Competitions for kids

The sign says ENTERCalling 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.

Wombat Books Illustration Challenge 2021 (*NEW CLOSING DATE* Entries now  close 27 January 2022)

Open to Australian school-aged students (aged 5-18) for the creation of a picture book: Screen Free Holiday !

This marks the fifth instalment of the Illustration Challenge, and the fifth opportunity for young illustrators all around the country to be published in a professionally produced children’s book.

Choose one or multiple spreads to illustrate. Use an A4 or A3-size page (landscape) for each illustration spread. Each spread must have a separate illustration. Your page may be a single or double page, but ensure it matches and expands creatively on the text. Every spread must be illustrated in landscape (NOT portrait). Do not fold or crumple your illustration. Click here for the text to use. 

ENTRY: The fee to enter this year is a previous purchase of one of Wombat Books’ other illustration challenges. You must include in your entry a copy of the purchase receipt.

PRIZE:Winning illustrations will be published in a new book, which is due for release in 2022. Illustrators will receive two free copies of the book. They will also be acknowledged on the Wombat Books website. Judging decisions will be made by Wombat Books.

Check out the entry requirements


2022 Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Brawl competition (poetry performance) (In-person performance competition in Orange, NSW on 12 February 2022)

Entrants must perform a one-minute original poem/lyric/limerick. This poem can be recited, sung or rapped. It can be an individual, paired or group performance.

Prizemoney: Under 18 first AUD100, second AUD50; Open first AUD150, second AUD50; People’s choice AUD100

The under 18s will perform from 7 pm.

ENTRY: may be free for child entries, you will need to check with the organiser

PRIZE: Under 18 category 1st place $100, second place $50;

Check out the entry requirements

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The Golden Pen Writing Competition (Entries close 20 March 2022)

Open to all WA students in years 4 to 12 at the time the competition ends. Create a story no more than 3000 words in any format you like, from poetry to prose to comics responding to this year’s theme: Everyday Magic.

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: various prizes. Visit the competition’s website for details.

Check out the entry requirements


KSP Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition (Entries close 5pm AWST, 24 March 2022)

The Youth Category is open to Australian residents. Write a spooky story, up to 500 words with the theme: Best Friend.

ENTRY: Free for the Youth Category. (There’s a fee for the adults’ category)

PRIZES:

WA youth first prize: $100, certificate, complimentary copy of Spooky Story anthology

WA youth second prize: $25, certificate, complimentary copy of Spooky Story anthology
Youth interstate award: $50, certificate, complimentary copy of Spooky Story anthology

Shire of Mundaring resident encouragement award in youth category: $25, certificate, complimentary copy of Spooky Story anthology
Shortlist/Highly Commended/Commended awards: Digital certificate and publication in anthology.

Check out the entry requirements


CYA Hatchlings competition (Entries close 3 April 2022)

Open to all writers and illustrators who are 8 – 18 years old (as of 3rd April 2022) worldwide, who have not been published in book format within the section’s genres. (There is a separate CYA competition for adults writing for children.)

Categories:

H01) Picture Books – Text only for preschool or primary aged children up to 500 words. Open theme.

H02) Chapter Book* (Judged as one category, the classification is for judging purposes only )

a) Text only for younger primary aged children. First 1,000 words and a single-spaced synopsis no longer than 600. Open theme.
b) Text only for older aged children (Middle Grade). First 1,000 words and a single-spaced synopsis no longer than 600. Open theme.
c) Fiction writing for Young Adults. First 5,000 words and a single-spaced synopsis no longer than 600.

  • First-round judging: The first 1,000 words and the synopsis is read by the CYA judges.
  • Final judging: The final judge will read your synopsis and the full 5,000 words.

ENTRY: may be free for child entries, you will need to check with the organiser

PRIZE: Under 18 category First – $100, Second – $60, Third – $40 and all shortlisted entries are read by at least one publisher of children’s books.

Check out the entry requirements