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.
Writing NSW and Text Publishing run the Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship for an unpublished Indigenous writer who has made substantial progress on a work of fiction or non-fiction. Applications close 23 November, 2020
The Patrick White Playwrights Award offers a cash prize for a full-length unproduced play of any genre. Also on offer, for an established playwright, is the Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship. Applications for both close on 23 November, 2020
Walker Books has an open call for unpublished kids and YA manuscripts, closing on 25 November, 2020
KIDS: ‘Female detectives’ is the theme of the TAF2020 Children’s Short Story Competition, for writers to age 16 (free entry), with book vouchers on offer for each age category winner. Entries close 29 November, 2020
Ireland-based Anthology Magazine seeks entries for its poetry contest (entry fee, cash prize + publication) on the subject ‘expectations’, closing 30 November, 2020
Joyce Parkes Women’s Writers’ Prize, for short prose in fiction or fact (cash prize, entry fee), closes 30 November, 2020
Sunspot Literary Journal is open to prose and poetry for its next issue (submission fee), closing 30 November, 2020
The Dusty Swag Awards seek poetry and short stories in youth and adult age categories (entry fees, cash prizes) centred on Australian themes, closing 30 November, 2020
Children’s author Jackie Hosking runs a competition for poetry for children (entry fee, prizes), closing 30 November, 2020
The Kill Your Darlings New Critic Award assists the development of an early-career critic across all art forms. Applications close 30 November, 2020
The Dorothy Hewett Award, open to unpublished works of fiction, narrative nonfiction or poetry, offers a cash prize and publication (entry fee). Applications close 30 November, 2020
YOUTH: Conversations with the Little Prince is a writing contest for those under 25 years old, with attendance at international festivals among the prizes. Entries close on 30 November, 2020
Irish publisher Fish offers its short story prize with a €3,000 first prize (entry fee), closing 30 November, 2020
Concrete Queers seeks pieces to 1,000 words by queer/questioning writers on the theme of ‘magic’, closing 30 November, 2020
The Copyright Agency-UTS New Writer’s Fellowship offers a $40,000 residency to a writer of fiction or non-fiction to work on their second or third book. Applications close 7 December, 2020
Varuna First Nations Fellowships offer accommodation, all meals, travel expenses and manuscript consultations for six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers from anywhere in Australia. Applications close 10 December, 2020
The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies presents the annual Colin Roderick Award (cash prize, entry fee) for the best original book, published in Australia during 2020 in any genre an in prose or verse, dealing with any aspect of Australian life. Closes 11 December, 2020
Griffith Review seeks essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories for issue 72: States of Mind. Closes 14 December, 2020
The Penguin Random House Literary Prize offers $20,000 and the opportunity to publish with PRH Australia. Entries close 15 December, 3030
Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize offers consultation and editing on an unpublished manuscript with a publishing option (80,000 words max., entry fee), closing 18 December, 2020
The Hal Porter Short Story Competition (entry fee, cash prize) closes 18 December, 2020
US publisher City Limits Publishing is publishing a short story collection titled Stories of Inspiration (entry fee, cash prizes, contributor copy), closing 30 December, 2020
Ireland-based The Moth Poetry Prize offers cash prizes and publication (entry fee), closing 31 December, 2020
Sunspot Literary Journal seeks poetry, prose and art on the theme of “endings” for its Culmination contest (entry fee, cash prize) closing 31 December, 2020
Victoria-based Curiouser Magazine seeks short fiction, flash fiction and poetry, closing 31 December, 2020
Seizure’s Viva La Novella contest offers two prizes – one reserved for a regional writer (free to enter, cash prize plus publication). Entries close 31 December, 2020
The Puncher & Wattmann First Poetry Book Prize (entry fee) is open to any Australian who has not yet published a full-length book of poetry, and offers a cash prize and publication. Entries close 31 December, 2020
The Kat Muscat Fellowship offers professional development up to the value of $5,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a young person (16-30 years) of an underrepresented gender. Applications close 10 January, 2021
US publisher City Limits Publishing is running a contest for love and romance poetry (entry fee, cash prizes, publication), closing 15 January, 2021
The ABR‘s Calibre Prize for essays of 2,000-5,000 words (entry fee, cash prizes) closes 15 January, 2021
Black Inc. seeks short non-fiction about growing up in rural Australia for an anthology, closing 22 January, 2021
Irish publisher Fish offers its short memoir prize with cash prizes and publication on offer (entry fee), closing 31 January, 2021
The inaugural SCWC Poetry Award seeks poems responding to the theme “every body”, and while the contest is run in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Wollongong Art Gallery, entries (entry fee, cash prizes, publication) do not have to respond that. Entries close on 1 February, 2021
The Marten Bequest Scholarships offer talented young artists, including poets and prose writers, the chance to explore, study and develop their artistic gifts through travelling either interstate and/or overseas. Applications close 2 February, 2021
The Kathleen Mitchell Award is presented biennially to the author, aged 30 or under, of an outstanding novel or novella to encourage advancement in their literary career. Entries close 2 February, 2021
The Dal Stivens Award is presented biennially to an author aged 30 or under, for a short story or essay of the highest literary merit. Entries close 2 February, 2021
Allen & Unwin’s Crime Fiction Prize offers publication and advance, closing 26 February, 2021
Irish publisher Fish offers its flash fiction prize with cash prizes and publication on offer (entry fee), closing 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
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 30 November, 2020
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
Ireland-based Anthology Magazine seeks entries for its short story contest (entry fee, cash prize + publication) on the subject ‘memories’, closing 31 July, 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.