Opportunities For Writers

Welcome to our opportunities page. Here, we list competitions, literary events and publisher submission deadlines so you can keep track of your writing calendar.

Click on the name of the opportunity/competition to be taken to the respective information page.

If you’re a website or publication running competitions/events, feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to list them for our readers.


Opportunities for writers page


Opportunities: December 2015

The Tom Collins Poetry Prize

Since 1975, the Fellowship of Australian Writers Western Australia (FAWWA) have celebrated the most talented of poets from around the country. In 2015, the Tom Collins Poetry Prize returns for another round. Submit your poem/s, with a maximum of 60 lines each, before 15th December for your chance to win prize money and more!

Hal Porter Short Story Competition

The Hal Porter Short Story Competition is back again for its 22nd year. Once more, the East Gippsland is opening its doors to the best of writing talent today. Enjoy the $1000 of prize money, as well as books, up for grabs. All short stories ~2500 words are welcome from Australian writers, before 18th December.

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

This one's for the poets out there! From the green acres of Ballymaloe, arts and literary magazine The Moth are launching the 2015 international poetry prize. Two-term US Poet Laureate Billy Collins will be judging all entrants for this year. All unpublished poems, from international writers, are welcome before 31st December. A €12 entrance fee applies for each poem submitted.

Birdcatcher Books Australia Short Fiction

For the chance to win prize money and publication in an anthology, sink your teeth into this opportunity! Birdcatcher Books are opening their doors to short fiction pieces, between 1500 and 2500 words, by Australian authors. A small entry fee applies for all submissions.

Griffin Award

Entries are now open for the 2016 Griffin Award! Capture the authentic Australian voice within an original play or performance, for the chance to win $10,000 prize money. The prestigious award is now in its 19th year and celebrates a long history of launching the careers of incredible wordsmiths. Submissions close at midnight 31st December.

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

For all writers, all over, the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is for you! Submit your short stories (maximum 4000 words) and poems (maximum 50 lines) to this innovative organisation, who've committed to planting a tree for every entry. Writers worldwide, over the age of 16, are eligible, so make sure to submit before 31st December. A small fee applies per entry.

Reader's Digest 100 Word Stories

Flash fiction writers will love this opportunity! Dive into the Reader's Digest 100 Word Stories competition for your change to receive publication and prize money. Submissions are welcome from Australian and New Zealand writers, with no entry fee required. The competition closes on 31st December, so it's time to get writing!

Tethered By Letters 2015 Competition

Literary publisher Tethered by Letters are back again for their 3rd year running. Doors are now open for amazing works of fiction and poetry. Submit your short story (of any genre and ranging from 1000 to 7500 words), your piece of flash fiction (with a limit of 55, 250 or 500 words) or poem (with a limit of 3 pages per piece). Competition closes 31st December.

The "Portraits" International Call For Artists And Writers

ArtAscent are now calling for artists of all kinds to capture the visions of people and creatures. The best portraits, whether visual or written form, will receive publication along with extensive online promotion. To enter, simply submit your work of art before 31st December. A $10 entry fee applies for writers.15

Opportunities: November 2015

Overland Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize

Overland Journal is now open for entries to its Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize. Short fiction up to 3000 words on the theme of 'travel' from Australian and New Zealand writers will be considered. The winning story will receive $4000 and publication in the print version of Overland, and two runners-up will each receive $500 and be published in Overland's online component.

Entries close at 11:59pm, 15th November, so put your virtual travelling shoes on and get writing! (Please note there's an entry fee of $12 for current Overland subscribers and $20 for non-subscribers.)

Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition

With a host of prizes divvied up between twenty-five winning entries, the Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition is a goldmine for writers of flash fiction!

To enter, you'll need to write an engaging story of 1500 words or less and submit it by 16th November for early-bird entry – other entries close 14th December and incur an extra $5 on top of the regular $20 entry fee.

As we mentioned, there's a whole host of prizes from first to twenty-fifth place, with up to $3000 cash on offer as well as books, gift certificates and publication in Writer's Digest. 

2016 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

In commemoration of the life of acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley, Writers Victoria invites Australian writers of biography to apply for the 2016 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship. The fellowship consists of $10,000 awarded to an emerging or established writer 'to support research and development of a new biographical work'.

To be eligible for entry, the subject of the proposed biography must be someone who has made a demonstrable contribution to society. Consideration may also extend to writers 'working on an aspect of cultural or social history compatible with Hazel’s own interests'.

Complete your online submission by 16th November to be eligible for this generous fellowship.

