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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.




University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize

Closing date: 30th June 2019

University of Canberra

Genres: Poetry,

The 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize is now open for entries until 30 June 2019.

The winner will receive AUD$15,000.

The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$5,000.

Four additional poems will be short-listed. Keep reading…

Website |

Moth Short Story Prize 2019

Closing date: 30th June 2019

The Moth Magazine

Genres: Short story,

The Moth Short Story Prize is an important date on the literary calendar. Every year, a single judge is asked to choose three winning stories to feature on the autumn issue of The Moth. Keep reading…


Queensland Literary Awards

Closing date: 30th June 2019

State Library of Queensland

The 2019 awards are open and offer a total prize pool of $253,500. There are ten national prizes for outstanding books by Australian writers, illustrators and creators. This includes the $25,000 Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance which highlights a uniquely Queensland story. Keep reading…

Website |

2019 John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

Closing date: 30th June 2019

Express Media

Genres: Fiction, Non fiction, Poetry,

Entries are now open for the 2019 John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers, a creative writing developmental award open exclusively to Australian secondary school students across the nation.

The prize recognises writing excellence in three categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Keep reading…

Website |

2019 Fair Australia Prize

Closing date: 1st July 2019


Genres: Essay, Fiction, Poetry,

In an era of increasing economic inequality and social alienation, community-building, collective political action and workers’ unions are more vital than ever.

How does money, time, and power alter our daily lives, limiting some while others rise to the ‘top’? In our work, our lives, and our communities, how should things be? How might we change our collective future?

The Fair Australia prize encourages artists and writers of fiction, poetry and essays to explore these questions. We want artists and writers to be part of setting a new agenda. Keep reading…



Closing date: 5th July 2019

Adelaide Plains Poets Inc.

Genres: Poetry, Youth,

1st, 2nd & 3rd cash prizes, plus Highly Commended & Commended certificates as awarded by judge. Total prize pool over $700


Work entered in this competition must be original, in English, unpublished and not have won a prize in any other competition. Authors retain copyright.

Theme ‘Location’ – Poems entered must in some way refer to the theme Keep reading…

Website |


Closing date: 8th July 2019

Hachette Australia, The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival

Genres: Fiction, Non fiction, Novel,

Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family, is honoured to launch the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2019, in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival. Keep reading…


AAWP – Various Prizes

Closing date: 31st July 2019

Australasian Association of Writing Programs

Genres: Non fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short story,

With great pleasure, we draw your attention to an exciting suite of prizes and opportunities for emerging writers offered by the AAWP and partner organisations in 2019. Keep reading…



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 |

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 |

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…


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 |

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 |

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…