For the benefit of our members (and the broader writing community), we’ve collected this list of current competitions and opportunities for you. Please note that we do not administer these competitions, and we can’t answer any questions you might have about them. Listings are provided in good faith. Please check conditions of entry.
Looking for children’s contests? Those exclusively for young writers are marked (KIDS), but others may include junior sections.
Allen & Unwin’s Crime Fiction Prize offers publication and advance, closing 26 February, 2021
KYD (Kill Your Darlings) is open to submissions from 11 January until 26 February, 2021, for its New Australian Writing anthology.
Irish publisher Fish offers its flash fiction prize with cash prizes and publication on offer (entry fee), closing 28 February, 2021
US-based Sunspot Literary Journal offers an Editor’s Prize of $50 for the annual edition (entry fee). It accepts flash, and stories and essays up to 49,000 words and poetry to 1250 lines. Translations welcome. Entries close 28 February, 2021
Aniko Press pays for work published in its magazine, with submissions for Issue 2 closing on 28 February, 2021
The Elyne Mitchell photo story competition combines an image with a 200-word story on the rural-based theme of ‘the gathering’ (entry fee, cash prize), closing 1 March, 2021
NEW: The deadline for Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund grants has been extended to 1 March 2021.
NEW: Windana is looking for writers who have experience helping people write and capture their story of recovery to work with residents of their therapeutic communities in Maryknoll and Ballarat. EOIs close 10 March, 2021
Griffith Review is running The long and the short of it: A new competition for emerging writers, a short prose contest (cash prizes, entry fee) for writers unpublished or with no more than one book published. It closes on 15 March, 2021
NEW: The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition (entry fee, cash prize, youth section) requires a quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to be used in the story, closing 15 March, 2021
NEW: The Peter Carey Short Story Award (entry fee, cash prize, publication) closes 18 March, 2021
NEW: Works on the theme of utopia are sought for Griffith Review 73: Hey, Utopia!, closing 25 March, 2021
NEW: The TCK Publishing Poetry Awards (entry fee) offers a cash prize and website publication to the winner, closing 31 March, 2021
The Ada Cambridge Writing Prizes for biographical fiction and poetry (entry fee, cash prizes) are open to writers who live in Victoria, and close 31 March, 2021
Irish publisher Fish offers its poetry prize with cash prizes and publication (entry fee), closing 31 March, 2021
Concrete Queers seeks pieces to 1,000 words by queer/questioning writers on the theme of ‘music’, closing 31 March, 2021
The UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing offers cash prizes and publication for short science-based non-fiction, closing 31 March, 2021
SunspotLit offers a cash prize in its Geminga: $500 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art competition (entry fee), closing 31 March, 2021
StoryLinks is running a short story contest (cash prize) seeking stories to 1,000 words for readers under 15, closing 2 April, 2021
NEW: The Ultimo Prize 2021 (cash prize, publication) seeks poetry and short fiction from writers aged 18-30 on the theme of ‘identity’, closing 8 April, 2021
US contest Imagine 2200: Climate fiction for future ancestors short story contest seeks short stories about what a regenerative future might look like (free entry, cash prizes). It closes 12 April, 2021
The Newcastle Short Story Award (cash prizes, entry fee) closes on 14 April, 2021
Hyades Magazine, a non-paying online production in the US, prioritises marginalised writers. Submissions close on 15 April, 2021
NEW: The Screenrights Cultural Fund offers grants to filmmakers working to the theme of ‘new teams’, closing 28 April, 2021
An anthology of ‘Blackfella Speculative Fiction‘, edited by Mykaela Saunders and to be published by UQ, is seeking submissions, closing 30 April, 2021
The Daisy Utemorrah Award, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, offers a cash prize and publication for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction. It closes on 30 April, 2021
NEW: The Poetica Christi poetry contest (cash prize, publication, entry fee), on the theme of ‘silver linings’, closes 30 April, 2021
NEW: The Furphy Literary Award (cash prizes, publication; includes youth section) seeks short stories about Australian life, closing 30 April, 2021
NEW: The Greens Essay Contest (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks essays on an issue underpinned by the ‘four pillars’ of the party’s philosophy, closing 1 May, 2021
