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.
CBCA WA Branch: Make Your Own Storybook competition
(*** DEADLINE EXTENDED*** Entries now close 24 July 2020)
Open to school students in Pre Primary through to Year 8 in Western Australia. Create a picture or story book that tells an ORIGINAL STORY using original text and illustrations. You must include the conventions of book production – sturdy back and front covers, title page, blurb and author profile. The book must be hand bound (not commercially bound).
Students can work with a partner to complete a book. Maximum of two students per book.
The maximum word limit is 5000 words.
YOU MUST TAPE AN ENTRY FORM TO THE INSIDE FRONT COVER OF YOUR BOOK
St Kilda Historical Society Short Story competition (Entries close 7 August 2020)
Open to everyone. Entrants need not be residents of St Kilda.
Your story should be inspired by or set in St Kilda – it need not be historical. Entry must be a complete short fiction story (not in the form of a poem, script or memoir).You may write on any theme, in any genre and in any time period, providing that the story is inspired by or set in St Kilda.
Stories entered must be entirely the work of the contestant and must not have been previously published in print or online or broadcast, or have won or been placed in any other competition.
There is a junior section for contestants who are 15 years of age or younger.
Word count for the junior section is up to 1,500 words.
The winner of the Junior section will be awarded $500.
The second placed entrant of the Junior section will receive $250.
The third placed entrant of the Junior section will receive $100.
Tim Winton Award for Young Writers (Entries close online at 5.30pm on Friday 14 August)
The Tim Winton Award is open to Western Australian school students in years one to twelve. Stories submitted must be an original piece of prose writing, no more than 2000 words in length. Entries must be the sole work of the entrant.
Entries may be accepted from individuals or from teachers on behalf of their students. This is a creative writing competition and entries are judged on the originality of the themes, the development of the story and the quality (not quantity) of the writing.
PRIZES: Prizes are donated from the City of Subiaco and award sponsors and are presented to the top three entries in each category. The Tim Winton Award for Outstanding Achievement will be awarded to the best overall story across all categories. Winning stories will be on display for one month at Subiaco Library and published online.
Collide! Book Trailer Competition (Entries close 16 August 2020)
Open to students in Years 3-9 living in NSW.
Produce a book trailer (maximum 1 minute, in Landscape mode) that features a book from the 2020 CBCA Notables list or an Australian title on the 2020 NSW Premiers Reading Challenge List.
When producing your book trailer remember that a book trailer is like a movie trailer, but for a book. You want to show others why they should read this book.
PRIZES: Winner in each category will be announced and the Book Trailer shown at the Children’s Book Council (NSW) 2020 Kids Book of the Year event on October 16, 2020.
Telling Stories 2020 Writing Competition (Entries close 24 August 2020)
Open to students in Years 4-9 living on the Sunshine Coast and hinterland.
Write a short story with the title: I should have been more careful.
Each age category has a different word limit. Please refer to the competition’s website for word limits.
1. Overall winner – Professor Gary Crew Trophy and cash prize of $150.
2. Section Winners (Grades 4 – 9) – $50 cash and medal. The winners will have the option of their stories published on the Voices on the Coast and Mooloolaba Rotary websites, plus inclusion in an anthology of winning entries.
3. Runners Up – 2nd and 3rd placed entries $25 cash and medal
Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition (Entries close 1 September 2020)
NOTE: This competition requires you to mail your hardcopy entry and it must be postmarked no later than 1 September 2020. Open to Australian school children up to and including Grade 6 (there are also categories for adults and highschool students). Write a poem up to 40 lines long with good rhyme and metre.
Theme: Environment, climate change.
ENTRY: FREE for primary school students. Fees apply for the adult’s categories.
PRIZES: First prize $30; Second prize $20; third prize $10.
Just Kidding’s National Writing Challenge (Entries close 11 September 2020)
Open to Australian children aged 7 to 12. Write a short story about anything you like, up to 500 words long.
PRIZES: The winner in each of three age categories will win
- a book pack for themselves and a personalised video from an Australian author
- a book pack for their school
- the winning story made into ten copies of a real book for the winner to keep
- the winning story and an interview with the winning author in the December 2020 issue of Just Kidding! magazine.
KSP Short Fiction Competition (Entries close 5pm AWST, 25 September 2020)
Open to Australian writers. Judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative. All fiction styles and themes are acceptable. Youth category word limit: 1000 words maximum.
ENTRY: FREE for the youth category (up to 17 years old)
PRIZES: $100 for first place, $50 for second place.
KSP Poetry Awards (Entries close 5pm AWST, 9 October 2020)
Open to Australian writers. Entries must be original and unpublished. All poetry styles and themes are acceptable.Youth category line limit: 50 lines maximum.
ENTRY: FREE for the youth category (10 to 17 years old)
PRIZES: $100 for first place, $50 for second place.
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.