Competitions for kids

Boy writing. Artwork copyright Greg MitchellCalling 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. (Closes 8 June 2018)

Open to students in Western Australia in years PrePrimary to Eight.

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.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Three prizes are awarded for each age group, in each category

Check out the entry requirements


South Australia Young Writers Award (Closes 18 May 2018)

The Young Writers Award is open to all South Australian students.

It is free of a topic.

You may write poetry or prose, up to 1000 words.

There are categories from Reception to Year 12.

ENTRY: ?

PRIZES:

Not stated.

Check out the entry requirements


Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists (Entries close 21 May 2018)

Open to Western Australian students in years 1 to 12. Artworks must be original, 2D, no bigger than 1m X 1.5m.

ENTRY: FREE but entry form needs to be signed by parent/guardian/teacher to verify that the entry is the author’s own original work.

PRIZES: Unspecified prizes for the top three winners in each age division category. A selection of the best artworks will feature in a month long public exhibition at Subiaco Library in July & August. All exhibited artists receive professional framing or mounting for their artworks.

Insurance is the responsibility of the entrant.

Check out the entry requirements  Please note: the online entry form will be available online on 30 April 2018.


2018 Tim Winton Award (Entries close 4pm on 25 June 2018)

Open to school students in Western Australia in years 1 to 12. Stories entered must be an original piece of prose no more than 2000 words.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: unspecified.

Check out the entry requirements


The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (Closes 1 June 2018)

nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of The Gambia, the Maldives and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries whose entries are submitted through their local RCS branch are also eligible.

Write an essay up to 150 words inspired by the theme, ‘Towards a Common Future’. In the Junior division, you must choose one topic from this list:

Junior Category
Born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age)

  1. What does a ‘safer future’ mean to you and your community?
  2. Write a recipe for a common future: what ingredients will you need? What is the best method for making it? What will it look like?
  3. ‘A Day in the Life’. Imagine you are your country’s Head of Government for the day: how will you build a better future for young people?
  4. Our Common Earth.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners’ Week in London.

Check out the entry requirements


South Australia Young Writers Award (Closes 18 May 2018)

The Young Writers Award is open to all South Australian students.

It is free of a topic.

You may write poetry or prose, up to 1000 words.

There are categories from Reception to Year 12.

ENTRY: ?

PRIZES:

Not stated.

Check out the entry requirements


The 2018 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award (Closes 30 June 2018)

Eligibility: Only students enrolled in Australian education facilities are eligible to enter.

Maximum 80 lines; no illustrations, graphics or decorations.

Optional Theme: ‘I Have Promises To Keep’.

HOW TO ENTER: ONLINE group entries from schools are preferred—coordinated, collated and submitted through a teacher or parent.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

LOWER PRIMARY (YEARS K – 3)

Winner: $300, trophy and prize pack
Runner-up: $150 and prize pack

UPPER PRIMARY (YEARS 4 – 6, INC. YEAR 7 IN SA)

Winner: $400, trophy and prize pack
Runner-up: $200 and prize pack

ASSISTED LEARNING PRIMARY

Winner: $400, trophy and prize pack
Runner-up: $200 and prize pack

Entries to be submitted by the teacher, eligibility criteria:

  • students on assisted learning programs
  • students with English as a second language.

Also a prize for the best poem highlighting the value of cultural diversity within Australian community.

Check out the entry requirements


2018 KSP Chairperson’s Ghost Story Competition (Closes 13 July 2018)

Open to children in Western Australia aged 8 to 18. Limit two entries per person.

Maximum story limit: 500 words.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

Youth first prize (prose): $50

Youth second prize (prose): Box of chocolates

All shortlisted and winning entrants invited to read their storyor poem at KSP’s Spooky Stories Night in August. Winning entries offered publication in Swan Magazine

Check out the entry requirements


Adelaide Plains Poetry Competition (Closes 6 July 2018)

Maximum line limit: 60 lines. One entry per person. Theme: TRUTH.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

Unspecified cash prizes for the children’s category.

Check out the entry requirements


Just Kidding 2018 Australian Creative Writing Competition (Closes 31 August 2018)

Use your awesome storytelling skills to create a 500 word short story of your own on any topic you like.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: The winner in each age category will receive signed copies of their mentors’ books and a personalised congratulatory video  from their mentor.

The winning story in each category will be turned into a physical book (ten copies per winner).

Each winning story will be published in Just Kidding magazine alongside an interview with the winner.

A Penguin Random House bumper book pack featuring some of this years’ best reads.

A Penguin Random House book pack for the winner’s school library.

(Mentors are Oliver Phommavanh for the 7-8 age category, Jacqueline Harvey for the 9-10 age category, and Tristan Bancks for the 11-12 age category.)


Wombat Books Around Australia Illustration Challenge (Closes 31 August 2018)

Open to Australian school-aged students aged 5 to 18 .

Choose one or multiple places from Around Australia in 30 Places to illustrate. Use an A4-size page for each illustration. Each place must have a separate illustration (no double-page spreads). Choose places from the text here.

ENTRY: Purchase one of either  Yay! It’s Library Day or Zoo Ball (previous illustration Challenges for Wombat Books) and a copy of the receipt with your entry.

PRIZES:

Winning illustrations will be published in the book titled Around Australia in 30 Places. Winners will receive two free copies of the book and a $50 voucher to spend at Wombat Books on other titles.

Check out the entry requirements


2018 Hilarie Lindsay Young Writers Poetry Competition (Closes 31 August 2018)

Open to Australian school students.

  • SECTION 3: Years 5 & 6 (max lines 40). Prize $175.
  • SECTION 4: Year 4 & under (max lines 20). Prize $50.

ENTRY: $3 per entry

PRIZES:

Years 5 & 6 category $175

Years 4 and under category $50

Check out the entry requirements


2018 KSP Short Fiction Competition (Closes 7 September 2018)

Open to children 10 to 18 years who are Australian residents and citizens.

Maximum story limit: 2000 words.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

Youth first prize (prose): $100

Youth second prize (prose): $50

All winning entries offered publication in Swan Magazine.

Select entrants invited to read their story at KSP’s End of Year Awards Ceremony

Check out the entry requirements


2018 KSP Poetry Competition (Closes 21 September 2018)

Open to children 12 to 18 years who are Australian residents and citizens.

Maximum line limit: 50 lines

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

Youth first prize: $100

Youth second prize: $50

Mundaring National Young Writers encourgement award for under 14s: $25

All winning entries offered publication in Swan Magazine.

Select entrants invited to read their story at KSP’s End of Year Awards Ceremony.

Check out the entry requirements


2018 KSP NON-FICTION Competition (Closes 5 October 2018)

Open to children 10 to 18 years who are Australian residents and citizens.

Maximum word limit: 500 words

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES:

Youth first prize: $100

Youth second prize: $50

Mundaring National Young Writers encourgement award for under 14s: $25

All winning entries offered publication in Swan Magazine.

Select entrants invited to read their story at KSP’s End of Year Awards Ceremony.

Check out the entry requirements


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