Gambling the Aisle Chapbook Competition

Poets, as well as writers of fiction and non-fiction, are invited to enter literary magazine Gambling the Aisle's Chapbook Competition. First prize encompasses publication of 30 copies of the winning chapbook, and five runners-up will receive free copies of Gambling the Aisle's winter issue and the winning chapbook, as well as a mention in the magazine.

16–36 page chapbooks should be submitted before 20th November to be considered; multiple entries are allowed, each with a fee of $12 USD.

2015 Rhonda Jankovic Literary Awards

If you're passionate about writing poetry or fiction with a social justice theme, the Rhonda Jankovic Literary Awards are for you. Poems under 50 lines and short fiction under 2500 words will be considered from writers of any nationality, provided they explore the theme of 'inequalities stemming from power relations, indifference or exploitation'.

First prize in each category is $600 AUD and a Radio 3CR Vintage Sound-bite Cartridge Trophy; second and third place certificates will also be awarded. Submissions close on 25th November, and winners will be announced in March 2016.

FAW National Literary Awards 2015

Every year, the Fellowship of Australian Writers presents the National Literary Awards, the largest suite of literary awards in the Australia. Offering 19 prizes across a variety of genres and age groups, there's an award for everything from microfiction to Australian-themed non-fiction to an unpublished novel.

As well as prestige and wide recognition, winners receive between $100 and $1000 in prize money, depending on the category. Entries must be received by 30th November.

Narrative Magazine Fall 2015 Story Contest

Narrative Magazine's latest competition is open to almost every form of fiction and non-fiction: 'short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction'.

Previously unpublished works of under 15,000 words will be considered. There are some great prizes on offer: $2500 for first place, $1000 for second, $500 for third and $100 each for up to ten finalists.

There's a $23 fee for each entry, but with this you'll also receive three months of access to Narrative Backstage, PLUS all entries are also eligible for Narrative's $4,000 Narrative Prize and Story of the Week competitions.  The contest closes on 30th November.

Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award

Entries of prose fiction in any genre are welcomed for the 2015 Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award. As well as offering cash prizes up to £1000 and publication on the site for winners, Writers' Village will show all entrants (on request) how their stories were graded, and offer tips on how entries could be improved.

To enter your work of 3000 words or less, you'll either need to join the Writers' Village 'Story PenPal' club or pay an entry fee of £15. Entries close on 30th November for this great opportunity.

The Baltimore Review Winter 2015 Contest ('Health' Theme)

The Baltimore Review is seeking entries with the theme of 'health' to its winter 2015 contest. Entries can take the form of a poem or a short story/piece of creative non-fiction up to 3000 words, and as long as your piece incorporates the idea of health in some way, it's eligible.

With a $10 USD entry fee and prizes of $500, $200 and $100 up for grabs, the contest accepts entries until 30th November.

Scribes Valley Publishing Annual Short Story Writing Contest

The 13th annual Scribes Valley Short Story Writing Contest is open for entries until 30th November. Scribes Valley is seeking stories that enthrall, entertain and beguile them, so enter your best piece up to 5000 words to be in the running for monetary prizes (exact amounts are based on participation).

There's an entry fee of $7 USD per story, and no limit on the number of submissions per entrant. Winners will be announced in January 2016, and all finalists will be published in an annual anthology.

2016 Porter Prize (poetry)

One of Australia's most respected poetry awards, the Australian Book Review's Porter Prize is open to poets of any nationality writing in English. Poems of any subject or form can be submitted, provided they don't exceed 75 lines.

First prize is a generous $5000 AUD and an etching by renowned Australian artist, Arthur Boyd. Shortlisted poets will receive $500. Deadline for entries is 1st December, and for each poem there's an entry fee of $20 (or $15 for ABR subscribers).

Opportunities: October 2015

 2015 QUT Creative Writing Prize

This one's for postgrad students enrolled in any Australian creative writing degree, and undergrads from the Queensland University of Technology. The QUT Creative Writing Prize invites entries in the form of a short story, creative non-fiction or poetry.

The winner of the postgrad prize will receive $2000 and publication in The Lifted Brow. The undergrad winner will receive $1000 and publication in Kill Your Darlings. Submissions are limited to 3000 words of prose or 50 lines of poetry.

Margaret River Press Short Story Competition

Open to writers of any age and nationality, the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition offers some generous prizes, including cash, residencies in the beautiful Margaret River region, and publication for winning and shortlisted stories!

