WRITING COMPETITIONS 2021
Listed below are upcoming competitions that you might like to enter. They are listed by submission closing date, not when the competition is open.
Please read all instructions and entry requirements.
A new climate-fiction contest by Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. What we’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What we’re offering: $8,700 in prizes, publication, and a reason to stay hopeful.
Entry is free!
The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world.
Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
Submissions must be short, fictional stories, between 3,000–5,000 words.
Closing Date: 12 April 2021
2021 Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition
Open Prizes: 1st prize – $200, 2nd prize – $100, 3rd prize – $50, plus 4 x Highly Commended and 4 x Commended certificates
No of words: 600 words maximum per story
Entry Fee: $10
Closing Date: 16 April 2021 at 11:59 PM (AWST)
2021 Sutherland Shire Literary Competition
The competition is open to individuals 18 years and over.
Eligible entrants are invited to submit their individual, original works in the following categories: Rhyming verse (max 80 lines), Free verse (max 80 lines), Short story (max 2,000 words).
Major prizes offered in each category are: 1st Prize: $1,000 2nd Prize: $500
Entry Fee: $15.00 per poem/story
Closing Date: 19 April 2021
Banjo Patterson Writing Awards 2021
CATEGORY – Short Story
• Entry Fee – $15 per entry
• First Prize only – $2,000
• Must not exceed 3,000 words
Closing Date: 5.00pm Friday 23 April 2021
Website for Entry Forms: http://www.cwl.nsw.gov.au/
The Valerie Parv Award
Opens on: 5/04/2021
Open to: RWAustralia members and non-members
Theme: Romance/Romantic elements
Size: 10,000 plus 1,000 word synopsis
Entry Fee: $110, $44 for RWA members
Prizes: First: 1 year mentorship with Valerie Parv
Closing Date: 26 April 2021
Furphy Story – Open Short Story Competition
Theme: Australian Life in all its diversity
Length: Not more than 5,000 words
Reward: Prize Money: 1st Prize – $15,000, 2nd Prize – $3,000, 3rd Prize – $2,000
LaTrobe University Shepparton Residency*, Publication of selected works in annual publication
Competition commences: February 1st 2021
Closing date: 30 April 2021
Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award (The Burbidge Prize)
The prize offers $500 prize money for a short story of 3000 words or less on the theme of disability in an Australian setting. The prize is open to all writers in Australia.
From 2021, the Burbidge Prize will be offered as part of the Williamstown Literary Festival suite of writing awards.
Entries open on 28 February
Closing Date: 30 April 2021
Winning Writers – Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. Judge: Dennis Norris II, assisted by Mina Manchester. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished. Length limit: 6,000 words maximum. No restriction on age of author.
First Prize, $3,000 USD
Closing Date: 30 April 2021
Questions Writing Prize
Open to: Australian, 18 – 30 years
Accepts: Fiction or Non-fiction
Size: 1,500 – 2,000 words
Entry Fee: Nil
Prize: First: $2,000
Closing Date: 1 May 2021
STORYBOX is inviting storytellers and future dreamers to share their imaginary vision of a Sydney that has learned to care for people and planet, as part of the Vivid Festival (6-28 August).
Share your vision in less than 100 words and see your words light up on STORYBOX.
For more information, go to storybox.co/climatefutures
Storybox are still taking submissions for Storybox Darling Harbour: storybox.co/tinystories
We are still taking submissions for Storybox Parramatta storybox.co/tinystories-all
They are keen for people’s perspectives of ‘place’ related to Sydney, and what this means to them, their attachment to it, their stories of it, past, present and the future they would like to see.
2021 CRAFT Short Fiction Prize
Winner: $2,000 award and a subscription to Journal of the Month
Runners-up: $500 award and $300 award respectively for the second and third place finalists
Publication of the top three stories in CRAFT, each with an introduction by the guest judge
CRAFT Short Fiction Prize submissions are open to all fiction writers. International submissions are welcome
Short fiction only
5,000 word count maximum
$20 USD entry fee per submission
Closing Date: 2 May 2021
2021 ABR (Australian Book Review) Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
The Jolley Prize is open to all short story writers writing in English. We seek original short stories of between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
First prize: $AU6,000 Second prize: $AU4,000 Third prize: $AU2,500
Judges: Gregory Day, Melinda Harvey, and Elizabeth Tan
Online entry (current ABR subscriber) – $15
Online entry (standard/non subscriber) – $25*
Closing Date: Midnight, 3 May 2021
Writers Unleashed Picture Book Competition
Prize: $500 Plus mentorship with Clare Hallifax, Scholastic Australia
2nd Prize: $200 3rd Prize: $100 Certificate awarded to shortlisted and winning entries
Original picture book manuscripts only. Must not have been accepted for publication or won a prize in any other competition at time of close of comp.
