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: Click here.
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 –
National Young Writers Festival – “NYWF is the country’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop music, journalism, autobiography, comedy, songwriting and prose. The festival presents ‘writing’ in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances, readings, installations, and more.” See below for callout and festival dates.
Teaching Authors – website with a comprehensive range of markets for young writers.
The Australian Writers’ Marketplace – 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.]
* Boroondara Literary Awards: Young Writers categories – Young Writers, who live or attend school in the City of Boroondara – Year levels 5-6. Prose length: between 300-500 words. Poetry: must be less than 100 lines. Years 7-9. Prose length: between 500-900 words. Poetry: must be less than 200 lines. Senior Writers – Prose and Poetry: Year levels 10-12 (or if not at secondary school, 15-18 years of age as at 1 January 2013), who live, work or attend school in the City of Boroondara. Prose length: between 900-1300 words. Poetry: must be less than 200 lines. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place-winners in each section. Entries close Friday 25 August 2017. Click here for further details.
OPEN 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: $10 per submission. Prize: The winning writer and the winning illustrator will be mentored to publication of a collaborative children’s picture book, worth over $1000 each (or total prize $2000). Entries close when a maximum of 500 entries received. For further details click here.
* City of Melbourne Young Writers’ Award: Open to emerging writers 10 – 25-years, residing in Victoria. Three categories: Short story, – max 3500 words, Poetry – may not exceed 100 lines and/or Graphic/comic story – four to eight pages in length. Entries close: Saturday 3 September 2016 at 6pm. Click here for full details.
* 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. Prizes: $100.00 per category (1st $50, 2nd $30, 3rd $20) and submission of shortlisted entries to at least one children’s publisher. (Feedback provided.) Entry fee. Entries close 30 April, 2017. Click here for further details.
* Dorothea MacKellar Poetry Awards Entries are accepted from 1st March to 30th June 2017 – Open to Australian school students. Entries to be submitted through schools. This year the optional theme is ‘all over the world’. 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. (click link for conditions and entry form) Section 1: Years 10, 11 & 12 (up to 2500-words) Prize $175 Section 2: Years 7, 8 & 9 (up to 2500-words) Prize $125 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 $3.00. Closing date: 31 August 2017. 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, 30/11/15). 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 2015. Prize $100. Part B: Students in Years 5 or 6 in 2015. Prize $100. Click here for further details. Runners up prize $25.
* Gawler Poetry Competition 2016: Entry open to residents of South Australia. Youth and Junior and categories. Short stories maximum 2000-words. Youth (13-18 years). 1st Place $150 2nd Place $75 3rd Place $25 Juniors (12 years & under) 1st Place $100 2nd Place $70 3rd Place $25. Entries close 8 July 2016. Click here for entry form and 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. 28th July 2017. Click here for further details.
* John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Australian Writers 2017: Submissions of fiction or nonfiction may be up to 3,000 words in length. Submissions of poetry may be up to 100 lines in length by writers aged 18 years and under. Winners in each section receive a $500 cash prize plus $500 travel reimbursement to attend the winners’ announcement event – A book pack of selected works from Hachette Australia’s young adult publications – Publication in Voiceworks #105. Entries close 9am Friday 30th June 2017. Click here for further details.
* 2016 Joseph Furphy Commemorative Literary Prize Writing Competition: Short story: Junior (Up to 12 years) First Prize: $50 Word Limit: 2,000 (or less) Poetry: Youth (Up to 18 years) First Prize: $75 Word Limit: 30 lines. Entries close 14 October 2016. For further info and entry form click here.
* 2017 Laura Literary Awards: The Flinders News Prose Awards: Section 2 – Young Adult (13-18 yrs) Prize $50 A short story max 1000-words Section 3 – Junior (9-12 yrs) Prize $25 A short story max 500-words Section 4 – Junior Primary (5-8 yrs) Prize $15 A short story max 500-words. The CJ Dennis Poetry Awards: Poem up to 60 lines for all sections. Section 7 – Young Adult (13-18 yrs) Prize $50 Section 8 – Junior (9-12 yrs) Prize $25 Section 9 – Junior Primary (5-8 yrs) Prize $15. Closing date Friday 24th March 2017. Click here for further details.
* 2016 Melton City Council Short Story Competition: Entries can be submitted in any medium: print, illustration, video, verse, voice or combinations of any of the above. Max 1500-words. Teenage Section (13–17 years)* 1st Prize: $250 (plus $250 for their school) 2nd Prize: $100 (plus $100 for their school) 3rd Prize: $50 (plus $50 for their school) Junior Section (up to 12 years)* 1st Prize: $250 (plus $250 for their school) 2nd Prize: $100 (plus $100 for their school) 3rd Prize: $50 (plus $50 for their school). Entries close Friday 7 October 2016. Click here for details and entry form.
