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.
Shaun Tan Art Awards (Details of entry to the 2020 competition will be announced soon)
Tim Winton Award for Young Writers (Details of entry to the 2020 Competition will be announced in late May)
Scribblers ‘Connecting through Creativity’ competition (Entries Close 26 June 2020)
The competition is free and open to students living in Western Australia. Get creative using a method of visual storytelling to explore the topic of CONNECTIVITY during the global COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Create your artistic response in any visual method that inspires you! Some examples include 2D Arts (drawing, illustration, painting, collage, photography, comic, etc.); Video (video diary, performance, stop motion, interview, short film, etc.); and 3D Arts (ephemeral art, land art, sculpture, pop up book, etc.).
- Create your artwork relating to the theme Connectivity.2. Take a clear photo of your work (multiple photos are accepted) or send a video.
(Note: Files larger than 5MB won’t make it through. If your file is larger than 5MB, you’ll have to send a link via WeTransfer. Please ensure all files submitted are clearly labelled with your full name.)3. On the Entry Form, tell us in 200 words or less about your artwork. What does it represent and what is the inspiration behind it?
PRIZES: Two winners will be selected from each category. Winners receive an AUD $250 cash prize and an AUD $250 RIOT Art and Craft gift card
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.
Armadale Young Writers’ Award (Entries open 1 June 2020 and close 30 June 2020)
Open to students who reside or attend school in the City of Armadale (WA) in years 3 to 12. Judged in various age categories. Write a short story in no more than 2000 words.
PRIZES:The Prizes for each age category are 1st Prize $200, 2nd Prize $150, 3rd prize $100. All finalists receive a trophy, certificate and a copy of the anthology containing all place-getting entries. An overall winner chosen from all the place-getters receives a bonus $50 book voucher.
JK Rowling’s The Ickabog Illustration Competition (Entries open 29 May and Close 17 July 2020)
Illustrations should be created by children aged 7–12 years old (inclusive) (as of Friday 17th July 2020) and submitted by their parent or guardian. Before you begin working on your illustration(s), download the illustration instructions from the competition website. Please ensure you have read the instructions carefully, as incorrectly submitted entries will not be considered.
PRIZES: Your illustration will be featured in the printed version of The Ickabog. If you are one of the lucky winners, you will also receive a copy of the published book, signed by the author herself. The winner will receive £500 (or the equivalent in your local currency) worth of Hachette children’s books to a school or public library of your choice.
CBCA WA Branch: Make Your Own Storybook competition
(*** DEADLINE EXTENDED*** Entries now close 24 July 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
Just Kidding’s National Writing Challenge (Entries 11 September 2020)
Open to Australian children aged 7 to 12. Write a short story about anything you like, up to 500 words long.
PRIZES: The winner in each of three age categories will win
- a book pack for themselves and a personalised video from an Australian author
- a book pack for their school
- the winning story made into ten copies of a real book for the winner to keep
- the winning story and an interview with the winning author in the December 2020 issue of Just Kidding! magazine.
KSP Short Fiction Competition (Entries close 5pm AWST, 25 September 2020)
Open to Australian writers. Judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative. All fiction styles and themes are acceptable. Youth category word limit: 1000 words maximum.
ENTRY: FREE for the youth category (up to 17 years old)
PRIZES: $100 for first place, $50 for second place.
KSP Poetry Awards (Entries close 5pm AWST, 9 October 2020)
Open to Australian writers. Entries must be original and unpublished. All poetry styles and themes are acceptable.Youth category line limit: 50 lines maximum.
ENTRY: FREE for the youth category (10 to 17 years old)
PRIZES: $100 for first place, $50 for second place.
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.