Calling all writers and artists! Here is a list of competitions for writing and illustrating open to children under 12. 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.
ABC Let’s Draw competition (Closes 29 July 2014)
Open to Australian students in primary school. Draw a weird creature or a magical monster.
PRIZES: prizes include a digital pen and touch tablet, or a copy of Animalia — signed by Graeme Base.
Schools Creative Writing Competition [organised by the Mental Health Foundation of Australia for Mental Health Week] (Closes 1 August 2014)
Open to school students in Victoria. Involvement in the competition helps to raise awareness of mental health issues.
PRIZES: In the Upper Primary category (years 5 + 6) $100
The John Marsden/Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers 2014 (Closes 9am, 11 August 2014)
There is a category in this competition open to writers aged under 18. The prize is judged by John Marsden, and Hachette Australia.
Enter your short fiction or first chapter of a novel (up to 3,000 words).
Enter your poetry by writers.
PRIZES: $500 for the winning story, and $500 for the winning poem. First place winners are also published in the December issue of Voiceworks while second and third place winners, as well as those with honourable mentions, are published on the Express Media website.
Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship (Closes noon, 22 August 2014)
Write a creative story longer than 250 words and but no longer than 350 words. Your story must begin with the words “I used to believe … “. Your story must be hand written on lined paper with pen only and have no more than 3 spelling errors and no more than 3 grammatical errors.
You can choose to enter your story as an individual entry. Or give it to your teacher if your class is entering. (80% of a class must be entering to enter class entries. Class entries qualify for extra prizes.)
Cash, pilot pen packs and book prizes awarded to first, second and third place winners for each of these state groups in Australia:
BOSTES WriteOn Competition (Closes 25 August 2014)
Open to NSW students in Years 1 to 6. Using the photograph on the competition’s website for inspiration, write a short piece of up to 500 words. Entries could be imaginative, persuasive or informative. Schools should submit one entry from each Stage.
PRIZES: Not specified.
Gawler Poetry Competition (Closes 29 August 2014)
Open to residents of South Australia.Enter up to two poems on the topic: CELEBRATION.
Entries are judged in age categories (including adults). Prizes are as follows.
Tom Gates Drawing Competition (Closes 31 August 2014)
- Start with a plain A4 piece of paper and doodle whatever you like on it.
- For inspiration you might draw some of the characters from Tom Gates or a similar style OR you might want to use your very own style of drawing. It can be colour or black and white, you decide. The author, Liz Pichon will choose the winner.
The winner will receive a Tom Gates book pack and a year’s supply of Crayola products.
There will be another 10 book prizes awarded to runners-up.
Write Your Own Adventure Story Contest (Closes 31 August 2014)
In celebration of the new and exciting adventure series,The Impossible Quest written by Australian author Kate Forsyth, Scholastic is inviting students to write a 300-word adventure story.
Roland Leach Poetry Prize (Closes 5 September 2014)
The competition aims to promote poetry in the community and to recognise and reward outstanding, original works of poetry written by children and young adults in Western Australia.
Entries are judged in the following categories
- Middle Primary – years three, four and five
- upper primary – years six and seven
- Lower secondary – years eight, nine and ten
- Upper secondary – years eleven and twelve
- Young adults – aged 18 to 25
Prizes are awarded for first, second and third in each age category. Winners receive book vouchers, a trophy and a certificate.
Child Writes competition (Closes 28 September 2014)
Open to all Australian students in primary school — child writers and illustrators.
Writers: Submit a story for a children’s picture book, up to 800 words.
Illustrators: Submit three colour A4 illustrations, showing at least three different characters and settings.
ENTRY: $15 per submission
The winning writer will be paired with the winning illustrator, to produce a book published by Boogie Books as a hard copy publication, and distributed by Child Writes. Royalties will be paid to the author and illustrator for book sales generated.