Category: contest (Page 1 of 3)

The results of the Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2023

The winning entries of the 2023 Southern Cross Short Story Competition were announced at the Ballarat Writers members’ night on 29 November.

The successful entries were selected by judge Graeme Simsion from a long-list as selected by the reading committee from a pool of 95 entries. Graeme’s comments about the winners and entries are available to read here, and the winning entry here.

Congratulations to the winners, and all those who made the shortlist!

Winner ($1000): Maxwell Han: A Boy in a Raincoat and a Boy in a Bus Stop

First runner-up ($400): Janeen Samuel: Branch Lines

Second runner-up ($100): Nakita Kitson: Digging

Highly commendeds: “Over Your Souls” by Rebecca Higgie and “Summer’s Desire” by Shelley Dark.

Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2023 – Judge’s Report

Graeme Simsion

Thank you for the opportunity to read the twenty-one shortlisted entries in the above competition and for entrusting me with the responsibility of judging them.

First, by the standards of competitions I’ve been involved in before, this was a strong collection. While the intents and styles differed, the writing was consistently assured, and, I sensed, had benefited from careful revision and editing. Any criticisms should be taken in that context.

Selecting the winner, place-getters and highly-commended entries was difficult, and necessarily subjective. I suspect that if there had been multiple judges, we would have found it easy to agree on the ten best stories, but would have had plenty of debate as to the order in which to place them.

On first read, I rated the stories on each of four criteria: quality of prose, story, originality and engagement – incorporating other factors such as character and sense of place under those headings.

I did not consider fidelity to the theme tracks of desire. I assumed the pre-readers would have confirmed that hurdle had been cleared, but generally it seemed to have been addressed – sometimes fundamentally, sometimes cleverly, sometimes as a box-check!

I returned to the stories some time later and flagged those which had stayed with me –  another criterion to consider. I ended up with a short-short list of seven stories, which I re-read and reflected on before making final choices.

As noted earlier, the prose was consistently of a high standard.

Most stories had a strong sense of place and period, from seventeenth century London to Italy to the street where I live. The descriptions of physical environment featured some of the best writing, and were overall stronger than those of character. Emotions were vivid on the page; motivation sometimes less clear.

The best stories had a good balance of ‘show’ and ‘tell’, some of the less successful ones could have used more dialogue and action. No surprise there for writing teachers!

It was in the domain of story that writers took advantage of the convention that short stories need not follow the beginning-middle-end structures of popular fiction. But I felt that overall, the storytelling, in the broadest sense of how events and revelations unfolded, was not as developed as the prose: the authors hadn’t always realised the full potential of some promising ideas.

Several of the stories alternated between two situations (one past, one present), an entirely workable structure, but there was often room for clearer causal or thematic links between the two threads.

The old-fashioned twist is still alive though not necessarily well. To work effectively, it needs to change the reader’s understanding of and response to what has gone before in a fundamental way. In several cases, the ‘reveal’ was of something less central with correspondingly less impact. Indeed, few of the stories hit me with an emotional punch; their power was steady rather than sudden.

Originality lay largely in the choice of subjects. Prose and structure were consistently familiar rather than experimental or confronting, and there was little that was attention-seeking or distracting.

A couple of stories ventured into non-literal territory, but there were guideposts for readers. The overwhelming majority of the writing would have sat comfortably in a mainstream novel.

Which is also to say that most authors did not take advantage of the short-story format to experiment with styles that the reader might find tiring in a longer work. About half the stories were written in present tense and about half in first-person, and a couple chose omniscient points of view. But not much to scare the horses.

‘Desire’ was predominantly sexual and the sexuality conventionally straight or gay male (which was well represented). Within that, there were a couple of quite distinct voices and unusual settings. Unfortunately, the most original ideas didn’t correspond with the strongest execution.

I included ‘engagement’ as a catch-all for how interested I was, how much I wanted to keep reading and what impact the story might have on me – and, by extension, other readers. Most of these stories were easy and, yes, engaging, to read, and, as noted earlier, the styles would happily lend themselves to full-length novels.

