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.

Better Read Kids Landscapes Writing Competition (Entries close 31 October 2020)

Open to Australian students.

Write a short story no longer than 1000 words using the theme for your age group. You can be as creative as you like!

Themes;

Bush (ages 6-9)

Desert (ages 10-12)

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:All entries will be collated into an anthology produced by Better Read Publishing, which will be launched online, and sold thereafter at Better Read Than Dead bookshop. The winning entry in each age category will receive a $100 store voucher, with $50 vouchers for the two runners-up.

Check out the entry requirements


Better Read Summer Reading Guide Cover Design Competition (Entries close 14 November 2020)

Open to kids and adults. Design the cover of Better Read Than Dead’s next reading guide.

Your design can be created in any medium; illustrated, painted, a collage or a digital design, and can feature any images you think fit the theme of BETTER READ THAN DEAD. The limit is your imagination!

All entries need to be uploaded by NOVEMBER 14.

Entry specifications;

– Entry must be made to fit an A4 page

– Please ensure your entry is uploaded in high resolution

– The Better Read Than Dead logo and address bar will be added onto your design

    (see positioning on blank cover image on competition’s website)

– The words “Summer Reading Guide 2020” will also be added in a suitable position over your design

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: a $500 Better Read Than Dead store voucher and feature on the cover of their upcoming reading guide! Runner Up entries will be featured in a ‘gallery’ inside the reading guide. Artists will be fully credited for their designs.

Check out the entry requirements


Dusty Swag Awards for poetry and short stories (Entries close 30 November 2020)

Open to Australian writers. Theme: AUSTRALIAN BUSH. Enter a poem and/or a short story. The use of rhyme and meter is encouraged.

Poem maximum line limit: 20 lines. Short story word limit: 200 words.

ENTRY: FREE for children’s category

PRIZES: $50 for first place, $25 for second place.

Check out the entry requirements

Download an entry form


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. 


Kembla Flame Written Bush Poetry Competition (Entries close 24 December 2020)

Open to Australian writers. This is a written Bush Poetry competition and is for poems written with consistent rhyme and meter.
There is also the requirement that the theme or subject matter must be Australian by nature.

ENTRY: $6 per poem

PRIZES: $100 and a certificate for the winning poem in the ‘under 18s’ section

Check out the entry requirements (look for the listing under December 2020)


KSP & Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition (Entries open 31 October 2020 & close 5pm AWST, 28 March 2021)

Open to Australian writers. The judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative including an excellent beginning, middle and end. Entries must be rated PG and should address the set theme. Theme: VOICES. Youth category word limit: 500 words maximum.

ENTRY: FREE for the youth category (10 to 17 years old)

PRIZES: Youth first prize: $100, certificate, complimentary print copy of Spooky Story anthology
Youth second prize: $25, certificate, complimentary print copy of Spooky Story anthology
Shortlist/Highly Commended/Commended awards: Certificate and publication in anthology.

Check out the entry requirements


CJ Dennis Awards for poetry (Entries close 7 May 2021)

Open to Australian students. Write a poem.

Poem maximum line limit: 60 lines.

ENTRY: FREE for children’s category

PRIZES: Junior Primary (5 to 8 years) $15; Primary (9-12 years) $25

Check out the entry requirements


Laura Literary Awards for prose (Entries close 7 May 2021)

Open to Australian students. Write a short story up to 500 words in the Junior Primary Category, and up to 800 words in the Primary categoy.

ENTRY: FREE for children’s category

PRIZES: Junior Primary (5 to 8 years) $15; Primary (9-12 years) $25

Check out the entry requirements

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