With an open theme and a 3000-word limit, the competition closes 14th October – entries must be mailed in, so get writing and posting! There's a fee of $12 per entry ($10 per additional entry thereafter).

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards

If you're a short story writer in almost any genre, you should consider entering the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards! With Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult categories – plus some enticing prizes up for grabs – the US$25 entry fee is worth it.

Submit your story under 4000 words by 15th October to be in the running.

Southern Cross Literary Competition

Ballarat Writers Inc. invite writers living in Australia to submit short stories to the 2015 Southern Cross Literary Competition. It's an open theme, and stories must be 3000 words or fewer; the winning entry will receive $1500.

Entries close 16th October, and an entry fee of $20 per story applies.

Morrison Mentoring Short Story Competition

In support of the Australian creative community, Morrison Mentoring invites entries to its 2015 Short Story Competition. Entries should reference the theme 'Flourish' in some way, and can be entered by any Australian resident. There are multiple categories, including Speculative Fiction and an Open category.

First prize in these categories is $250 and publication in an anthology; highly commended entries will also be published in the anthology. The word limit is 3000 words, entry fee is $5 per story, and the competition closes on 16th October.

Deborah Cass Prize

Emerging Victorian writers from migrant backgrounds are invited to apply for Writers Victoria's Deborah Cass Prize. Entries 3000 words and under of fiction and non-fiction will be considered. The winner will receive $3000, a three-month mentorship with an established writer, and an offer from Black Inc. to consider the resulting manuscript for publication.

Applications are due by 9am, 19th October.

Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young Writers (ACT)

Are you a writer under 35, living in the ACT or surrounding regional areas? The Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young Writers, administered by the ACT Writers Centre, offers a fellowship worth up to $5,000 to advance a young writer's education in the field of writing.

Submit your expression of interest by 30th October to be considered for this great opportunity.

Varuna's Publisher Introduction Program 2016

If your dream is 'to work in peace at a beautiful mountain retreat with a respected literary mentor, knowing that a major publisher is waiting to read the finished manuscript', then read on! Varuna, a writing retreat located in the Blue Mountains of NSW, has opened entries to its Publisher Introduction Program.

Each of the 12 winners will receive a one-week residency at Varuna, including a manuscript consultation with a writing consultant and the chance to submit your work to a major publisher. Submit your manuscript, cover sheet, title, logline and brief synopsis by 30th October to be eligible (note that a $110 entry fee is required to sustain the program).

The Busybird Creative Fellowship

Through its Busybird Creative Fellowship, Busybird Publishing is offering an emerging writer the chance to win $500, mentoring with a publishing team, discounted publishing services, use of studio gallery spaces and free entry to in-house workshops.

To enter, write 500 words about how you would utilise the fellowship and submit to Busybird by 30th October.

The London Magazine Short Story Competition

The London Magazine, the UK's oldest cultural and literary journal, is seeking entries for its 2016 Short Story Competition; unpublished short stories under 4,000 words will be considered from writers anywhere across the world.

The winner will receive £500 and be published in a future issue of The London Magazine, and the runners up will be published on the website and receive prizes of £300 and £200 respectively. You have until 31st October to enter!

2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction. Writers from the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific are eligible to enter, and one winner from each region will be selected.

Judged by an international panel, the Short Story Prize offers the overall winner £5000 and the remaining four regional winners £2500. Entries close at noon on the 1st of November and must be between 2000 and 5000 words.

Iceland Writers' Retreat Alumni Award

Fancy jetting off to a Reykjavík writers' retreat in April 2016? The Iceland Writers' Retreat is offering round-trip flights to Iceland and a spot at the five-day retreat to one lucky writer! The recipient will be selected according to the potential they show as a writer and their demonstrated need for financial support to be able to attend. Applications for this exciting opportunity close on the 6th of November.

(You may also be interested in the Iceland Writers' Retreat Short Story Competition, which offers the winner a spot at the retreat but doesn't cover airfares. Write a short story, essay or poem on the theme 'Iceland – A Land of Storytelling' to enter, and save up your money for flights!).

Opportunities: September 2015

The 2015 John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

Young writers everywhere will love this opportunity! The 2015 Prize for Young Writers is a chance for writers, under the age of 24, to have their works read and selected by John Marsden himself. Both short stories and poems are welcome, so make sure to enter before 9am 7th September. Winners receive publication, prize money and manuscript assessments to help them in their emerging writing careers.

Marjorie Barnard Award 2015

The Fellowship of Australian Writers is currently welcoming short fiction submissions for the  Marjorie Barnard Award 2015. Submit short stories, up to 3000 words, before the 25th September for the chance to win a cash prize. A $10 entry fee applies.