My involvement in the stories was mostly emotional rather than intellectual; I tended to finish with a feeling rather than something to think about. And emotionally, there was definitely more ‘down’ than ‘up’ – not a lot of happy endings! Writers sometimes forget the emotional power of an instance of human kindness or decency in an otherwise grim scenario. And humour, even in the form of a wry observation, was thin on the ground.

When I returned to the stories, there were five that had stayed with me more than the others. It’s perhaps interesting that they were already all in my short-short list.


The Winner: A Boy in a Raincoat and a Boy in a Bus Stop.

The most demanding of the stories, and the most rewarding to read a second time. A finely controlled piece which explores connection and disconnection and alternates deftly between the allegorical and the literal, and between authorial and character points of view. As much about what it evokes as what it says.

Second:  Branch Lines

Assured writing that would be at home in a contemporary novel of family life. The narrator’s desire to know her history is ever-present but elegantly understated. The sharp but not showy observation of place and character lift it above the ordinary.

Third: Digging

The strongest conventional storytelling: two stories linked by the central character. One gives us a powerful description of place and physical jeopardy; the other, memorable characters and emotional conflict.

Highly Commended

Over Your Souls
Summer’s Desire

A boy in a raincoat and a boy in a bus-stop

by Maxwell Han.

Winner of the BWI Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2023

There is a boy in a bus-stop. Let’s call him the-boy-in-the-bus-stop. He waits for a bus that never comes. The waiting is the best part.

There is a boy in a raincoat. Let’s call him the-boy-in-the-raincoat. He stands beside the bus-stop, pretending not to watch the boy inside. The watching is the best part.

Because there is so nothing to see in this summertime stasis. Sunburnt tiles. Skateboards struggling to roll through the thick, humid air. The wildlife of modern suburbia – dogs, cats, girls, all endangered species – dying of thirst in every cul-de-sac, every driveway, every hollowed-out house. Boys with banged up knees flirting with death, with each other. There is nothing to see, but the-boy-in-the-bus-stop.

The bus-stop boy doesn’t like being watched. He prefers to be pretentious alone. “Did you want something?” he asks as the eleventh minute ticks by.

“Many things,” the raincoat boy says. He yawns out to give off a veneer of nonchalance but, really, he’s enthralled. Finally!

“Like what?”

“Summer, maybe.”

“It is summer.” The heat is a living thing. A tumour, malignant. An invasive species, eating away at the cool until there’s only this residential desert left behind. The daylight darts after him like an apex predator and his only escape from the sun’s scowl is the shade of the bus-stop.

“No, it’s not.”

“It is. Look.” The raincoat-boy flaps his arm, the bright yellow sleeves swishing so hard it provides the first cool wind the bus-stop boy’s felt in ages.

No, it isn’t. The bus-stop boy doesn’t even bother to look.


The next day, the bus-stop boy returns. Let’s call him Sai. He’s waiting again for that bus that never comes. Sometimes, he imagines it – as yellow and hot as everything else in this town – coming to a stop right in front of him. The bus driver tells him that it’s going far away, and it’s not coming back.

The boy in the raincoat returns. Let’s call him Oliver. He’s watching again, keen for another conversation. It isn’t every day that you find something that’s actually living in this place.

“You again,” Sai says, without looking Oliver’s way. The bus shelter was his hiding place, his respite. Here, the heat hounds after you. It’s every boy for himself.

“It’s raining again.”

“It’s not.” If only!

“It is.”

“Prove it.”

Sai shifts on the silver seat a little to make room for Oliver, who stomps his way over. Sai wants to tell him to shush; the heat will hear them.

Now there are two boys in the bus-stop.

“Well,” Oliver says.

Sai turns to him.

“Take my hand.”


“C’mon. Take my hand.”

He tugs at Sai, who stumbles after him, and they step onto the road.

