Writing loves a purpose. That purpose might be completing a chapter, a novel, or a picture book. It could be a copywriting assignment or proposal. Maybe even getting your 500 words (or 140 characters) for the day out of the way. Alternatively, it could also be the promise of cash and prizes!
So, for your consideration, here are a handful (actually, you may need a bag to carry them) of Australian-based competitions to have a crack at in the coming weeks and months. They’ve been listed in order of closing date, and as usual, we recommend reading the terms and conditions carefully on each respective site!
The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers
Closing soon: 14 August 2015
When Hachette’s CEO Matt Richell died suddenly last year, his family wanted to continue to support emerging writers as Matt did throughout his career. So, Hachette, The Guardian Australia, and the Emerging Writers’ Festival teamed up for this prize.
What is required: First three chapters and a synopsis for adult fiction or narrative non-fiction work, from an unpublished author.
What you can win: Top prize is an impressive $10,000 plus a 12-month mentorship with a Hachette publisher.
Lane Cove Literary Awards
Closing date: 26 August 2015
Another biggie with major categories in three disciplines – short story, theatre script, and poetry. It’s free to enter via email, but pay special attention to the conditions.
What is required: Short story (up to 3000 words), theatre script (10 minutes/30 pages), and poetry (up to 1000 words/50 lines). Unpublished works.
What you can win: Top prizes in the above categories are $2000, $2000 and $1500 respectively.
Boroondara Literary Awards
Closing date: 28 August 2015
These awards have been trucking along in rural Victoria since last century (well, 1999 is technically last century). The Open award is available to all Australian residents. (There is also a category for junior writers, but that’s only open to residents of the City of Boroondara.) You enter online, for free.
What is required: A short story between 1500 and 3000 words – previously unpublished.
What you can win: 1st $1500, 2nd $1000 and 3rd $500.
VU Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers
Closing date: 30 August 2015
The Overland Victoria University’s annual Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers is back. There is a cost to enter – $12 for subscribers and $20 for non-subscribers.
What is required: A short story of up to 3000 words.
What you can win: The winner walks away with a thumping $6000 in their pocket. Meanwhile, two runners up will each receive $1000 each and all three podium placers are published in the magazine Overland’s final 2015 issue.
The MPU International Poetry Competition 2015
Closing date: 6 September 2015
Hosted by the Melbourne Poets’ Union and in its 21st year, you’re invited to send in your very best poetry (unpublished). There is a fee for this one – $10 for your first or $25 for three.
What is required: Original poetry, no longer than 50 lines.
What you can win: First prize (the Leon Shann Award) is $1500.
Noosa Arts Theatre National One-Act Playwriting Competition
Closing date: 1 October 2015
This one is for the playwrights out there – with the top three plays being performed for an 11-run season at the 2016 Noosa Long Weekend Festival in July next year. (And you’ll also win some good cash too.) It’s $40 to enter and open to Australian and overseas writers.
What is required: A one-act play of between 30 and 45 minutes.
What you can win: Best play gets $5000, 2nd is $2000 and 3rd $1000. There’s also an Audience Choice Award.
Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition
Closing date: 1 October 2015
One for the non-fiction writers. This competition was launched in 2013 to honour the work and memory of the late Professor Gavin Mooney – a health economist and advocate for social justice. Open to anyone, anywhere, academics, writers or general public.
What is required: An essay of no more than 5000 words on the topic “In the digital era, whose voices are being heard?”. Printed (not electronic) and intended for reading by a general audience (not academic in nature).
What you can win: The winner receives $5000 and publication at online publication Inside Story, as well as possible compilation into an ebook of top essays.
Southern Cross Short Story Competition
Closing date: 16 October 2015
Hosted by Ballarat Writers Inc., this short story competition invites all writers residing in Australia to submit on an open theme, with winning stories announced and read at a presentation in November. $20 entry fee.
What is required: Up to 3000 words, open theme.
What you can win: First prize is $1500.
Odyssey House Victoria 5th Annual Short Story Competition
Closing date: 6 November 2015
This one’s open to all ages and experiences, with a $10 entry fee and a few theme restrictions.
What is required: Maximum 1500 words, with the theme “The Choices We Make” and the story to include reference to alcohol and/or drug use.
What you can win: First prize is $1000 and a 12 month membership to Writers Victoria.
So, get writing and get entering. You never know where your words could take you!
(And please note, this information was correct at the time of compiling this post and sourced from the competition sites – so ensure you check with the relevant terms and conditions.)