsibility’. Closes 8 April.

The Writers Unleashed Picture Book Writing Competition
The winner receives $500, second prize $200 and third prize $100. In 2022, Emerging Writers also have the opportunity to win a mentorship with Clare Hallifax, Walker Books Australia. *$20 entry fee. Closes 14 April.

Newcastle Short Story Award
More than $7500 in prize money for entries up to 2000 words. Closes 25 April.

David Unaipon Award
The prize includes $15,000 prize money plus manuscript development and publication with UQP. It is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unpublished writers. Nominations close 30 April.

Furphy Short Story Competition
Enter short fiction (to 5000 words) to the theme Australian Life in all its diversity. 1st Prize – $15,000, 2nd Prize – $3,000, 3rd Prize – $2,000 and publication. Closes 30 April.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

Queensland Literary Awards
Presented by State Library of Queensland, the awards celebrate outstanding Australian books and authors. The top prize is the Queensland Premier’s Award, for which the winner receives $25,000. Usually closes in April.

MAY

Questions Writing Prize
Part of the Future Leaders initiative, the prize recognises a young Australian writer aged 18-30. Fiction and non-fiction submissions 1,500-2,000 words, with a $2,000 prize. Closes 1 May.

Bristol Short Story Competition
An annual international writing competition open worldwide. Stories must be previously unpublished and can be on any theme or subject. Closes 4 May.

ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
Open to original short stories of between 2,000 and 5,000 words. 1st prize: $6,000 2nd prize: $AU4,000 3rd prize: $AU2,500. Closes 2 May.

The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund
Applicants can apply for grants between $2,000 and $10,000. These grants support professional development through travel.

Davitt Awards
Sisters in Crime Australia’s Davitt Awards for the best crime and mystery books (and published in 2021) by Australian women, usually closes in May.

The Banjo Prize
HarperCollins launched The Banjo Prize in 2018 in a quest to find Australia’s next great storyteller.The Banjo Prize is offered annually and is open to all Australian fiction writers, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000. Usually closes in May.

The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
Offering prize money of $20,000 plus publication, this prize is awarded to an unpublished manuscript by a writer under 35. Usually closes in May.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

Novelist Gail Jones wins the Fiction Award, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Via State Library of South Australia.

JUNE

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award
Waverley Council is proud to announce that nominations are now open for the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, with $28,500 in prize money awarded across three categories. Usually closes in June.

JULY

KYD School Writing Prize
The KYD School Writing Prize is open for entries! They’re seeking fiction and non-fiction from teens writing about a social or political issue. The winner receives $500, publication in KYD, and an invitation to perform at the Wheeler Centre Teen Gala for the winner. Closes 22 July.

Deborah Cass Prize
Open to emerging writers of a migrant background, the Australian national 2021 Deborah Cass Prize welcomes writing samples of not more than 3,000 words that reflects, at least in part, on the migrant experience. Opens mid-July.

CARCLEW Fellowships
Carclew Fellowships offer financial support to emerging cultural and creative artists and arts workers aged 26 and under. Up to $10,000 depending on the scope of the proposal. Applications usually close in July.

Richell Prize for Emerging Writers
Presented by Hachette Australia in partnership with The Guardian and The Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Richell Prize is open to unpublished writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction, the winner receives $10,000 and mentoring and manuscript development. Usually closes in July.

Deutsche Bank Fellowship For First Nations Film Creatives
Submissions are now open for a new grant for Australian First Nations film creatives, with a $20,000 grant to further develop their skills through international or professional development. Closing TBC July.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

AUGUST

Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition
Submit a short story to the theme ‘water under the bridge’. First prize $250AU Hawkeye Publishing gift voucher and anthology cover based on the winner’s story, top 40 are published. *Entry fee. Closes 1 August.

Boroondara Literary Awards – Open Short Story
Held each year by the City of Boroondara in partnership with the Rotary Club of Balwyn, the Awards encourage creativity in writers of all ages. As well as cash prizes, winners will have their work published in the Boroondara Literary Awards Anthology. Closes 26 August.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award
An international literary prize that is a hotbed for new talent in poetry and short fiction. Each winner is awarded with £2,500 as well as publication. Closes 31 August.

Walkley Awards
The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism recognise and reward the best in the craft. Entries usually close in August.

Woollahra Digital Literary Award
The national award seeks submissions of literary nature that are digitally born – published online or in electronic form. There is $7,500 in prize money across four categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Digital Innovation. Usually closes August.

Sisters in Crime’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards
Cash prizes for the best crime short stories by Australian women. Usually closes in August.

Magabala Books Fellowship and Scholarship
The Fellowship, worth $10,000 is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers is intended to provide valuable time for a mid-career author to work on a current manuscript. The scholarships support professional development relating to writing, illustration and storytelling, and are open to both emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, artists, illustrators and storytellers. Applictions open in October 2022.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

SEPTEMBER

Margaret and Colin Roderick Award
The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award, valued at $20,000, recognises the best Australian book of the year that deals with any aspect of Australian life. Opens in September.

Woorilla Poetry Prize
Be part of a highly recognised poetry competition that has assisted poets for over 30 years. Enjoy the opportunity to win cash prizes and have your work published in multiple categories. Closes September.

Olga Masters Short Story awards
The Award welcomes entries from writers of all ages resident in Australia. Seeking short stories (2000 to 4000 words) on the theme of life in rural Australia. 2022 dates to be confirmed.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

OCTOBER

Miles Franklin Literary Award
One of Australia’s most prestigious literature prizes, the 2022 Miles Franklin accepts applications from publishers typically through October and November.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

NOVEMBER

Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers
First place is a $5000 prize, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a writing residency (of up to three months) at Trinity College. Usually closes November.

CBCA Book of the year awards
The annual Children’s Book Council of Australia awards aim to promote and celebrate quality literature for young Australians and support a wide range of Australian writers and illustrators of children’s books. Entries are open March-November.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Entries for the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize are OPEN! Submit your 2,000–5,000 word piece, and potentially win £5,000. The prize is free to enter for all citizens in Commonwealth countries aged 18 and over. Usually closes in November.

The Stella Prize
The Stella Prize awards the best book by an Australian woman, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry with $50,000. Nominations usually close in November.

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing
Entries for the 2022 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing (NPCW) are now open, with $18,000 available in prizes to be awarded for best short stories and best poems (both with open, local and youth categories). Entries close 7 November.

The Boundless Indigenous Mentorship Program
This joint venture between Text Publishing and Writing NSW, the mentorship is now open. It was established to discover and nurture a new Indigenous voice in Australian literature in fiction or non-fiction. Entries usually close in November.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

DECEMBER

Penguin Literary Prize
The Prize value is $20,000 and the opportunity to publish with PRH Australia. Usually closes in December.

Seizure Viva La Novella Prize
Seizure’s annual prize for short novels. Usually closes 31 December.

Furious Fiction (monthly)
On the first Friday of every month, you are invited to submit a short story up to 500 words and be in the running to win $500.

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards event for 2020. Photo via Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.