Calling 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.
One More Page Gross Stories Comp (Entries Close 5 April 2020)
Open to Australian residents up to 12 years old. Write a disgusting tale (snot, farts, vomit — all welcome!). 500 words maximum.
PRIZES: The winning story will appear on the One More Page Podcast (‘Gross is Good’ episode).
Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Flinders News Prose Awards (Entries Close 9 April 2020)
- Please note entries must be mailed, allow for posting time
JUNIOR (9-12 yrs) Write a short story up to 800 words
JUNIOR PRIMARY (5-8 yrs) write a short story up to 500 words
PRIZES: Junior $25 for first prize. Junior Primary: $15 for first prize.
CJ Dennis Poetry Awards(Entries Close 9 April 2020)
- Please note entries must be posted, allow for posting time
JUNIOR (9-12 yrs) Write a poem up to 60 lines long
JUNIOR PRIMARY (5-8 yrs) write a poem up to 60 lines long
PRIZES: Junior $25 for first prize. Junior Primary: $15 for first prize.
One More Page Book Pack Giveaway (Entries Close 5pm EST 14 April 2020)
Open to Australian Residents only. Tell us one new and different thing you plan to try this year.
PRIZE: A copy of each of the following books.
Anzac Girl by Kate Simpson and Jess Racklyeft
Monty’s Island: Scary Mary and the Stripe Spell by Emily Rodda and Lucinda Gifford
Monkey’s Tail by Alex Rance and Shane McG
Landing with Wings by Trace Balla
Hatchlings Writing and Illustration Competitions (Entries close 18 April 2020)
Open to students aged 8 to 18. Competitions available across the following categories: Picture book, chapter books, graphic novel, Young Adult novel, illustration-only comp. See the competition’s website for specific details.
PRIZES: First prize in each category wins $100, second place $60, third place $40.
Alphabet Soup’s Young Book Reviewers’ Competition (Entries close 2 May 2020)
Open to Australian residents aged 12 or younger. Review a children’s book from any genre, fiction or nonfiction. You can choose to review any book you own or borrow, but you cannot enter a review of a book if that book was provided to you or a family member as a review copy. There is no word limit for reviews.
All longlisted reviews will be published at Alphabet Soup’s website: http://www.alphabetsoup.net.au.
Junior category (Kindy, Preprimary and Year 1): Winner will receive 6 postcards from various children’s authors and illustrators (one postcard per month for 6 months)
Primary category (Year 2 to Year 6): Winner will receive 6 postcards from various children’s authors and illustrators (one postcard per month for 6 months)
Authors and illustrators sending postcards include:* Amber Moffat, Kylie Howarth, Briony Stewart, Michael Speechley, Caz Goodwin, HM Waugh, Cristy Burne, James Foley, Norman Jorgensen, Deb Fitzpatrick, Gabrielle Wang.
*subject to change without notice.
Nan Manefield Young Writers’ Award (Entries close 5pm, 1 May 2020)
Open to students aged 11 to 18 on 1 May 2020. Enter either a poem or a short story (of not more than 750 words). Submissions must be made on the competition’s website.
PRIZES: Judged in five age categories with money prizes awarded.
Whitlam Institute What Matters? Writing Competition (Entries close 8 May 2020)
Students must submit an original written work between 400-600 words in prose or poetry, of either fiction or non-fiction.
PRIZES: First prize in each age category wins $350.
The Golden Pen Writing Competition (New deadline: Entries now Close 10 May 2020)
Open to Western Australian students only.
Theme: Planet Earth. Your entry can be fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, comic, or graphic novel. Various age categories for students. 3000 words maximum word limit.
PRIZES: Book vouchers and more. Refer to the competition’s website due to cancellation of the Scribblers Festival.
SAETA Young Writers Award (Entries close 22 May 2020)
Open to all students in South Australia. Write up to 1000 words (poetry or prose) on any topic. ENTRY: FREE
PRIZES: Not specified. Judged in various age categories.
World Poetry Day Competition (Entries close 22 May 2020)
Open to all Australian students in primary or secondary school; young people not in mainstream schools aged 18 and under; and Australian primary and high school teachers. Write a poem of 20 lines or fewer about an object.
- $500 cash prize
- Book pack from Copyright Agency (valued up to $100)
- Mentoring session with judge Eleanor Jackson
- Winner’s certificate
- Also prizes for regional and remote school communities. See competition website for details.
Furphy Story Competition (New deadline. Entries now close 5pm, 31 May 2020)
Entrants must be current Australian residents and live or attend a school within the Goulburn Valley – specifically within Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira, Strathbogie, Mitchell, Murrindindi or Campaspe Shires. Entries may be works of fiction or narrative non-fiction on any subject. Maximum word limit 2000 words.
PRIZES: First prize: $300. Second prize: $100. Third prize: $50
CBCA WA Branch: Make Your Own Storybook competition (Entries close 5 June 2020)
Open to school students in Pre Primary through to Year 8 in Western Australia. 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.
YOU MUST TAPE AN ENTRY FORM TO THE INSIDE FRONT COVER OF YOUR BOOK
For an entry form with all the entry details, email email@example.com
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards (Entries close 30 June 2020)
Only students enrolled in Australian education facilities are eligible to enter. Students may enter up to three poems with a maximum of 80 lines per poem. Optional theme for 2020: We used to live there.
ENTRY: Entry fees apply. Refer to website.
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.