At first, it’s just a droplet. Sai gasps at the unwelcome sensation, a slight prickle on the back of his neck. He instinctively touches it, ghosting the injured area with his free hand. He brings it up to his face, expecting to be stained with the red of blood.

He casts his eyes skyward. The sun sets like a lover not wanting to leave — but when she finally disappears a thousand clouds take her place. Thunderclaps like applause echo in the distance. Lightning illuminates the blackening world. Then, it really begins. Rain like he’s never seen before begins to wash over him in rounds, as if heaven is shooting harmless gunfire. Maybe this is how the Flood began. The deluge showers over him in cascades until the downpour is no longer distinguishable from the deep. He’s drowning in it, but now he can finally breathe.

“It’s extraordinary!” says Sai over the roar of the rainstorm, feeling its lashes against his flesh.

“Don’t you have a raincoat at home?”

“…No, I don’t.”

“OK. Wear mine.” Oliver’s already shrugging it off.

Sai’s scowl deepens. “I’m not wearing your stupid raincoat!”

“OK then.”

Oliver discards his raincoat anyway, tossing the ugly thing on the drenched concrete and watching it get washed away in the torrent. Oliver gives Sai a small smile, like a gift.

Now they aren’t boys in bus-stops or in raincoats. They are just boys.


Let’s say these just-boys become just-best-friends. Let’s say it comes as easily as the pavement catches the rain, or as the stars give the night kisses, or as a raincoat gets lost in an ocean. It comes to them like the raindrops do every time Sai’s hand touches Oliver’s. A daily deluge. A stormy sanctuary. It comes to them like they come to explore different places in their town, leaving muddy footprints in their wakes. Sai has never seen the town like this – roofs leaking like every house is crying of laughter, pruned bushes in perfect front yards carried away by the sea, silent streets suddenly full of the drumbeat of rainfall.

They fall into patterns, and Sai wants to fall faster. They meet every day at the bus-stop, but not inside it. They walk hand-in-hand through puddle after puddle, talking about everything and nothing. Sometimes, where the water is particularly deep, they have to swim together and it’s terribly awkward and they keep knocking into one another but they’re laughing the entire time. Sai comes to dread when the sun comes up and he has to let go.


Sometimes, they are boys in trouble. One day, Sai’s not there.

Oliver’s surprised. Neither Sai nor Oliver have ever been late before. If anything, they come early, like how in winter the moon arrives prematurely because she’s too excited for night-time. Oliver waits for a little while, squatting in the storm, and counts for ten lightning strikes. On the eleventh, he leaps up and goes looking for his best friend.

Oliver knows where to go, of course. As best friends, they know each other better than anyone else does. Oliver knows Sai pretends he doesn’t want a raincoat, but really it would help with the weather sometimes; Oliver also knows Sai likes to think he’s a fan of waiting, but really he’s an impatient bastard; and Oliver knows Sai’s house address, but also know he’s not allowed to visit. Every step squelches. Every raindrop rings out. It feels strange to walk these streets with no one by your side, chatting in your ear.

On the way, Oliver notices something bright sticking out of a gutter, so stark because of the dreary weather. He bounds towards it – it’s his raincoat! He wonders whether he should pick it up or not. Oliver’s fine with the rain; he doesn’t need a raincoat anymore but perhaps Sai can have it, and then he won’t forget to meet at the bus-stop anymore.

When Oliver gets to Sai’s house, smaller and shoddier than the rest, he doesn’t hesitate to knock. A man opens up the door, but only a little so Oliver can barely see inside. Like everyone else’s in this town, the man’s face is hard to make out.

“Who are you?” His voice is monotone.

Oliver blinks. “You must be Sai’s dad. I’m Oliver.”


Oliver bristles. “Sai’s best friend.”

The man makes a low sound. “Sai,” he calls. “Someone’s here for you.”

After a few moments, Oliver hears footsteps. The man opens the door a little wider, so that Oliver can see Sai, who looks so small next to his father.


