Young Writers’ Resources
Hi and welcome to a page packed with opportunities for young writers aiming for publication, to enter competitions, or just wanting to get your writing out there. Here you’ll find resources, competitions and websites to hook you in to just some of the opportunities available for young writers. There’s heaps more to be found online.
Writing is fun and sometimes frustrating. It’s great to get words on the page and watch your characters come to life. They can do the most unexpected things, and take you to exciting places. (Be warned: They won’t always do what you want them to.) Getting published and winning competitions takes work, but it is possible. How much do you want it? You can write (redraft) your way there. Check out the links below and see which ones suit you and your writing best, then – be brave – put your writing out there. Go for it.
Meanwhile, I’ll try and keep this page as up-to-date as possible. I’d love you to let me know of your writing successes or if you find any resources you think others might find helpful. Just send me an email – details on the Contact page.
Good luck. Happy writing.
RESOURCES & WEBSITES:
Australian Writers’ Centres full listing of Australian state and various writing centres on the Australian Society of Authors website: http://www.asauthors.org/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=ASP0016/ccms.r?PageId=10041
Dee White’s Deescribe Writing Blog – lots of writing advice, info and Tuesday Writing Tips
Express Media (“provides support and opportunities for young people in writing and media”)
Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) look at their national literary awards link below– several sections for young writers
Inside a Dog (Home of YA readers)
Steph Bowe’s Hey Teenager of the Year blog –
Teaching Authors - website with a comprehensive range of markets for young writers
The Australian Writers’ Marketplace 2013 – Writers resource listing competitions, awards, prizes and markets accepting submissions, i.e. publishers, newspapers, magazines. (available via online subscription or print version, also available through your local writers’ centres.) – perhaps request your school library to invest in a subscription or hardcopy.
The Guardian website features reviews, comp’s and articles for YA readers and writers.
The National Young Writers’ Group Facebook page is hosted by Express Media. The group is a place to drop by and share your writing, let members know about competitions, publications accepting submissions, upcoming workshops or events that may be of interest for young Australian writers.
Writing Classes for Kids: free activities and affordable writing classes for kids and teens. Author Dee White’s fabulous website for young writers features tips, free competitions (win books and/or writing services), visits from published authors sharing writing advice, plus heaps more. Check out the website:
YARR-A Young Adult Reader Reviews – Australia. The YARR-A website is devoted to teenage / young adult books and features reviews written by students and teachers of novels by Australian and overseas authors. Also features interviews.
[* means the competition runs yearly, so if the deadline for this year has passed or the comp is finished, check back on website link next year - a few months in advance.]
* A Feast of Poetry: Original Bush Poetry – Children 1st Primary $40 Secondary $50, 2nd Primary $15, Secondary $20, 3rd Primary $10, Secondary $15 plus Lions Club Prize – 1st – $100, 2nd – $50, 3rd – $25 voucher Secondary (yrs 7-10) Primary (yrs 3-6) 1st – $40, 2nd – $20, 3rd – $10 voucher plus Bede Tongs Achievement Award Infants (yrs K-2) 1st – $30, 2nd – $15, 3rd – $10 voucher. Please note: $2.00 entry fee. Entries close on 10th September 2013. Click here for entry form and further details.
* Cancer Council Victoria Arts Awards: Yearly competition. Children and Youth Short Story Award: Theme 2013 – Balance. Children’s Writing (12 years and under) Youth Writing (13-17) Entries close 29 July, 1013. Cash prizes. Click here for further details.
* Child Writes Competition: Open to all Australian primary school students. Writers: submit a story suitable for a children’s picture book, max 800 words. Illustrators: Submit a variety of at least three full colour A4 sample illustrations, showcasing at least three different characters and settings. Entry Cost: $15 per submission. Prize: publication and royalties. Entries close 30th of November, 2013. For further details click here.