* Mental Health Foundation Australia (Vic) Schools Creative Writing Competition 2016: 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 29 July 2016. For further details click here.
* Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers: The prize will be awarded to the best short story (up to 3000 words in length) by an Indigenous writer who is 30 years or younger at the closing date of the competition. First place is a $5000 prize, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a three-month writer’s residency at the beautiful Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne. Two runner-up prizes of $500 may also be awarded. Entries close 28th February 2017. For further details and entry, click here.
* Nillimbik 2017 Ekphrasis Poetry Award: Young poets section (11 – 18 years) $200 prize. Enter up to three poems. No entry fee. Online entries close 5 p.m. 31 March 2017. Click here for more details.
OPEN Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers Awards: Yearly competition open to NSW Indigenous Australian students from kindergarten through to Year 12. A major prize and up to 2 Encouragement awards will be determined for a short story or play and a poem for each year level – Kindergarten to Year 12. Themes: Kindergarten to Year 12 – “Water” “The door slowly opened…” “This belongs to me”. Entries close 5pm Wednesday 22nd September, 2017. Click here for further details.
OPEN Redgum Young Writers’ Award:. Entry open to children 9 – 13. Two categories: Picture book and short story, with up to five young authors shortlisted in each category. Each shortlisted entry will receive a $150 Redgum Book Club voucher and Certificate of Achievement. The winner of each category will receive a $250 Redgum Book Club voucher and winning entry from each category will be published as a hard copy book and in e-book format. Entries close 10 December 2017. For further details click here.
* SLQ (State Library QLD) Young Writers Award: Open to QLD residents 15 – 25 years. Two categories: 18-25 year olds for short stories of 2,500 words or fewer. 15-17 year olds for short stories of 1,500 words or fewer. Prizes 18-25 years include $2000 first prize, $500 first runner-up plus membership QLD Writers Centre plus many more writerly goodies. Prizes 15-17 category include Apple iPad air 2 + $100 iTunes gift voucher to the Young Writers Award winner; Kindle Paperwhite NextGen + $50 Amazon gift voucher to the first runner-up recipient; 12 month youth membership to Queensland Writers Centre; Admission to a Story lab holiday workshop at State Library. Entries close: 17th July, 2015. Click here for full details.
* The Australian Vogel’s Literary Award 2018: Open to Australian residents under 35-years of age on 31 May, 2016 submitting a work of fiction, Australian history or biography. Minimum length of 30,000 words and a maximum of 100,000 words. Prize includes publication by Allen & Unwin, with an advance against royalties plus prize money totalling $20,000. Entries must be lodged by 31 May 2017. Click here for further details.
* RETURNS 2018 The Footpath Library 2016 Epic Short Story Competition: For Australian primary and secondary students. Six major prizes – 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in two age-based categories. This year’s theme is ‘Friendship.’ Max 300-words. Entries close 30 September 2016. Click here for details.
* The Future Leaders Writing Prize 2017: 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 31st May 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for further details.
OPEN The HEYWIRE Competition 2017 is now open to people aged 16 – 22, who live outside metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth. You may create a story (in any media: text, video, photography or audio) about life in Australia outside the major cities. Each Prize Winner will receive: i. the opportunity for their story to be produced for ABC Radio or for the Heywire website; and ii. an all-expenses paid trip to the Heywire Youth Issues Forum in Canberra in February 2018, including return economy airfares from the prize winner’s nearest capital city to Canberra, five night’s accommodation in Canberra, airport transfer costs and catering. Entries close September 16, 2017. Click here for further details.
OPEN The Katharine Susannah Prichard Fiction Awards: Four different competitions running in 2018. (20 years & under) – no entry fee. Ghost Story Competition: (Open to only WA residents) 8-18 years max. 500-words prose or 25 lines poetry. Entries close 14 July 2017. Memoir Competition: (Open to WA residents) Youth 10 – 18 years. Max 500-words. Entries close 15 September 2017. Short Fiction Award (Open nationally to Australian residents) Youth 10 – 18 years. Max 2000-words. Entries close: 1 September 2017. Poetry Award: (Open nationally to Australian residents) Youth 12 – 20 years. Max 50 lines.Prizes: Cash and publication for all competitions. For further details click here.
