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.

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Armadale Young Writers’ Awards (Entries close 30 June 2022)

This short story competition is open to students in years 3 to 12 who reside or attend school in the City of Armadale.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: All finalists receive a trophy, certificate and a copy of the anthology containing all place-getting entries. There are cash prizes for first, second and third place in each category.

Check out the entry requirements


Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards (Entries close 30 June 2022)

Only students enrolled in Australian education facilities are eligible to enter. Poetry on any theme is accepted. Optional theme for 2022: In my opinion.

ENTRY: Varies. Please see competition website for details.

PRIZE: Not stated

Check out the entry requirements


Name that Horse! competition with Emily Gale (Entries close 30 June 2022)

Easy to enter! Open to any young person in Australia between the ages of 8 and 14. Emily Gale and Nova Weetman are working on a new book together. Suggest a horse name you think should be in the book, the winner will have that name given to a horse in the story and whoever chooses the winning horse name will also have their own name in the “Thank You” part of the book (also known as the Acknowledgements).

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: The winner of this competition will name one horse in an upcoming time-slip book by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman and the winner’s name will also appear in the acknowledgements section of the book.

Enter your suggested horse name here


The Golden Pen Writing Competition *CLOSING DATE EXTENDED* (Entries now close 17 July 2022)

Open to all WA students in years 4 to 12 at the time the competition ends. Create a story no more than 3000 words in any format you like, from poetry to prose to comics responding to this year’s theme: Everyday Magic.

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: various prizes. Visit the competition’s website for details.

Check out the entry requirements


Randolf Stow Young Writers Awards (Entries close at COB 4 July 2022)

Open to all students in years 3 to 12 studying in the Midwest of Western Australia as noted by the Education Department. The competition is divided into two categories, poetry and prose.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: not described on competition website.

Check out the entry requirements


Plume Colouring Competition (Entries close 22 July 2022)

Open to Australian children up to the age of 18. Download a colouring sheet from the competition’s web page and colour it in to enter.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: a collection of kids arts supplies (including markers, oil pastels and crayons) from Ooly valued at $100

Check out the entry requirements & download a colouring sheet


Spencil Writers Prize (Entries close 24 July 2022)

Open to Australian residents up to the age of 13. Judged in two age categories: 8 and under and 9 to 13. Write a short story, poem or comic (500 word limit) and feel free to illustrate it too! 

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: The winner of each age category will win a prize pack including a $100 Spencil voucher to spend online, a book bundle pack, and a hard copy book of your short story.

Check out the entry requirements


The Writing Tournament Competition (Entries close 31 July 2022)

Open to all 8-16 year olds on the theme of ‘Unsung Heroes’, and includes feedback, editing and prizes to long and short listed entrants. Word limit: 750 words.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: Cash prizes + publication for place winners. 1st prize: $200. 2nd prize: $50. 3rd prize: $25. Prize details are here.

Check out the competition info and submissions guidelines.


Tasmanian Devil Poetry Competition (Entries open 15 June and close 1 August 2022)

Open to Australian students. Write a poem (at least 6 lines) about what you think it would be like to be a Tasmanian Devil imp (baby). Your poem can be non-rhyming or rhyming and as long as you like.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: a copy of the picture book Tasmanian Devil by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Max Hamilton. There will also be a book prize pack awarded to the class that submits the most entries to the competition.

Check out the entry requirements


Tasmanian Devil Illustration Competition (Entries open 15 June and close 1 August 2022)

Open to Australian students. Download the illustration sheet from Claire Saxby’s website. Add two Tasmanian devil imps sleeping, exploring or playing. Use pencils, paints, collage or a mix of all of these to show us how much you love Tasmanian devils.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: a copy of the picture book Tasmanian Devil by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Max Hamilton. There will also be a book prize pack awarded to the class that submits the most entries to the competition.

Check out the entry requirements


Tim Winton Award for Young Writers (Entries OPEN 18 July, Entries close 5.30pm, 12 August 2022)

This creative writing award is open to Western Australian school students in years 1 to 12 and encourages imagination, innovation and creativity. There is no theme for entries.

ENTRY: FREE

Check out the entry requirements


Hilarie Lindsay 2022 Poetry Competition (Entries close 31 August 2022)

Entries open to Australian school students. Judged in various age categories.

ENTRY: $5

PRIZES: Not described

Check out the entry requirements


Kidsafe Victoria’s Farm Safety Creative Competition (Entries close 4 November 2022)

Open to all Victorian preschoolers and primary school students (regional and metropolitan and families). Students can enter as a class, in pairs/teams, or individually in their choice of entry type. To enter: create an illustrated story or comic strip to promote farm safety.

ENTRY: Free

PRIZES: A range of prizes, including vouchers, stationery packs and book packs.

Check out the entry requirements