OPEN CYA Conference Hatchlings (conference for young writers 8 – 18 y/o) Yearly writing competition. Multiple categories – picture book/chapter book & ya novel/graphic novel/illustrated middle-grade. (Feedback provided) Entry fee. Entries close 30 April, 2014. Click here for further details.
OPEN Dorothea MacKellar Poetry Awards Entries are accepted from Tuesday 1st March to Thursday 30 June 2014 – Open to Australian school students. Secondary and Primary school categories. Cash prizes and trophies. Click here for further details.
* FAW Hilarie Lindsay Young Writers Short Story Competition for School students. Closed 31 August 2011 (click link for conditions and entry form) Section 1: Years 10, 11 & 12 Up to 2500 words Prize $150 Section 2: Years 7, 8 & 9 Up to 2500 words Prize $150 Section 3: Years 5 & 6 Up to 1500 words Prize $100 Section 4: Year 4 & under Up to 1500 words. Prize $50. Entry fee of $2.00. Closing date: 31 August 2013. Click here for further details.
* FAW Young Writers’ Awards (National Literary Awards): Open: September Entries close: 30th November - see individual sections below:
* FAW Young Poet of the Year Award: For a poem on any theme. No word limit. Part A Entrants: Ages 8-12*, Prize $150 Part B Entrants: Ages 13-16*, Prize $250 (*Age at, and including, 30/11/13). Click here for further details.
* FAW Ivy Hart Peace and Environment Rhyming Poetry Award: Rhyming poetry of “sustained quality and distinction with the theme of “Peace” or “the Environment”. Part A: Students in Years 3 or 4 in 2012. Prize $100. Part B: Students in Years 5 or 6 in applicable year. Prize $100. Click here for further details. Runners up prize $25.
* Future Leaders Writing Prize 2013: Year 11 and 12 students in Australian secondary schools are invited to submit a piece of writing – fiction or non-fiction (800 to 1,000 words). $1000 prize. Electronic entries close 1st July 2013. Click here for further details.
* Henry Handel Richardson Centenary Writing Competition 2012: Young Writers’ Section – (sponsored by Text Publishing) – for school students , Years 10-12 or equivalent – an original piece of writing in any genre, up to 1500 words, with some link to HHR and her life. Prize: $350, plus set of Text Classics; Second Prize: 20 Text Classics; Third Prize: 10 Text Classics. No entry fee for Young Writers’ Section. Inaugural Competition 2012. Click here for further details.
* Ipswich Poetry Feast International Poetry Competition: Age categories include: 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14-15, 16-17 years. All categories and 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes win cash prizes and certificates. No theme. Entries close 5 p.m. 26th July 2013. Click here for further details.
* John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers 2012: Winner of the Short Story prize will receive $3000 (18-24) and the winner of the poetry prize wins $1500 (18-24). First place winners of both the Poetry and the Short story prize (under 18) receive $500 each. Winners are judged by Express Media and John Marsden. Entries close 19 August 2013. Click here for further details.
OPEN Laura Literary Awards: The Flinders News Prose Awards Section 2 Young Adult (13 TO 18 years) Prize $50 A short story up to 1000 words Section 3 Junior (8 to 12 years) Prize: $25 A short story up to 500 words RR’Riters Junior Primary (5 to 7 years) Prize $15 A short story up to 500 words The C.J. Dennis Poetry Awards Poetry Section 5 Young Adult (13 to 18 years) Prize: $5O Section 6 Junior (8 to12 YEARS) Prize: $25 RR’Riters Junior Primary (5 to 7 years) Prize $15 Closing Date Friday February 14th, 2014. Click here for further details.
* National Young Writers Festival (Check out website 2013 for updates) Click here for further details.
OPEN Nillimbik 2014 Ekphrasis Poetry Award: Young poets section (12 – 18 years) $150 prize. Enter up to three poems. No entry fee. Online entries close 5 p.m. Monday 31 March 2014. Postmarked hardcopy entries close Monday 31 March 2014. Click here for more details.
