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.

Lambing Flat FAW Writing Competition (Entries close 15 October 2021)

There is no set theme so let your fancy and pen fly. Enter your short story or poem.

  • Short Story word limit 1500
  • Poetry max. 50 lines.

ENTRY: FREE for school students

PRIZES: cash prizes in each age category

Check out the entry requirements (PDF)



Korean Spirit and Culture Essay Contest (Entries close 7 November 2021)

Open to Australian students in years 5 to 12. Choose from one of two topics based on the book Chung Hyo Ye, which can be downloaded for free on the competition organiser’s site. The competition is raising awareness of Korean history and culture. The contest will be judged in two categories: Junior category (Year 5 to 8) and Senior category (Years 9 to 12).

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: Three winners in each section: 1st prize $500; 2nd prize $200; 3rd prize $100. Honorable mentions may also be awarded at the panel’s discretion.

Check out the entry requirements


Little Darlings Portrait Prize (Entries close 5pm EST, 12 November 2021)

*DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 12 NOVEMBER * The competition is open to Australian school students and home-schooled students aged from 5-18 years (inclusive) as at 1 March 2021. The theme is IDENTITY.  Portraits can be done using any artistic medium (e.g. painting, drawing, photography etc) but must be 2-dimensional and under 1kg in weight. No glitter can be used. Numbers of entries per school are limited, please check the competition’s website for guidelines. 

There are four age categories for entry, divided as follows:

    • 5-7 years;
    • 8-11 years;
    • 12-15 years;
    • 16-18 years

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: A total of twelve winning entries will be selected from the digital images of the portraits submitted. Each age category will be represented in this selection. Winning portraits will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a limited period during autumn 2022, in conjunction with the Darling Portrait Prize. The National Portrait Gallery will be responsible for the framing and display of the winning portraits. Winning portraits will also be photographed for publication in a calendar produced by the National Portrait Gallery.  Each winner will receive three copies of the calendar, which will also be available for purchase online and in the Curatoreum shop at the National Portrait Gallery. The National Portrait Gallery will arrange to deliver workshops in person or online at each school from which a winning entry has been received.  The workshops will take place within 12 months of the closing date for entries, 8 October 2021.

Check out the entry requirements


Celebrate Caves Through Your Creativity Competition (Entries close 21 November 2021)

Open to everyone but entrants under 18 must attach parental permission. The theme is ‘Caves and Karst in Australasia’. Your entry can be story, rhyme, poem, song, sketch, paint, sculpt, or photograph.

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: four $500 vouchers will be awarded

Check out the entry requirements (PDF)


Halloween Short Story Writing Competition (Entries close 31 October 2021)

Open to writers age 18 and under. Stories should be a max of 500 words and be set on Halloween night. To enter drop your story at the front counter of Open Book bookstore (124 Wellington Street, Mosman Park, WA) or email it to hello@openbook.com.au

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: 1st prize: $100 voucher; 2nd prize $50 voucher; 3rd prize: $25 voucher.

If you have questions about the competition, email the book shop.


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


Win your name in Anna Ciddor’s next book! Competition (Entries close 4 December 2021)

Anna Ciddor’s latest book is The Boy Who Stepped Through Time. Three lucky winners will have their chance to have their name included in Anna Ciddor’s next book! Just show us your knowledge of Ancient Rome via the quiz on the Allen and Unwin website. The answers can all be found in The Boy Who Stepped Through Time). Make sure you complete the form at the end of the quiz!

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: Three winners will have their name included as a character in Anna Ciddor’s next book.

Check out the entry requirements (PDF)


2022 Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Brawl competition (poetry performance) (In-person performance competition in Orange, NSW on 12 February 2022)

Entrants must perform a one-minute original poem/lyric/limerick. This poem can be recited, sung or rapped. It can be an individual, paired or group performance.

Prizemoney: Under 18 first AUD100, second AUD50; Open first AUD150, second AUD50; People’s choice AUD100

The under 18s will perform from 7 pm.

ENTRY: may be free for child entries, you will need to check with the organiser

PRIZE: Under 18 category 1st place $100, second place $50;

Check out the entry requirements

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