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, 2015. Click here for further details.
OPENING SOON Dorothea MacKellar Poetry Awards Entries are accepted from 1st March to 30 June 2015 – Open to Australian school students. This year the optional theme is ‘the open door’. Secondary and Primary school categories. Cash prizes and trophies. Click here for further details.
* FAW Hilarie Lindsay Young Writers Poetry Competition for School students. (click link for conditions and entry form) Section 1: Years 10, 11 & 12 (max 60 lines) Prize $200 Section 2: Years 7, 8 & 9 (max 40 lines) Prize $175 Section 3: Years 5 & 6 (max 40 lines) Prize $175 Section 4: Year 4 & under (max 20 lines). Prize $50. Entry fee of $2.00. Closing date: 31 August 2014. 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, 30/11/14). 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.
* 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. 1st August 2014. Click here for further details.
* Imagination Creation Western Union Young Writers competition 2014 Story/Prose & Poetry Sections 6 years and under; First prize $50, Second prize $25; 7-10 years… First Prize $60, Second Prize $30; 11-14 years … First Prize $80, Second Prize $40; 15-18 years … First Prize $100, Second Prize $50. Closing date: June 30th 2014. Click here for further details.
* John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers 2014: 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. Prizes are judged by John Marsden and sponsor Hachette Australia. Entries close 9am Monday August 11, 2014. Click here for further details.
* 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 20th, 2015. Click here for further details.
* Margaret Dooley Award for Young Writers 2014 (Run by Eureka Street) – Entrants must submit a previously unpublished piece of ethical exploration that will engage a non-specialist audience. open to writers who are under the age of 30 as of 18 July 2014. First prize $1500. Second place $350, third $150. Entries close 5pm Friday 18 July 2014. For further details click here.
* Melbourne Library Service Young Writer’s Award 2014: Multiple categories 10 – 25 yrs. Short story no more than 3,500 words in length. Poetry may not exceed 100 lines. Graphic/comic short story. Cash prizes in each category plus overall winner for age. Entries close 31 August 2014. Click here for further details.
* Mental Health Foundation Australia (Vic) Schools Creative Writing Competition 2014: Annual Creative Writing Competition for Victorian schools. Categories: Upper Primary (Years 5 & 6) with a prize of $100.00, Lower Secondary (Years 7, 8 & 9) with a prize of $125.00, Upper Secondary (Years 10, 11 & 12) with a prize of $150.00. Entries close 5pm on Friday 1 August 2014. For further details click here.
OPEN Nillimbik 2015 Ekphrasis Poetry Award: Young poets section (11 – 18 years) $150 prize. Enter up to three poems. No entry fee. Online entries close 5 p.m. 30 March 2015. Postmarked hardcopy entries close 30 March 2015. Click here for more details.
* Olga Masters Short Story Award: Theme – Family Life. Under 21 section:Junior entries must be one original single-authored short story of between 1,200 and 1,500 words, written in English. Prize $500. Entries close at midnight on 1 August 2014. Click here for entry 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 2014 • Paradise • “If I had known…………” • “I was the strangest thing …………” Entries close 31 August, 2014. Click here for further details.
* Scribes Writers Junior Writers Literary Competition 2014: Division 1: Ages 11-13. 250 Maximum exact word count in body text. Division 2: Ages 14 – 17. 500 Maximum exact word count in body text. Open theme fiction competition. Entries close 30th September 2014. 1st Prize – $50, 2nd Prize – $25 Please note: This comp requires an entry fee: $5. 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 click here. Entries close on 1 September 2014.
OPENING 15 May 2015 SLQ (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 close: 18th July, 2014. Click here for full details.
OPEN The Future Leaders Writing Prize 2015: 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 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for further details.
OPEN The HEYWIRE Competition 2015 is now open to people aged 16 – 22, if you live anywhere in Australia apart from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth, to submit a story about life in Australia outside the major cities. Your story can be created in any form of media: text, video, photography or audio. Winners’ (roughly 40) stories will be featured on ABC Local Radio, ABC Radio National, ABC TV and abc.net.au and win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Heywire Youth Issues Forum in Canberra in February 2016. Entries close September 16, 2015. Click here for further details.
* 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 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 2015. Click here for further details.
* The 2015 Somerset National Novella Writing Competition: Open to all Australian secondary school students. (Under 19yrs as at 5/12/2014) 6000-words min – 10,000-words max. Entry cost $20. Entries close 5 December 2014 at 5.00pm. State winners receive personalised advice on their winning manuscripts from Penguin Group (Australia). National winner receives a monetary prize plus full editorial report from Penguin Group (Australia). Click here for further details.
* The 2015 Somerset National Poetry Prize: Junior Secondary – Years 7 to 9, Senior Secondary – Years 10 to 12. (Under 19 y/o as at 19/12/14) 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: 19 December 2014, 5.00p.m. Click here for further details.
* The 2014 Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition: Primary school students: preps to grade 6 (no set theme) ($30 / $20 / $10) Secondary school students: years 7-12 (no set theme) ($50 / $30 / $20). Please note: $2.00 entry fee per poem for students.Entries close 7th September 2014. Click here for entry form and here for full terms and conditions.
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 May 22, 2015. 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.
OPENING 22 April 2015 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 14 June, 2015. Click here for further details.
* The West Australian Young Writers’ Contest: 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 24 June 2014. 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 2015: Short fiction competition open to all Tasmanian students Years 7-12. Senior section Years 10–12 Theme: ‘Threshold’, ‘Bubble’, or ‘Spin’ 800–1500 words. Winner – $300. Two runners up – Each receives a $30.00 Fullers Bookshop gift voucher. Junior section Years 7–9. Theme:‘Time’, ‘Distance’, or ‘Change’. 700–1000 words. Winner – $300. Two runners up – Each receives a $30.00 Fullers Bookshop gift voucher. Cost $8.00 per story. Entries close 27 April 2015. Click here for further details.
* The 2014 Young Writers Innovation Prize: (Funded by Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and administered by Express Media.) 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. Proposals must have a literary or publishing focus. Applicants must be under 30 years of age at application. Projects will be assessed on three criteria: 1. The innovation of the project idea or proposal 2. The extent to which the project is driven by young people 3. Feasibility of the project, including budget, timelines, and personnel involved. First prize $5000 to make the winning project a reality, with second and third prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively. Applications close 5pm (AEST) Friday June 13, 2014. For further details click here.
* Write Across Victoria Competition: Creative writing competition for Victorian students in years 7, 8 and 9 run yearly by the Melbourne Writers Festival, hosted by Express Media. Select a story starter (on website) and write a 500-word story and you could get your story published online and in Voiceworks magazine. Entries close 5 p.m. Monday 21 July 2014. Click here for further details.
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 2014: 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 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. Click here for further details. Applications must be post marked on or before 5pm, Friday 25th July 2014.
* 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 2014 National Young Writers’ Festival.” Apply now. Applications closed 2014. 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.
OPENING SOON 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: 30 March, 2015. Applications close: 4 May, 2015. 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.
[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: 23 February 2015