ONGOING OzKids in Print Awards – primary and secondary students can submit their poems and/or stories for publication online. Shortlisted submissions will be printed in OzKids magazine and considered for the annual award. Check the website for full details by clicking here.
* Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers Awards: Yearly competition open to NSW Indigenous Australian students from kindergarten through to Year 12. A major prize and 5 encouragement awards awarded for a short story or play and a poem for each year level – Kindergarten to Year 12. Themes for 2013 • Winter • “I know how you feel…………” • “I wish I’d never…………” Entries close 31 October, 2013. Click here for further details.
* Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers (in conjunction with Express Media) Entries must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. They may be excerpted from a longer work but must also function as stand-alone pieces. Entrants must be 30 years or younger. Prize $1,500 + meeting with an editor or a publisher at Scribe + up to 10 hours of editorial time to work on developing the piece to Scribe’s publication standard OR to work on developing it into a book-length project +a 12-month book subscription to Scribe, consisting of one new-release nonfiction title a month. Entries open on 20 July. For full details visit http://expressmedia.org.au/express_media. Entries close on 11 October 2013.
* SQL (State Library QLD) Young Writers Award: If you live in QLD and are aged 18 – 25 years you could win $2000 first prize or $500 as runner-up plus membership QLD Writers Centre plus many more writerly goodies. So get those stories up to 2500-words in asap. Entries open 17th May 2013. Closing Date: 19th July, 2013. Click here for full details.
OPEN The Future Leaders Writing Prize 2014: open to Year 11 and 12 students in Australian secondary schools. Submit a piece of writing (fiction or non-fiction) 800 to 1,000 words. Prize $1000. Electronic submissions by 1 July 2014 to email@example.com. Click here for further details.
OPEN The Katharine Susannah Prichard Short Fiction Award 2014: Shire of Mundaring National Young Writers Awards (20 years & under) – no entry fee. Words 1000 – 3000 maximum. Prizes: 1st $75 2nd $25 Commended 5 of $10 Mundaring National Young Writers Encouragement Award (for under-13′s): $25 Entries close: 5pm, Friday 19 September, 2014.
* The Liz Huf Memorial Literary Awards Four categories: 1. OPEN – Short story 2. SHORT STORY – Theme 3. MICRO FICTION 4. POETRY. Open to students 12 to 18 years in Australia and International. $3.00 entry fee. Entries close 5pm June 14, 2013. For further details visit the website.
CLOSED The Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers is open to Indigenous writers 30 years or younger to enter a best poem or suite of poems (limit of 100 lines). Prize $5000 (plus optional Writer in Residency). Entries close 31 January 2014. Click here for further details.
* The 2014 Somerset National Novella Writing Competition: Open to all Australian secondary school students. (Under 19yrs as at 6/12/2013) 6000-words min – 10,000-words max. Entry cost $20. Entries close 6 December 2013 at 5.00pm. State winners receive cash prizes and personalised advice on their winning manuscripts from Penguin Group (Australia). National winner receives $2,650 plus a full editorial report from Penguin Group (Australia). Click here for further details.
* The 2014 Somerset National Poetry Prize: Junior Secondary – Years 7 to 9, Senior Secondary – Years 10 to 12. (Under 19 y/o as at 20/12/13) Winner in each category receives $300 plus flights to attend Somerset Celebration of Literature Festival. Max 50 lines. Entry fee $15 per poem. Entries close: 20 December 2013, 5.00p.m. Click here for further details.
OPEN South Australian English Teachers Association Young Writers’ Award: open to all South Australian students. Poetry or prose up to 1000 words. Categories from Reception to Year 12. Entries close Friday, May 23, 2014. Click here for further details.
* The Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer Award is an annual short story competition for students in Years 10 – 12 from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Entries need to be written in year of competition and be between 700 – 1000 words. Prizes include books, vouchers and writing workshops. Entries close mid-June. Click here for further details.
* The Tim Winton Award for Young Writers is run yearly by the City of Subiaco and presented in August. Sections include: Lower, middle and upper primary, lower and upper secondary. Entries close 31 May, 2013. Click here for further details.
