Now open – The Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year writing competition

Calling all primary school-aged children. Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand (OUPANZ) invites children across Australia to nominate their ‘Word of the Year’ and submit a short piece of writing based on that word. There are some great prizes up for grabs!

From the media release:

Primary school-aged children across Australia are invited to nominate their ‘Word of the Year’ and submit a short piece of free writing based on that word. The piece can be creative or factual, funny or serious – it’s up to the student.

The search comes as Oxford Dictionaries for Children this week announced its 2019 Children’s Word of the Year is ‘Brexit’. Brexit was identified as the Children’s Word of the Year not only because of its significant increase in use (a total rise of 464% since 2018) but also because of the political and social awareness that children demonstrated in their stories and the variety of contexts in which it was mentioned by entrants.

In the search for the Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year, a judging panel consisting of experts in children’s English language will evaluate writing pieces submitted by students, parents and teachers, based on a word’s popularity, use of the word in context, and frequency.

It is the third time the competition has been held in Australia. ‘Equality’ was named the winning word in 2017, and ‘creativity’ was Oxford Children’s Word of the Year in 2018.

OUPANZ Schools Publishing Director Lee Walker said the language used by primary school students revealed children’s engagement with current affairs.

“In past years we have been surprised by how aware Australian children are of what is happening in current affairs and politics, and I think the UK’s Children’s Word of the Year is clear evidence of that. Entries have drawn on themes of the environment and equality, as well as subjects that are closer to home, like family, friends, pets and sport.

“The Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year offers fascinating insight into the issues that are important to young people.”

OUPANZ has partnered with the Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA) for this year’s competition. PETAA and OUPANZ will provide resources and materials as part of more than $6,000 in prizes for winning schools and students. 

Want to take part?

Submissions close 20 September 2019.

For more information head to the OUPANZ website.


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