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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 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Closing date: 1st May 2019

Australian Book Review

Genres: Short story,

Australian Book Review welcomes entries in the 2019 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, one of the world’s leading prizes for an original short story. The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is worth a total of $12,500. Entry is open to anyone in the world who is writing in English. Entries must be a single story of 2,000 to 5,000 words in length. Keep reading…


Bristol Short Story Prize 2019

Closing date: 1st May 2019

Bristol Short Story Prize

Genres: Short story,

20 stories will be shortlisted and published in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 12. The winner and 2 runners up will be selected from the shortlist and announced at an awards ceremony in October 2019.

1st prize is £1,000 (about AUD 1,800), 2nd prize is £500 (about AUD 900), 3rd prize is £250 (about AUD 450). 17 further prizes of £100 (about AUD 180) will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers.

Keep reading…

Website |

The Banjo Prize 2019

Closing date: 24th May 2019

HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Genres: Fiction, Novel,

HarperCollins Publishers Australia is delighted to announce that entries are now open for the 2019 Banjo Prize. HarperCollins launched The Banjo Prize in 2018 in a quest to find Australia’s next great storyteller. The inaugural recipient is Tim Slee, whose debut novel Taking Tom Murray Home will be published by HarperCollins in July 2019. Keep reading…


The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize

Closing date: 31st May 2019

Deakin University

Genres: Non fiction, Young Adult,

Deakin University and Express Media are excited to announce their new partnership for 2019 with The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize, opening in early May.

The Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers was started as a joint venture between Scribe Publications and Express Media in 2013, and has since been a unique development award to foster talented writers aged 30 and under writing longform nonfiction. Keep reading…

Website |

The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award

Closing date: 31st May 2019

Allen & Unwin

Genres: Novel,

Entries for the 2020 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award are now open!

Offering prize money of $20,000 plus publication by Allen & Unwin with an advance against royalties Keep reading…



Closing date: 3rd June 2019

Waverley Council

Nominations open on Monday 8 April for the prestigious Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, Waverley Council’s annual celebration of the best in Australian research and writing.

The Nib awards a prize pool of $30,000 across four categories and is the only major national literary award presented by a local council. Keep reading…


The Stringybark “Times Past” Short Story Award 2019

Closing date: 16th June 2019

Stringybark Stories

Genres: Australian History,

Stringybark Publishing invites Australian and international writers to try their hand at writing a historical fiction story.  For this competition we would like you to take a particular historical incident and weave a story around it. Keep reading…


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 |

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 |

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…



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…



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 |

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…