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.

Scribblers Festival: The Golden Pen Competition (Entries close 21 March 2021)

Open to WA residents only, students in Grades 4-12. The theme is ‘Big and Small’. Your entry can be fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, comics or graphic novels. 3,000 words maximum for prose. 60 lines maximum for poetry. Entries will be judged in various age categories.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Winners receive a cash prize of up to $500, festival book shop vouchers and a creative writing masterclass.

Check out the entry requirements


KSP & Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition (Entries 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 The judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative including an excellent beginning, middle and end.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


Make Your Own Storybook Competition (Entries close 11 June 2021)

Open to all students from Pre-primary to year 8 in Western Australia.
It is an opportunity for students to showcase their narrative writing and illustrative talents through the creation of a picture or story book. Students can enter through their school or send individual entries from their home address.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Prizes include book vouchers, Healthway Go for 2 & 5 bags and CBCA Book Week merchandise.

The 2021 Make Your Own Story Book Competition flyer with entry form will appear on the new CBCA WA website when it is launched.

Hints pages and guiding videos made by WA author and illustrator Sean E Avery will also be found on the new website. (You can also find them on the current website while you wait.)

WA Schools and libraries will receive an emailed copy of the entry form at the end of February.

For enquiries please email Denise Robins


Wombat Books Illustration Challenge 2021 (Entries close 30 November 2021)

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

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