Calling all writers and artists! Here is a list of competitions for writing and illustrating open to children aged 12 and under. The list will be updated as often as we can. (Note: most of these competitions will be open to Australian residents only.)
Some tips when it comes to entering competitions:
- Writing comps are a good way to hone your writing skills and to work to a deadline.
- If you don’t win, it doesn’t mean your work is bad—don’t lose heart, just keep at it!
- Many writing/art competitions have free entry for kids. If there IS an entry fee, check with your parent/guardian about whether it’s a reputable competition. (Some competitions ask you to pay large amounts of money to enter, or say it is free to enter but then want you to buy a book with all the ‘winners’ writing published. It’s usually a good idea to avoid those sorts of competitions.)
- Read all the entry conditions. And read them again! You don’t want to be disqualified for going over the word limit or missing the closing date.
- We list competitions here but we are not usually affiliated with those competitions and do not necessarily endorse them. You will need to check with a parent/guardian before entering.
“Shear Stories” Short Story Competition (Closes 30 March 2015)
Write a short story up to 500 words about shearing or the world of sheep and wool. The story may be drawn from real life and real events, it may be biographical in nature, or it may be fictional. Multiple entries are permitted. Stories will be judged by a panel of authors, and winners announced at the Festival of Blades on 4th April 2015 (Hay, NSW).
PRIZES: In the Primary School (age 5 to 12) category, the winner will receive $100.
If you have any questions about this competition, contact Shear Outback.
The Footpath Library Epic! Short Story Competition (Closes 2 April 2015)
Write a short story up to 300 words with the theme: “Home is …”.
ENTRY: FREE (but only two entries per writer may be entered)
PRIZES: In the primary school category, prizes will be awarded as follows:
1st prize – Notebook laptop
2nd prize – Camcorder
3rd prize – Digital camera
Highly commended entries will be recognised, and selected entrants will receive book packs. The winners’ short stories will be published on The Footpath Library website and on the Hoopla website.
ABC North and West Local Stories Competition (Closes 10 April 2015)
PRIZES: The winning story will be played on ABC Local Radio and the winner will receive an ABC Shop prize pack valued at $100. Three runners-up will have their stories read on air.
The ABC Central West Radio Children’s Writing Awards (Part of the 2015 Banjo Paterson Writing Awards) (Closes 17 April 2015)
ENTRY: $5 per entry
PRIZES: 1st place $200; 2nd place $100; 3rd place $100.
CYA Hatchlings writing competition (Closes April 2015)
ENTRY: $12.55 per entry
PRIZES: First, second, and third cash prizes for each category. Feedback sheets provided for all entries. The winner and the shortlisted finalist will be shown to a children’s book publisher (but no guarantee of a publication offer).
What Matters Essay Competition (Closes 6 May 2015)
Open to students in year 5 to 12 in NSW and the ACT. Write a 400 to 600 word opinion piece on what matters to you and why. Entries must be typed on A4 paper.
PRIZES: $350 for the winner and $200 for the runner up in each age category. The winner also receives a creative writing workshop. The overall winner of the competition wins an iPad.
SAETA Young Writers Award (Closes 22 May 2015)
PRIZES: Not stated.
Perisher Peak Festival: Snowy Poetry Competition (Closes 2 June 2015)
The Broken Ski Award will be awarded for the best submitted original verse in a number of categories, including a Junior category (primary students, under 12).
PRIZES: Not stated on the website.
Make Your Own Storybook Competition (Closes 5 June 2015)
Tim Winton Award for Young Writers (Closes 14 June 2015)
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards (Closes 30 June 2015)
Write a poem no longer than 80 lines. You may write on this year’s theme (‘The open door’) or about any subject you like. There is a limit of 3 poems per student. Class and group poems are accepted.
ENTRY: Schools pay a fee — $25 for up to 30 entries submitted; $50 if over 30 entries submitted; $15 for homeschooled students, or an individual student when the school is not taking part.
PRIZES: prize money, a trophy and a prize pack for the winner and the runner up in each age category.
My Life Short Story Competition (Closes 31 August 2015)
Open to students in Australia aged 8–13. Write a short story up to 500 words about your life. Make it funny, gross, weird or amazing. (Tristan will be trying to find a story that fits with the humour of the My Life books.)
PRIZES: The winner will receive $1000 cash, a set of the My Life books, and win $1000RRP worth of books for their school.