“…Oliver. Now’s not a good time.”

“You didn’t come today.”

“It’s too hot outside.” The man frowns down at Oliver. “Sai will get sunburnt.”

“The sun’s not even out. It’s raining,” Oliver says, laughing even if the man’s frown deepens. Oliver waves the raincoat in the air, getting water everywhere. “Tell him, Sai. Tell him it’s raining.”

Sai can’t meet his watery eyes.

“I think you should go,” says the man. This time, Oliver agrees.


Now, they are boys in a spat.

When Sai finally musters the courage to leave his house and look for Oliver, he regrets it immediately. Every step on the red-hot concrete burns the soles of his feet. The sun beats down at him like a divine punishment, like the flaming eye of God glaring at him and Sai can’t glare back. The heat has caught up to him, a living beast that has now evolved to hound at him every chance it gets.

Sai is about to burst into flames.

Look, what was Oliver thinking, showing up to his house like that? Oliver knows what Sai’s family is like; they’ve spent entire rainstorms talking about it. Oliver is lucky, Sai thinks, luckier than he’ll ever be. Oliver gets raincoats; Oliver gets the rain. What does Sai get?

Third-degree-burns, if he doesn’t get back inside.

In any case, why’s he bothering to look for Oliver? It’s too bright out anyways – even a celestial being like Oliver can’t be made out in this blindingly-white town. Even if Oliver were to put that awful raincoat on, summertime has metastasised and spread to Sai’s eyes, a myopia blocking out all else. The heat is relentless; the rain is nowhere to be found.

But can it be?

It’s always raining, isn’t it? Not just for Oliver, or for Sai. Some things just are, like the need to breathe, or the ticking of time. Sai breathes. Time passes. It rains.

And just like the first time he felt it, he gasps when the first drop touches him. His gasps turn into laughter as the sun dies and the sky blackens and the world floods. Rain cleanses his eyes and his feet, and his arms still have those burns, but they’ll fade. He turns his face upward and drinks in the torrent, so much so that he chokes and begins to drown in it – but instead of sinking, he ascends.

And when he submerges, there’s Oliver, his second sun, outshining anything else in the town. More surprisingly, there’s a bus at the bus-stop, the one he’s been waiting for all this time. Its wheels have tracked desire all over the muddy road; its engine thrums with the magic of something more.

“You know,” says Oliver, “I think it’s been waiting for you.”

Sai believes it.

“Well?” Oliver grins. “Are you getting on?”

Sai smiles back.

Now they are boys in a bus, but soon enough they will be somewhere else. Who knows where they’ll be, where that bus will take them? But perhaps it doesn’t matter where they are – just who they are.

Pamela Miller Prize 2023 Winning Story

The Artist

by Nicole Kelly

Her hands are assured and confident. A skilled professional. 

“An artist for the modern world—truly exceptional” – The Age 

His skin is soft and doughy in her hands. He is a monster of a man, but his bulk seems less imposing now he lays prostrate on the studio floor, leaking into every corner of her tiny room. This is the place where she feels capable—not scared and cowering.  

The stark white of his nakedness catches the golden glow of the moonlight from outside, which streams through the window, lighting her work.  

 “What Mallard can do with a piece of lino is astounding. Her cuts are sharp and clean; the resulting pieces have both imagination and darkness. – The Art Review 

The small scalpel resting in her hand is her favourite, handle smooth from use. She uses the familiar blade to create the distinct, intricate patterns in hard linoleum squares. Swift, sure cuts to make thick, intersecting lines.  

“Mallard’s designs are sharp, witty and astute. Just when you think you know her work, she turns it, and you, on your head.” – H. Golding (Reviewer) 

Her artist’s mind opens her to the exquisite beauty around her. A dawn sky greeting her after a night of frenetic creation. The same shades of pink and purple which he patterned across the tops of her arms when she said she would leave.  

He had stolen her voice. Left her to only speak through her work. So now he is her canvas. 

