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.


Poetry Zone Poems About Nature Competition (Entries close 14 February 2020)

This is a UK competition open worldwide to children aged 3 to 18. Poem must be in English. Write a poem that is some way about nature — in any style, serious or funny.

PRIZE: The best six poems will receive a copy of If I were Other Than Myself by children’s poet Sue Hardy-Dawson. The six winners and the best of all the poems entered will be published on the Poetry Zone website in March.
ENTRY: FREE

Check out the entry requirements (PDF)


Young Ada Short Story Prize (Entries Close 29 March 2020)

Open to 14-18-year-olds who live, study or work in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Write a story up to 1000 words about something that matters to you, whether it is love, friendship, discoveries, injustice or loss.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: $250 and publication in an anthology.

Check out the entry requirements. 

Get the entry form. (Scroll down to find the Young Ada’s section)


Looming Legend Bush Poetry Competition (Entries close 14 March 2020)

Open to Australian children attending school.

Write a poem in bush poetry style and send three copies to the competition.

Length:

Under 9s: 10-20 lines long

10 years and over: 12-30 lines long

PRIZE: $50 for the winner in each age section and $25 encouragement prize
ENTRY: FREE

Check out the entry requirements (PDF)


Flinders News Prose Awards (Entries Close 9 April 2020)

  • Please note entries must be mailed, allow for posting time

JUNIOR (9-12 yrs) Write a short story up to 800 words

JUNIOR PRIMARY (5-8 yrs) write a short story up to 500 words

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Junior $25 for first prize. Junior Primary: $15 for first prize.

Check out the entry requirements. 


CJ Dennis Poetry Awards (Entries Close 9 April 2020)

  • Please note entries must be posted, allow for posting time

JUNIOR (9-12 yrs) Write a poem up to 60 lines long

JUNIOR PRIMARY (5-8 yrs) write a poem up to 60 lines long

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Junior $25 for first prize. Junior Primary: $15 for first prize.

Check out the entry requirements. 



Wombat Books Illustration Challenge 2020 (Entries Close 30 November 2020)

Open to Australian school aged students, ages 5-18. Entries must be posted in, so allow time for postage.

Choose one or multiple spreads from Can I Sleep tomorrow? to illustrate. Use an A4 or A3-size page (landscape only, not portrait) 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.

ENTRY: The entry ‘fee’ is the purchase of a previous Wombat Books Illustration Challenge Book. Details on the Wombat Books website. Copy of receipt is an entry requirement.

PRIZES: Winning illustrations will be published in a new picture book book, Can I Sleep Tomorrow? due for release in 2021. Illustrators will receive two free copies of the book. 

Check out the entry requirements. 

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