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 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature are open until 30 June, 2021
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
The Wyndham Writing Awards, for Victorian residents aged 18 and over, seeks short stories, poetry and flash (cash prizes) by 30 June, 2021
The Society of Women Writers NSW’s biennial writing competition (entry fee, cash prizes) is open to female writers of short fiction and nonfiction and poetry. It closes on 30 June, 2021
US-based CRAFT First Chapters Contest (entry fee, cash prizes, publication) seeks excerpts to 5,000 words, and closes on 30 June, 2021
Ireland-based Moth magazine’s Short Story Prize (entry fee, ash prizes) closes 30 June, 2021
The 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature close on 30 June, 2021
The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize (cash prizes, publication), for First Nations writers and writers of colour, has a theme of ‘archive’ and closes on 1 July, 2021
The SD Harvey Short Crime Story Award accepts fiction and non-fiction, published or unpublished (entry fee), until 1 July, 2021
Carclew Fellowships offer financial support to emerging cultural and creative artists and arts workers aged 26 and under. Applications close on 1 July, 2021
Adelaide Plains Poets Poetry Competition (entry fee, cash prizes) has youth and open sections, closing 2 July, 2021
The ACU Prize for Poetry (cash prizes, entry fee) seeks work on the theme of ‘resilience’ and closed on 5 July, 2021
The Richell Prize (cash prize, mentoring) is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction, closing 9 July, 2021
The US-based Fractured Lit flash fiction prize (entry fee, cash prize, publication) closes on 18 July, 2021
The AlburyCity Short Story Award (entry fee, cash prize) closes on 26 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
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
The Port Writers Open Literary Competition seeks short fiction, non-fiction and poetry (entry fee, cash prizes) by 31 July, 2021
The Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program (entry fee) for writers of YA, middle grade and picture books offers five hours of mentorship from fiction specialist and former editor and publisher Cathie Tasker. It 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
Applications for the Peter Blazey Fellowship, for writers in the non-fiction fields of biography, autobiography and life writing, close on 2 August, 2021
The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers seeks fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry from secondary school-aged students (cash prizes), closing 12 August, 2021
The Boroondara Literary Awards includes an open section (cash prizes) for prose, closing 27 August, 2021
UK-based Aesthetica offers a cash prize and publication (entry fee) for its Creative Writing Award, closing 31 August, 2021
The Scarlett Stiletto Awards (entry fee, cash prizes) will be closing on 31 August, 2021
Aurealis magazine seeks speculative fiction, non-fiction, art, book reviews. Submissions close 30 September, 2021.
The VI International Short Tales Contest (cash prizes, online entry only) accepts stories to 100 words and closes on 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.
US-based Sunspot Literary Journal offers a $35 Editor’s Prize for every digital edition, a $50 Editor’s Prize for the annual print edition, and pays for artwork selected for a cover. It accepts flash, stories, essays and memoir up to 49,000 words, poetry and art. Translations welcome.