* The West Australian Young Writers’ Contest is open to WA primary and secondary students and ‘is the state’s longest-running and most prestigious creative writing contest’ for young West Australians. Students are invited to submit one poem and/or prose, to a maximum of 1500 words, on any topic(s) of their choice. Contest closes 25 June 2013. Click here for further details.
* 2013 Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition: Each entry must be original verse in or around the style of CJ Dennis. Categories – Prep to Grade Six, Yr 7 – 12. No set theme. $2.00 entry fee for students. Closing date 7 September, 2012. Click here for further details.
OPEN The Young Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2014 Short fiction competition open to all Tasmanian students Years 7-12. Senior section Years 10–12 Theme: ‘Mountain’, ‘River’, ‘Sea’ or ‘Valley’ 800–1500 words. Winner – $300. Two runners up – Each receives a $30.00 Fullers Bookshop gift voucher. Junior section Years 7–9. Theme: Open, but with the word ‘Tasmania’ in the first paragraph 700–1000 words. Winner – $300. Two runners up – Each receives a $30.00 Fullers Bookshop gift voucher. Entries close 10 May 2014. Click here for further details.
* Write Across Victoria Competition: Creative writing competition for Victorian students in years 7, 8 and 9 run yearly by the Melbourne Writers Festival. Start writing and you could get your story published online and in Voiceworks magazine. Look out for competition in June/July.
ONGOING Writing Classes for Kids 2012 competitions run quarterly: Check out the Writing Classes for Kids competition page for full details and quarterly themes for 2012. These comps offer three categories: 8-12 years, 13-17 years and adults. Prizes include the fabulous opportunity for assessment of your winning 500 word story plus an additional 500 words and great books. All competitions are free for young writers to enter.
* KSP Young Writers in Residence 2013: Three young writers, up to the age of twenty-five years, will be selected for a 10-day residency at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, Greenmount WA. The residents will receive a salary of $650 and be given writing space and time to concentrate on, develop or complete a work-in-progress. The writer will also be invited to participate in Katharine Susannah Prichard (KSP) Writers’ Centre activities. Positions are available for the week of Monday 2 December – Wednesday 11 December 2013. Click here for further details. Applications must be post marked on or before 5pm, Friday 26th July 2013.
* National Young Writers Festival Artist Call Out. “NYWF are currently looking for bright young writers and artists of all stripes to show the world what they’re made of at the 2013 National Young Writers’ Festival.” Apply now. Applications close 2 April 2013. Visit the website for further details.
National Young Writers Festival Yearly: The focus of the National Young Writers’ Festival is creating opportunities for young writers (18 to 35 years). Held yearly in Newcastle, check the website for details: Check out podcasts from the 2013 Festival – click here.
* Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency: The annual Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency offers a week’s stay at Varuna, The Writers’ House in Katoomba NSW to an unpublished writer under 30. The recipient is provided with a private working space to further develop a work-in-progress, as well as accommodation and meals. Travel expenses are not covered. Applications open: Tuesday 2 April, 2013. Applications close: Tuesday 30 April, 2013. Click here for further details on the ASA website.
Spineout is a new YA online magazine where you can submit reviews of newly published YA books (Spineout provide), book trailers, poems, short stories, music lyrics, videos and art work.
The Young Writers Innovation Prize: Young writers, publishers and digital experts are encouraged to pitch an idea to Express Media and demonstrate innovation in the field of literature and publication. This idea may involve writing for zines, e-zines, comics, multimedia, multi-artforms or cross-media works, websites, live performance and spoken word. Applicants must be aged 30 or under at the time of application. First prize of $4000 to make the winning project a reality, with second and third prizes of $1000 and $500. Click here for further details. Young Writers Innovation Prize entries.
[Prize winner image courtesy of www.lumaxart.com]
(Please note: These links, opportunities, and organisations are listed as resources without endorsement by the author.)
Last Updated: 26 Feb 2014