“Mallard is an expert in making us feel. Feel something. Feel anything. Feel everything.” – National Gallery 

She reaches her hands deep into his chest cavity. The space she has opened in her husband, expecting to find only emptiness. She cradles the lump of muscle which had once drummed the rhythm of life in his chest. Each beat of his heart marking time, as his fists slammed into her in a syncopated tempo.  

‘There is both fragility and strength in Mallard’s pieces. When you see the strength of her lines contrasting with the whimsical nature of her prints.’ – Art Links Magazine 

They were the inverse of each other. Her and him. She had loved his strength and he her fragility. Until her own strength emerged, growing more potent with every success. His fear drove him to hold on tighter. Until his hands became a noose around her neck.  

 “In her hands, everything is art.” – Art Monthly 

She dips her finger in the sticky liquid, thick as honey. Scrawls her initials across the bare wall above where he lay. She smiles. No matter their reviews, the world will be sure that she is the artist. 

Something Overhead

by Roland Renyi

Winner of the 2022 Pamela Miller Prize

Coffee in hand, Richard climbed up to his and Ruth’s bedroom in time for the weekly web team meeting that he chaired. He could feel the stillness of the house now that Ruth and the kids had gone for the day.

Across from the open bedroom window a skylark was trilling and coming from overhead was the almost continuous sound of the planes on their approach to the airport. They made him think of Danylo and whatever might be in the skies above him.

He looked at his monitor, strategically placed so that their bed was out of view, and sipped his coffee. He and Ruth had bought a Krups coffee maker right after the kitchen units had been put in, a funky one that actually hissed as the steam escaped. Now they had temporarily run out of money to finish off the kitchen floor. But if he was going to work from home, he was going to drink good coffee.

Brita called in just ahead of time. Sometimes he could hear church bells from the square outside her apartment in Verona.  ‘Richard,’ she said in a scolding voice, her Italian accent emphasising the second half of his name, ‘I told you not to cut your hair like that. I can’t believe that Ruth would find that sexy.’

‘Lockdown’ said Richard protectively. ‘I got used to cutting it myself. And we’re budgeting. The kitchen floor, remember.’

George’s round face popped up from his shared house in Kelowna, British Columbia. He had once told Richard that his window looked across a lake towards sloping vines. Consequently, Richard had put him under orders to place his laptop opposite a blank wall.

‘Danylo?’ asked Brita.

They had all been following the news, but Danylo’s one condition for remaining on the project team was that it was not to be discussed.

‘We’ll give him another minute’ said Richard. ‘So. Cucumber or strawberries? Aside from lemon. Which goes better with gin and tonic?’

The consensus so far was that cucumber was better with Kendricks while strawberry worked with Gordons.

Richard exhaled when he heard the ping of Danylo’s login. He looked just the same, with his pointed beard, square glasses and shaved head, a typical web designer. He was calling from what looked like a high-tech designer office, recessed lights, potted plants and abstract paintings on the wall. A bottle of Kendricks was on the shelf behind him, next to a bowl filled with limes, cucumber and strawberries.

Then with a jolt Richard realised the obvious, that the background was completely fake; a digital dream constructed by their Ukranian colleague Danylo, who had never missed a call.

‘Sorry to be late’ he said. ‘There was something…’ then Richard heard the tremor in his voice ‘…There was something overhead. But we have internet. And it’s cucumber, guys. Always cucumber.’

‘Well, that’s great – really, Danylo’ said Richard. ‘Now, there’s a problem with the functionality of table 17. Shall we start with that?’

The 2022 Pamela Miller Prize

It’s that time of the year again with the Pamela Miller Prize, our annual flash fiction competition.

The winner of the Pamela Miller Prize will receive a certificate and $100 first prize, as well as publication in the Ballarat Writers newsletter and website. The winner will be announced at the Ballarat Writers July members’ night. 