The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize (cash prizes, entry fee) closes 3 May, 2021
NEW: The Best of Times Short Story Competition #30 (entry fee, cash prize) for humorous short fiction closed 15 May, 2021
NEW: The Hunter Writers Centre’s Grieve competition for poetry and short prose (entry fee, cash prizes) closes 26 May, 2021
The Bridport Creative Writing Competition, based in the UK, seeks poetry, short stories, flash fiction and first novel beginnings (cash prize, entry fee), closing 31 May, 2021
The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, for writers under 35, offers prize money and publication to the winner, and closes on 31 May, 2021
Ireland-based Anthology Magazine seeks entries for its short story contest (entry fee, cash prize + publication) on the subject ‘memories’, closing 31 July, 2021
Hawkeye Books runs the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition (entry fee, voucher prize, publication), closing 1 August, 2021
UK-based Aesthetica offers a cash prize and publication (entry fee) for its Creative Writing Award, closing 31 August, 2021
Aurealis magazine seeks speculative fiction, non-fiction, art, book reviews. Submissions close 30 September, 2021.
NEW: US-based Sunspot Literary Journal (entry fee, cash payment) is looking for pieces in all forms offering advice to writers, closing 31 October, 2021
Women with Disabilities Australia is looking for blog posts from women, girls and non-binary persons with disability that live in Australia, on the theme of leadership.
Allen & Unwin has founded a new imprint, JOAN, curated by writer, actor and director Nakkiah Lui, for ‘voices that get pushed to the fringes’.
The COVID-19 collective dream journal is looking for dreams and hallucinations experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. No payment, but collected accounts will be published. You can submit your experiences here.
The Australian Bush Poets Association run a calendar of bush poetry events for both written and performed bush poetry.
Ginninderra Press (accepts unsolicited manuscripts across a range of genres, please read their criteria carefully).
Wombat Books (accepts unsolicited manuscripts, submitting authors should be familiar with WB’s body of printed books).
Brow Books (the book publishing arm of The Lifted Brow) accepts submissions for non-fiction books.
LitMag is looking for fiction, poetry and non-fiction submissions (submission fees, paid).
Utterance journal is looking for female, trans and non-binary writers to submit poems and short non-fiction on their life. Submissions open monthly and are capped at 100 total, so keep an eye on this one.
Babyteeth journal is looking for a variety of content (including photography, scripts and illustrations). There is a small payment for contributors.
Transcollaborative is looking for people to help with a translation project (no second language required) (paid)
Furious Fiction begins on the first Friday of every month, there is a cash prize for the best story in the month.
Big Sky Publishing is open for finished non-fiction manuscripts.
The Archipelago is a new online journal exploring themes of migration, identity and decolonisation (limited payment) through prose, poetry and art.
[untitled] is open to submissions of short stories 300-5,0000 words
Science Write Now is a website promoting writing about science through the forms of fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction and poetry.
Stereo Stories seeks short memoir (800 words. max) centred on songs for publication on its website.
Write from the Heart runs a monthly, themed micro-fiction contest with the $2 entry fee being split between a charity and the prize pool.
Overland journal is paying for fiction in its print and online editions.
Right Now magazine is looking for pitches on written and multimedia works about human rights issues in Australia.
Penny Mint seeks experimental poetry, spoken word, essays, serialised fiction and more.
Frankie seeks interviews, rants, research pieces, photography projects and editorial illustrations.
Quadrant online seeks essays, literature, poetry and historical and political debate.
Arena (Online and Quarterly) seek commentary on emerging social and political issues.
Going Down Swinging journal seeks fiction, creative non-fiction, spoken word, commentary, essays, comics, poetry and experimental work.
Archer Magazine is open to pitches for articles and images about sexuality, gender and identity.
The Sydney Review of Books is open to pitches for non-fiction on contemporary literature and culture.
Sweaty City seeks writing about climate change and urban ecologies with a Sydney focus.