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.
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Daisy Utemorrah Award, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, offers a cash prize and publication for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction.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
The Poetica Christi poetry contest (cash prize, publication, entry fee), on the theme of ‘silver linings’, closes 30 April, 2021
The Furphy Literary Award (cash prizes, publication; includes youth section) seeks short stories about Australian life, closing 30 April, 2021
The 2021 Queensland Literary Awards are now open for nominations until 30 April, 2021
NEW: The Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks short fiction or non-fiction on the theme of disability in an Australian setting. Entries close on 30 April, 2021
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 Questions Writing Prize (free, cash prize, publication) for Australian writers 18 to 30 years accepts fiction and non-fiction, closing 1 May, 2021
The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize (cash prizes, entry fee) closes 3 May, 2021
The Neilma Sidney Myer Travel Fund offers grant to help workers in the literary industry, including writers, travel for professional development. Applications close on 4 May, 2021
The Writers Unleashed Picture Book Writing Competition (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks picture book manuscripts and closes 5 May, 2021
The Bristol Short Story Prize (entry fee, cash prizes, publication), based in the UK, closes 5 May, 2021
NEW: Catherine Bragg Poetry Award (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks poetry and short fiction in childrens and adults categories, closing 7 May, 2021. A short story contest runs concurrently, also closing 7 May.
NEW: Submissions to Cordite 102: Game close on 9 May, 2021
NEW: Queensland Writers Centre’s Publishable manuscript development contest for emerging writers closes 10 May, 2021
NEW: The Gloria Anderlini Memoir Competition (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks works to 5000 words, closing 13 May, 2021
The Best of Times Short Story Competition #30 (entry fee, cash prize) for humorous short fiction closed 15 May, 2021
The Eastwood/Hills Annual Literary Competition and Boree Log Poetry Competition (entry fee, cash prizes) close on 15 May, 2021
The RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize (cash prizes) seeks 10-minute scripts for short plays on the theme of biodiversity loss, closing 22 May, 2021
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
UK-based First Novel Prize (entry fee, cash prizes) seeks entries until 31 May, 2021
NEW: The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize (entry fee, cash prizes) closes 4 June, 2021
NEW: The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, for works published between 1 July, 2020, and 30 June, 2021, closes 14 June, 2021
NEW: The Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature are open until 30 June, 2021
NEW: Best of Australian Poems Vol 1 is open to submissions of poems written or published between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021, closing 30 June, 2021
NEW: The ACU Prize for Poetry (cash prizes, entry fee) seeks work on the theme of ‘resilience’ and closed on 5 July, 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
NEW: Submissions for the Children’s Peace Literature Award (entry fee, cash prizes), for a book published in the preceding two years that encourages peaceful resolutions and/or promotes peace, closes on 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.
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.
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has rolling grant opportunities for artists and organisations throughout the year.