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.
Perth Voice Short Story Competition (Ongoing. Winners chosen each month.)
Be as creative as you can and write a fictional short story up to 250 words.
Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org with SHORT STORY in the subject line of your email, along with your name, postal address and age.
The winner will receive a book and have their short story published in the Perth Voice newspaper.
One More Page BOOK PACK Competition (Entries Close Tues 27 August 2019)
Open to Australian residents. To enter: Simply type in your favourite Grandpa book via the One More Page website.
PRIZES: One prize of a book pack of three picture books, thanks to Allen & Unwin.
Boroondara Literary Awards (Entries close 30 August 2019)
This competitions includes a Junior Category for young people in school year levels 5-6, who live or attend school in the City of Boroondara, VIC. (Only the adults’ category is open nationwide.) Write a poem less than 100 lines long, or a story 300 to 500 words in length.
$300, $200, $100 for first prize, second prize, and third prize winners of the short story Junior Category. And $300 and $200 for the first and second prize winners in the poetry Junior Category.
Check out the entry requirements on the competition’s website
HILARY LINDSAY YOUNG WRITERS SHORT STORY COMP (Entries close 31 August 2019)
Open to Australian school students. In the primary school category, you’re invited to submit a short story up to 1500 words in length. High school categories are also available (see website for details).
PRIZES: $100 in the category of Years 5 & 6; $50 Year 4 and younger
One More Page Interview Competition (Entries Close 1 September 2019)
Open to Australian residents aged 7-14 who are fans of Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series!
To enter: Record a video telling us why you’re the number one Nevermoor fan and the one question you just HAVE to ask Jessica. Send your video to email@example.com OR upload to social media and tag @onemorepageAU
PRIZES: One winner will be selected to interview Jessica Townsend on 6th and 7th September. Winner must be available on these dates or another winner will be chosen.
CJ Dennis Poetry & short story Competition (Entries Close 7 September 2019)
Open to writers in Australia and New Zealand. Category for children in primary school. Enter a poem up to 40 lines long or a short story up to 500 words long. The aim of the competition is to encourage writing which celebrates the work of CJ Dennis and relates to Australia’s people, events or environment, either historical or contemporary. Poems must feature good rhyme and metre.
You must provide two hard copies of your poem and/or short story and post your entries in. Entries must be postmarked no later than 7 September 2019. Rules for entry are very specific, please read them on the entry form.
ENTRY: FREE for students. (The adult category has an entry fee.)
PRIZES: $30, $20 and $10 for first prize, second prize and third prize respectively in the primary school age category.
ABC Senior Citizens Portrait Competition (Entries Close 23 September 2019)
Talk with an elderly neighbour, a grandparent or a senior citizen you admire. Paint, sketch or craft their portrait and include a short description about what you learned about them. Be sure to have a parent or guardian accompany you.
PRIZES: Two winners will each receive art supplies to the value of $100.
Check out the entry requirements & download an entry form.
Andy Griffiths Kids’ Writing Competition (Entries close 30 September 2019)
Open to all Australian primary-school aged children.
Write an original short story 200-400 words in length. Theme: If you could add one level to Andy and Terry’s Treehouse, what would it be?
PRIZES: The major prize winner with have their story framed with illustrations by Terry Denton. The Top 5 entries (including the winner) will each receive a book back from Pan Macmillan.
2019 OXFORD AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S WORD OF THE YEAR (Entries close 20 September 2019)
Open to Australian primary school students. Write about a word that reflects your life or interests. You entry can be funny, serious or factual.
ENTRY: Schools can download an entry pack here.
PRIZES: Prizes awarded to the winning classes and individuals. Visit the website for details.
PATRICK WHITE INDIGENOUS WRITERS AWARD (Entries close 27 September 2019)
These awards are open to all Indigenous Australian students in NSW from Kindergarten through to Year 12. Individual and group categories. (Groups of 3, where at least one student must identify as Aboriginal.)
To enter: Develop a story, poem or play.
PRIZES: A Major Prize and up to 2 Encouragement awards will be awarded for a short story or play and a poem for Kindergarten to Year 12.
2019 KSP SHORT FICTION COMPETITION (Entries close 5pm, 27 September 2019)
Youth Category: Open to children in Australia aged 10 to 18. No theme. Word limit: maximum 2000 words. Read all the terms and conditions before entering. Note: entries must be POSTED in. No online entries.
various cash prizes (see website for details)
2019 KSP POETRY AWARDS (Entries close 5pm, 11 October 2019)
Youth Category: Open to children in Australia aged 10 to 18. No theme. Line limit: maximum 50 lines. Read all the terms and conditions before entering. Note: entries must be POSTED in. No online entries.
various cash prizes (see website for details)
KidsNews Short Story Writing Competition (Entries Close 31 October 2019)
Open to Australian students in Prep to year 8. Write a short story on any topic of your choice. Entrants aged 11+, your story must be between 500 and 1000 words.
Entrants aged 10 and under, your story must be between 250 and 750 words. Parents must sign a form to state you have permission to publish and your teacher must submit the form and the short story via the school.
PRIZES: winner receives an iPad, HarperCollins book pack and has their own story published as a book for 10 family members and friends.