* Monash Short Story and SnapStory Competitions: This year there are two competitions running in conjunction with WordFest. (open to all members of the Monash community over the age of 12) WordFest Short Story Competition Category A (12-14 years) 1st Prize: $200 2nd Prize: $100 3rd Prize: $75 Category B (15-17 years) 1st Prize: $300 2nd Prize: $150 3rd Prize: $100.Closing date is 5 August 2017 at 4pm. WordFest SnapStory Competition is a celebration of visual storytelling and the relationship between photography and text. The theme for this year’s competition is: Directions. Category A (12-13 years) 1st Prize: $200 2nd Prize: $100 3rd Prize: $75 Category B (14-16 years) 1st Prize: $300 2nd Prize: $150 3rd Prize: $100 Category C (17-18 years) 1st Prize: $500 2nd Prize: $250 3rd Prize: $150. Closing date is 5 August 2017 at 4pm. Click here for further details.
* The Scribe Nonfiction Prize: For writers aged 30 and under writing longform work. Entries between 5,000 and 10,000 words across all nonfiction genres, including memoir, journalism, essay, and creative nonfiction. The winner, selected by Scribe Publications, receives: a cash prize of $3000, an editorial mentorship to develop their work for publication, a generous selection of new-release Scribe books tailored to their reading interests. Entries close 11:59pm on Sunday September 10, 2017. Click here for further details.
* The 2017 Somerset National Novella Writing Competition: Open to all Australian secondary school students. (Under 19yrs as at 2/12/2016) 8000-words min – 20,000-words max. Entry cost $20. Entries close 2 December 2016 at 5.00pm. State winners receive personalised advice on their winning manuscripts from Penguin Group (Australia). National winner receives a monetary prize of $2500 plus full editorial report from Penguin Group (Australia). Click here for further details.
* The 2017 Somerset National Poetry Prize: Junior Secondary – Years 7 to 9, Senior Secondary – Years 10 to 12. (Under 19 y/o as at 11/12/15) 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: 9 December 2016, 5.00p.m. Click here for further details.
* The 2017 Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition: Primary school students: preps to grade 6 ($30 / $20 / $10) Secondary school students: years 7-12 ($50 / $30 / $20). Closing Date: 1st September 2017. Click here for entry form and full terms and conditions.
* 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 19, 2017. Click here for further details.
* The Tim Winton Award for Young Writers is run yearly by the City of Subiaco and presented in August. (open to all Western Australian students aged between five and eighteen) Sections include: Lower, middle and upper primary, lower and upper secondary. Entries close Monday 26th June, 2017. Click here for further details.
* Write Around the Murray Nano Competition 2017: Write a story in 50 words exactly. Include the word ‘???????’. (Must reside within 150 km radius of Albury) Categories: Years 3-4, Years 5-6, Years 7-8. Open – all ages. First prize student categories: $50 book voucher. First prize open: $100 book voucher, Highly commended student category: $25 book voucher. Entries close 5.00pm, Wednesday 26 July 2017. Click here for further details and entry form.
* Write the World Mystery Writing Competition: Young writers 13-18 years. Length: 400-1,000 words. Best Entry: $100 (winning piece + author interview featured on Write the World’s website and blog) Runner up: $50 Best Peer Review: $50 (reviewer interview featured on Write the World’s website and blog) Submit by April 8th, 2017 (if in first 100 received) to receive feedback. The winning entry, plus the runner-up and best peer review. Entries close: 16th May, 2017. For further details click here.
* KSP Young Writers in Residence 2018: Two positions, eligible to writers up to the age of twenty-five years, full-time period of 2 weeks from Monday 12th February to 26th February, 2018. Please note that applicants should be 25 years or younger at the closing date of application. The residents will be given writing space and time to concentrate on, develop or complete a work in progress. Salary: $500.Click here for further details. Email Applications must before 5pm, Friday 25th August 2017.
* 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 2016 National Young Writers’ Festival.” Apply now. Applications close 31st March, 2017. Visit the website for further details.
OPEN National Young Writers Festival held Yearly: September 28 and October 1, 2017: 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.
* 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: 2 May, 2016. Click here for further details on the ASA website.
OPENS August 2017 The 2018 Kat Muscat Fellowship will be announced in August: The annual Kat Muscat Fellowship offers professional development up to the value of $3,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a young female-identifying or non-binary person. Run in conjunction with Express Media/Voiceworks. Click here for further details and link for once applications open.
SUBMISSIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED Visibility Fiction Website: Submissions now open: Quick Guidelines: Word count: 2000-5000 words, Genre: Any Young Adult fiction. Must have: Diverse protagonist/s. Payment: Under 18s – giftcard. Over 18s $10AUD per story. Also accept non-paid non-fiction. Click here for submission details.
[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: 11 September 2017