The Pamela Miller Prize first ran in 2015, in memory of Pamela Miller, who was a very active and productive member of Ballarat Writers. She was a writer of short stories and poetry, and won the short story competition with ‘Murder at MADE’ in 2014. Early in 2015, Pamela wrote a very popular poem called ‘Bronze Heads—The Prime Minister’s Walk’ as part of a Ballarat Writers project during the Begonia Festival.

Entries open: Sunday 1st May

Entries close: Wednesday 1st June

Ballarat Writers is accepting fictional prose entries of up to 500 words on the theme Something Overhead. Entry is free. 

This is limited to members of Ballarat Writers, so make sure you’ve joined or renewed your membership!

All entries must:

  • be original and unpublished
  • be written by a current member of Ballarat Writers (committee members are not allowed to enter)
  • engage with the theme Something Overhead, and be 500 words in length or less (not including the title
  • be sent to with the subject line, ‘2022 Pamela Miller Prize Entry’

As the competition will be a blind judging, please do not include your name or contact details on the entry. 

You can read more about the Pamela Miller prize here.

Good luck and happy writing!

The results of the Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2021

The winning entries of the 2021 Southern Cross Short Story Competition were announced at the Ballarat Writers members’ night on 24 November.

The successful entries were selected by judge Julie Koh from a shortlist provided by a panel. Julie’s comments about the winners and entries are available to read here and the winning entry here.

Congratulations to the winners, and all those who made the shortlist!

Winner ($1000): ‘Wheeler’ by Benjamin Forbes

First runner-up ($400): ‘Epilogue’ by Rosemary Stride

Second runner-up ($100): ‘How To Leave Your Childhood Behind’ by Ros Thomas

Highly commendeds: ‘Dogs’ by Timothy Loveday; ‘The Cakemaker’ by David Campbell

Southern Cross Short Story Competition shortlist announced

Ballarat Writers is excited to announce the final shortlist for the Southern Cross Short Story Competition. These final 12 stories were chosen from an initial 215 entries, which is a magnificent achievement.

Judge Julie Koh is working hard to decide a winner from this strong bunch of stories. Winners will be announced at the Ballarat Writers’ November meeting on Wednesday the 24th. This is scheduled to be held at the Bunch of Grapes hotel in Pleasant Street, Ballarat, from 7.30pm.

Congratulations to the shortlisted writers, in no particular order:

Body Parts by Helga Jermy

How To Leave Your Childhood Behind by Ros Thomas

Millie Lorraine by Josephine Sarvaas

The Cakemaker by David Campbell

Dogs by Timothy Loveday

Orbit by Jake Dean

Listing by Ian Reid

Epilogue by Rosemary Stride

Be Your Own Hero by Vicky Daddo

Driving by Christine Kearney

Feeling Through The Blue by Taylor Mitchell

Wheeler by Benjamin Forbes

Southern Cross Short Story Competition longlist

The Southern Cross Short Story Competition, run by Ballarat Writers Inc., closed on September 30. Writers were asked to submit up to 3000 words on the theme Turning Away.

We had an impressive 215 entries for the competition! They came from every corner of the country and as far away as the UK and South Africa, with a huge diversity in the types of stories submitted. Competition readers were impressed by the depth of writing talent, so long-listing in a such a competitive contest is a credit to these writers.

Congratulations to the final 20 long-listed submissions. These will be short-listed and announced in the lead-up to our 24 November meeting at which the results will be declared. Judge Julie Koh will have the enviable task of selecting the winner. She will also be awarding prizes for second and third place, as well as two Highly Commended certificates.