500 word limit
Entry Fee: $20
Closing Date: 3 May 2021
Bristol Short Story Prize
Annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers.
Stories must be previously unpublished and can be on any theme or subject. 20 stories will be shortlisted and published in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 14 by Tangent Books. 1st prize is £1,000, 2nd prize is £500, 3rd prize is £250.
The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Romance, Children’s etc.)
Entry fee: £9
Closing Date: Midnight (BST) 5 May 2021
Ploughshares at Emerson College 2021 Emerging Writer’s Contest
The Emerging Writer’s Contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book.
Fiction and Nonfiction: Under 6,000 words
Prize: We award publication, $2,000, a review from Aevitas Creative Management
Entry Fee: $24 USD
Closing Date: Noon (US EST) 15 May 2021
The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
One short story per entry. No limit to number of entries. Story must be previously unpublished (including online). 10,000 maximum word count.
No genre fiction (romance, horror, sci-fi); literary fiction only. Prizes: $2000 (1st), $500 (2nd), $250 (3rd), and two $125 (Editor’s Choice).
Winning stories will be read by three literary agents: Nat Sobel from Sobel-Weber Associates, Erin Harris from Folio Literary Management, Viola Hayden from Curtis Brown UK.
Entry Fee: $17 USD
Closing Date 15 May 2021
2021 Daisy Utemorrah Award
The Daisy Utemorrah Award is for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction. The Award is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples currently living in Australia. The winner of the award receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.
Closing Date: 16 May 2021
Harper Collins Publishers – Banjo Prize 2021
The Banjo is open to all Australian writers of commercial fiction, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000. Two runners-up will each receive a written assessment of their manuscript from HarperCollins.
Applicants are required to submit a full manuscript of adult commercial fiction, a 500-word synopsis and a 200-word biographical statement. Any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter.
Entries close: 5.00pm AEDT Friday 28 May 2021
Seniors Card Short Story Competition
The NSW Dept of Communities and Justice and FAW are conducting a Short Story Competition. The Top 100 stories will be published in Seniors Stories Vol. 7 and launched in November 2021.
Closes: 12 midday – 31 May 2021
The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
Offering prize money of $20,000 plus publication by Allen & Unwin with an advance against royalties
Entrants must be aged under 35 years of age on 31 May 2021 (that is born after 31 May 1986).
• Entrants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
• The manuscript submitted with the entry form should be a work of fiction, Australian history or biography.
• It must be a minimum length of 50,000 words and a maximum of 80,000 words.
• The manuscript must be an original work, entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English.
• It cannot be under consideration to any other publisher or entered into any other award.
Entry fee of $25
Closing Date: 31 May 2021
FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) Victoria
Angelo Natoli Award for a Short Story on Any Theme
Length: up to 3,000 words
First prize: $750
Entry fee: $15 for FAW members, $20 for non-members
Closing Date: 31 May 2019
Burdekin Readers and Writers Association’s Short Story competition 2021
Australian residents 18+ are invited to enter fictional stories up to 3000 words.
First Prize $200 Second Prize $100
Closing Date: 31 May 2021
Facebook post with email details: https://www.facebook.com/brwayr/posts/2908706522747917
Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize
The 2021 winner of The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize will receive $3000, and two highly commended entrants will be awarded $500 each.
Closing Date: Friday 4 June 2021 at 4.00pm
The Historical Novel Society of Australasia
The Historical Novel Society of Australasia (HNSA), in partnership with Australia’s leading essential building and infrastructure services provider ARA Group, has today announced the exciting expansion of the ARA Historical Novel Prize.
The Prize will now incorporate a category for outstanding Children and Young Adult (CYA) literature.
The Prize will award $50,000 to the Adult category winner, with an additional $5,000 to be awarded to each of the remaining two shortlisted authors. In the CYA category, the winner will receive $30,000, while the two short listers will receive $5,000 each.
Closing Date: 14 June 2021
TSS Publishing – Cambridge Short Story Prize 2021
Who can enter: Anyone. The competition is open internationally.
