Search our website

Sign In



Writing competitions can be a great way to get your writing out in the world. They can be a crucial stepping stone in your writing career, bringing of recognition, some money to buy writing or editing time, publication deals or the possibility of securing an agent. Check out our range of workshops to ready yourself for submission.

We recommend writers look very carefully at the competition guidelines, terms and conditions. Some require an entry fee or reading fee. In some circumstances, this goes towards payment for the judges time (we believe that all literary prize judges should be paid).

In some cases, however, ‘literary competitions’ are just money making ventures. In other cases, by entering the competition you may be automatically signing over the rights to your work (your copyright), or agreeing to a publication arrangement.

A number of competitions are listed here, but please note that this is NOT an endorsement. Writers are individually responsible for carefully reviewing all the terms and conditions of each competition.





Closing date: 22nd August 2019

The Elyne Mitchell Writing Award

Genres: Fiction, Non fiction, Short story,

Elyne Mitchell Writing Awards announce our 2019 theme:

“New Beginnings” – with a strong flavour of the rural experience

We invite all eager writers across Australia and New Zealand, to enter our 2019 short story competition. We chose this theme for its appealing familiarity, and I am sure that you’ve all encountered new beginnings. These can be joyous memories or unwanted upheavals. Keep reading…

Website |

Boroondara Literary Awards

Closing date: 30th August 2019

Rotary Club of Balwyn and the City of Boroondara

Genres: Poetry, Short story,

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.

Applications for the 2019 awards are open until Friday 30 August 2019, 5pm AEST Keep reading…

Website |

Audrey Daybook 2019 Short Story Prize

Closing date: 31st August 2019

Audrey Daybook

Genres: Short story,

2019 marks the launch of the inaugural Audrey Daybook Short Story Prize competition, where we will publish a different reader’s short story in each issue. We invite Audrey‘s community of amateur, aspiring and accomplished writers to enter. Keep reading…

Website |

26th Scarlet Stiletto Awards

Closing date: 31st August 2019

Sisters in Crime Australia

A record $10,060 is up for grabs in Sisters in Crime Australia’s 26th Scarlet Stiletto Awards for best short crime and mystery stories by Australian women.

The Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival is a brand-new biennial celebration of crime fiction, to be held between 31 October and 5 November in Tasmania’s Huon Valley.

Other changes to this year’s awards include:

  • Wild Dingo Press has partnered with The Sun Bookshop to support 3rd Prize.
  • Elephant Tree Publishing is sponsoring the Youth Award for writers under 19.
  • HQ Fiction is now sponsoring the Best Romantic Suspense Award.

Keep reading…

Website |

The Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition

Closing date: 2nd September 2019

Hawkeye Books

Genres: Short story,

Winner $200AU + anthology cover based on the winner’s story

TOP 40 published 

(all published entrants receive free copy of anthology)

(Sponsorship Opportunities Available – Contact Carolyn)

Closes 6PM Monday 2nd September 2019 

Maximum 1,000 words 

Entrants must be 18 years and over, and residents of Australia

Theme: Together in Diversity, Australia in 2019

$5AU entry Keep reading…


Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2020-2021

Closing date: 15th September 2019

Queensland Theatre

Genres: Stage/screen,


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. Keep reading…


2019 Short Story and Poetry Writing competition

Closing date: 27th September 2019

Lambing Flat Fellowship of Australian Writers

Genres: Poetry, Short story,

The Lambing Flat Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) announce their 2019 Short Story and Poetry Writing competition and invite you to enter. Download the Entry Form with Conditions of Entry here.

Now in its 37th year and following on from the creative writing workshop held recently in Young, the competition is open to all comers and has no set theme. Keep reading…

Website |

2019 NWF/joanne burns Microlit Award

Closing date: 30th September 2019

Spineless Wonders

Genres: Flash fiction, Poetry, Prose,

The Newcastle Writers Festival and publisher Spineless Wonders are excited to announce the launch of the 2019 joanne burns Microlit Award. Melbourne writer and academic Cassandra Atherton will judge the competition entries, which are invited from writers across Australia as well as from Australians living overseas. The theme of this year’s competition is SCARS and the maximum length of entries is 200 words. The competition deadline is 30 September,

Keep reading…

Website |

2019 Buzz Words Short Story Prize

Closing date: 30th September 2019

Buzz Words Magazine

Genres: Children, Short story,

Submissions for the second annual Buzz Words Short Story Prize are now open!

Presented by the Australian children’s literature e-zine Buzz Words, the 2019 Buzz Words
Short Story Prize celebrates excellence in Short Story writing by adults writing for children and fills a gap in the children’s literature award landscape. Short stories play an important role in initiating and encouraging young readers.

There will be two prizes: first is $1,000 and second is $500.

Head to the competition page or download the flyer for details on how to enter.


National One Act Playwriting Competition 2020

Closing date: 1st October 2019

Noosa Arts Theatre

Genres: Stage/screen,

Noosa Arts Theatre has been running the National One Act Playwriting Competition as our way of fostering new playwriting talent and to showcase aspiring and established writers. Keep reading…

Website |

The Best of Times Short Story Competition #28

Closing date: 31st October 2019

Genres: Comedy, Short story,

What to enter

Humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words.


First prize: $300 or $400 (depending on number of entries), second prize: $100.
Third place, highly commended and commended certificates will be awarded too.  Keep reading…

Website |

Furious Fiction

Closing date: 31st December 2019

Australian Writers' Centre

Genres: Short story,

On the first weekend of every month, you are invited to put your storytelling skills to the test in the ultimate writer-takes-all short story competition. Armed only with our simple brief, your job is to race the clock to come up with your best 500 words-or-fewer story and be in to win a tasty $500 – every single month. Keep reading…


Viva La Novella 8

Closing date: 31st December 2019


Genres: Novella,

Now in its eighth year, Viva la Novella is once again open for entries.

We want your novellas. We want extraordinary stories that surprise, unnerve, discomfort and inspire. The competition is open to all genres and in the past we have awarded the prize to dystopian spec-fic, a reimagined Colonial story and realist fiction – among others.  Keep reading…

Website |