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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.




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…

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Novel Fair 2020

Closing date: 27th September 2019

Irish Writers Centre

Genres: Novel,

Described by The Irish Times as a ‘Dragon’s Den for writers’, the Novel Fair is an Irish Writers Centre initiative which aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents. Keep reading…


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…

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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…

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Closing date: 1st October 2019

Wollongong Writers Festival

Genres: Short story,

The 2019 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is calling for previously unpublished short stories of up to 2500 words related to the theme ‘All Lit Up’.

The top prize is $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. A highly commended entry will receive $250 and publication in Mascara Literary Review.

Submissions close October 1, 2019.

The theme of the 2019 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is ‘All Lit Up’. Keep reading…

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Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2019

Closing date: 14th October 2019

Ballarat Writers Inc

Genres: Short story,

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. Keep reading…


2019 Feast Short Story Competition 

Closing date: 18th October 2019

Writers SA & Feast Festival

Genres: LGBTQ+, Short story,

We want to hear from you!

Writers SA and Adelaide’s queer arts and culture community festival, Feast Festival, present the 2019 Feast Short Story Competition, to celebrate the creative work of queer writers in South Australia. Entries are open to short story submissions of 1000 to 3000 words, in any genre or style of prose. There is no fee to enter the competition.

Keep reading…

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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…

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The Gill Owen Essay Prize

Closing date: 8th November 2019

University of Technology Sydney

Genres: Essay,

The Gill Owen Essay Prize honours the memory of Dr Gill Owen, a tireless campaigner in the fields of energy efficiency and social equity. Through her work she highlighted the importance of energy affordability and energy savings for disadvantaged households.

This essay prize provides young Australians and permanent residents (35 years and under) with an opportunity to build on Gill’s legacy. The writer of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $3,000. Two runners-up will each receive $1,000 (one for an enrolled student and one for a non-student).

Keep reading…


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…

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