Word Length: 2500
Prizes: £1000 (1st) £300 (2nd) £200 (3rd) and all remaining shortlisted will be awarded £50.
Entry Fees: 15th March – 14th April £7.50; 15th April – 14th May £8.50, 15th May – 14th June £9.50
Closing Date: 14 June 2021 (ends midnight, UK time).
FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) Tasmania
2021 Henry Savery National Short Story Award
Open to: Australian residents
Accepts: Short Story
Size: 2,500 words
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: First: $400 Second: $100
Closing Date: 30 June 2021
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
Australia’s largest and oldest poetry competition open only for school students.
Closing Date: 30 June 2021
Scribes Writers 2021 Poetry Competition
“Poetic Licence” poetry competition in Traditional and Free Verse categories. Open theme.
The prizes on offer in this competition are $200 for first and $100 for second places
Closing Date: 30 June 2021
The Moth Magazine Short Story Prize 2021
The Prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.Word limit of 5,000.
First Prize: €3000
The entry fee is €15 per story.
Closing Date: 30 June 2021
Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition
Open to: All
Accepts: Unpublished short stories
Size: maximum 1500 words
Entry Fee: 10 EURO per story till 30 April, 15 EURO per story till 31 July
Prize: 500 EURO and the chance to see work published in Anthology Magazine and one year subscription
Closing Date: 31 July 2021
2021 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers
Richell Prize is again open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.
Writers do not need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission, though they must intend to complete one. The winner will receive $10,000 in prize money from Hachette Australia, and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers.Winning Entry: $10,000 and a 12-month mentorship with Hachette Australia
The first three chapters of the work with a maximum word length of 20,000 words;
•A one-page synopsis;
•A chapter breakdown of the rest of the work, no more than two A4 pages long;
Closing date for entries: Friday 9 July, 11:59pm AEST
E.M. Fletcher Writing Award
The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra are running a competition for the best short story of 1500–2000 words on a family history or genealogy theme.
Winner: $1,000 prize
Entry fees $20.00 HAGSOC members, $30.00 non-members
Closing Date: 15 July 2021
Hawkeye Books – Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition 2021
First prize $250AU Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher + anthology cover based on the winner’s story.Short-Listed and Long-Listed announced. TOP 40 published in an anthology – free copy to all published entrants.
Maximum 1,000 words
Entry Fee: $12 AU
Closing Date: 1st August 2021
FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) NSW
2021 Marjorie Barnard Short Story Award
The Award is for Short Stories up to 3000 words.
Award Prize: $500
Closing date: 31 August 2021
Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest
The Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest Award is now open for submissions.
Open to Australian women poets whose work deals with Australian culture in some way, the winner will be awarded $40,000 and their poetry collection will be published by Vagabond Press.
Submissions close 20th August 2021
The 2021 BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize
Ballina Region for Refugees invites you to submit up to three poems and this year’s theme is ‘Time for a Home’.
We welcome poems of up to 50 lines that consider the experiences, aspirations and hopes of refugees and asylums seeking a home in which to build new, meaningful and safe lives.
Entry is free and is open to anyone living in Australia. BR4R especially welcomes poems from refugees and those seeking asylum in Australia.
Cash prizes will be awarded to first ($300), second ($150), and third ($50) place winners. Winning entries and selected runners-up will be published in Social Alternatives.
Closing Date: 15th August
Hammond House Publishing
2021 International Literary Prize
Entries open from 26th February 2021
Entry Fee: £10 Hammond House Members: £5
Feedback Option: £10
Closing Date: 30th September 2021
The 29th Annual SiWC Writing Contest (Canada)
Short stories in any genre are welcome.
Story length must be 2,500 – 4000 words.
First prize: CA$1000 CA plus publication
Entry Fee: CA$15
Closing Date: 17 September 2021
Commonwealth Short Story Prize
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). Regional winners each receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000.
As well as English, stories are accepted in the Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish languages. Translated entries from any language into English are also eligible.
The competition is free to enter and open to any citizen of a Commonwealth country who is aged 18 and over.
The 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize will open for online submissions on 1 September 2021.
Anthology Poetry Award 2021
Open to: All
Accepts: Unpublished poems
Size: maximum of 40 lines
Entry Fee: 10 EURO per poem till 31 July, 15 EURO per poem till 31 October
Prize: 500 EURO and the chance to see work published in Anthology Magazine
Closing Date: 31 October 2021
Shirley Jackson Awards
The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
Deadline: 31 January 2022