The longlist is, in no particular order:

The Cakemaker by David Campbell
Dogs by Timothy Loveday
Be Your Own Hero by Vicky Daddo
Driving by Christine Kearney
Body Parts by Helga Jermy
Dreams of Police by Tobias Barnfield
Millie Lorraine by Josephine Sarvaas
Orbit by Jake Dean
Listing by Ian Reid
The Look of Love by Elizabeth Egan
The Hard Saying by Samuel Medley
Wheeler by Benjamin Forbes
The House Three Houses To The Left by Ivana Crol
How To Spot a Bruise On a Diamond by Paulette Smythe
Turning Away by Roland Renyi
Epilogue by Rosemary Stride
Feeling Through The Blue by Taylor Mitchell
How To Leave Your Childhood Behind by Ros Thomas
I Will Not Become You Brittney Crellin
Whole by Cynthia Fenton

Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2021

Ballarat Writers Inc. (BWI) invites writers to enter the 2021 Southern Cross Short Story Competition.

Opening date:            1 August, 2021

Closing date:              30 September, 2021

Short stories to 3000 words on the theme, TURNING AWAY.

First prize –                $1000 AUD

Second Prize –          $400 AUD

Third Prize –              $100 AUD

Two Highly Commended certificates will also be awarded.

To be announced November 2021

Entry Fee to be paid online at:

Ballarat Writers Inc is a non-profit organisation, Incorporation No. A001874SK


Julie is the author of two short-story collections. Her full-length collection Portable Curiosities was shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2016 and the Queensland Literary Awards – Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award 2016. Portable Curiosities was one of The Guardian’s Best Australian Books of 2016.

Julie’s short stories have appeared in many publications, including The Best Australian Stories in 2014 to 2017, Best Australian Comedy Writing, The Sleepers Almanac 7 to X, The Canary Press, Liminal, Meanjin and The Lifted Brow. 

She judged the 2017 Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing, Writing NSW’s Varuna Fellowships 2017, the Sweatshop Youth Week Writing Competition 2018, the 2018 Stella Prize, the 2018 Woollahra Digital Literary Award – Flash and Short Fiction, and the 2019 Liminal Fiction Prize.

More at


The winning stories will be announced at an award presentation in Ballarat in November 2021. The full results and judge’s report will be published on the Ballarat Writers Inc website in December 2021.


  1. Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 years as of 1 August, 2021
  2. Entries must be NOT MORE THAN 3000 words including the title
  3. All entries must have a title
  4. Entries must be the original work of the applicant
  5. Entries must not have been published anywhere, broadcast, or won a prize in any competition
  6. Entry fee for non-BWI members is AUD$20 per story/entry
  7. Entry fee for BWI members is AUD$15 per story/entry
  8. Entrants may submit up to three entries, each at the specified entry fee
  9. The entry fee is payable online by credit card before midnight on the closing date 30 September 2021 – refer to submission instructions below
  10. Entries must be emailed to the email address below, before midnight on the closing date 30 September 2021 – refer to submission instructions below
  11. All entries to be in English, double-spaced and using the standard 12 point font ‘Times New Roman
  12. Entrant’s name must not appear on/in the story
  13. Fees will not be refunded
  14. No corrections will be accepted, or correspondence entered into
  15. Results will be announced on the website: in December 2021
  16. Copyright remains with the author
  17. The judge’s decision is final
  18. Neither the BW Competitions Co-ordinator nor any person involved in pre-reading or judging of entries may enter.

N.B. By submitting an entry, or entries, to this competition, you give permission for your work to be published in part or in full on the Ballarat Writers Inc website, and/or in any Ballarat Writers Inc publications, and you further agree and declare that the work submitted is your own original work and has not been copied in part or in full from any other source.


The 2021 submission process has two parts:

  1. PAY the entry fee online by credit card through Trybooking. A booking fee of 50 cents applies to each entry. See below for the payment website.
  2. EMAIL your story to the email address below ( Save your story as a PDF file, and attach it to your email. In the subject title of your email, put ‘Southern Cross Competition 2021’. In the body of the email, include your full name and address, the title of the story and the word count. The email address by which you submit your entry will be the email address we use to contact you if necessary.

Both parts above must have been completed before midnight on the closing date 30 September, 2021.

Failure to follow/abide by any of the stated rules may make your entry, or entries, ineligible.

PAY fee online at:
EMAIL  story to:


Competition website:

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