The Katharine Susannah Prichard Short Fiction Awards 2015

Authors Australia wide, the Katharine Susannah Prichard Short Fiction Award has come calling! Submit your best short fiction pieces before 5pm 25th September to make 2015 your best year yet. Australian author, Laurie Steed, will be judging this year's contestants.

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards

Writer's Digest have once again opened their doors for spectacular works of short fiction. If you've a short story on its way, why not enter the annual Popular Fiction competition? The grand prize winner receives $2500 prize money, a paid trip to the Writer's Digest Conference, book vouchers and more! With countless prizes and several categories, there are so many opportunities for the emerging writer to seize. Competition closes on the 15th September.

The Caterpillar Short Story Prize 2015

Children's fiction writers everywhere, this one's for you! Children's magazine The Caterpillar are hosting their inaugural Short Story Prize in 2015. For the chance to win publication and €1000 in prize money, submit a 2000 word story written by an adult for children, before the 30th September. The winning story will be decided in collaboration with literary magazine The Moth. International entrants are welcome.

Creative Kids Tales 2015 Competition

Writers of children's fiction will also love this competition hosted by Creative Kids Tales. Successful entrants will have their work published in a children's anthology, with the theme of 'Deep Within the Forest'. Submit your 500 word stories, aimed for children between the ages of 8 and 13, before the 30th September for your chance to win.

Melbourne Poets Union 21st Annual International Poetry Competition 2015

For decades, the Melbourne Poets Union has celebrated and supported Australia's literary legacy. In 2015 they're returning with the International Poetry Competition, which closes on the 6th September. Cash prizes and book vouchers are up for grabs, along with publication online. Make sure you submit soon, to have your works read and selected by renowned Australian poet, Claire Gaskin.

Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets

Since 2007, Overland has helped to foster new and emerging poets through the annual Judith Wright Poetry Prize. The major prize for 2015 includes publication in Overland's print magazine and $6000 prize money. If you're a new and emerging poet, make sure to enter your poems before the 14th September! This exciting opportunity won't last long.

Bluecat Screenplay Competition 2016

For the unknown screenwriter, the Bluecat Screenplay Competition is an excellent opportunity to win prize money and have your script developed. The early deadline closes on 1st September, so it's time to start submitting! International entrants are welcome, though entry fees apply.

Opportunities: August 2015

Machigonne Fiction Contest

Literary review The New Guard returns this year with another spectacular competition. If you've written a piece of flash fiction, a short story or novel extract within 5000 words, make sure to submit before 20th August. For the winning writer, $1500 prize money and publication awaits! A submission fee of $20 applies.

Sydney Writer's Room Short Story Competition

During August 2015, Sydney Writer's Room is opening its doors. Submit your unpublished, 2500 word short story before 31st August for the chance to win $500 prize money and a 3 month 'hot desk' membership. Entries are open to Australian writers of all ages.

Olga Masters Short Story Award

In celebration of Australian author and journalist Olga Masters, the Olga Masters Short Story Award returns for 2015. For the month of August, writers living in Australia can submit their 2000-5000 word short stories about any aspect of Australian rural life. Submit your piece before 20th August for your chance to win up to $1500 prize money.

Thunderbolt Prize

Are you a talented crime writer? The latest New England Writer's Centre competition is the one for you. The Thunderbolt Prize celebrates emerging crime writers, by offering 6 prizes for the best crime-themed fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Australian writers must submit their pieces before 24th August, with a $10 fee per entry.

Tethered by Letters Summer Literary Competition

American publisher and writer's resource Tethered by Letters is opening its doors for worldwide entries. Writers can submit short stories, flash fiction and poetry, containing any theme, before 31st August. Winners receive up to $150 in prize money, as well as publication. Entry fees apply.

Scarlet Stilleto

Do you love crime writing as well as stories with a strong female protagonist? Sisters in Crime are an Australian initiative celebrating women's crime writing in all forms. For the month of August, they've opened their doors to 5000 word short stories from Australian women. All stories must be works of crime fiction and must contain an active female protagonist. Submit before 31st August. Entry fee applies.

Toowoomba Writer's Festival

Are you short fiction writer or poet? The Toowoomba Writer's Festival is opening its doors for stories up to 2000 words and poems up to 40 lines. Writers and poets worldwide will be glad to discover this competition is open worldwide and offers the chance for publication in an anthology. Submit before 31st August. $5 entry fee applies.

FAW Tasmania 2015 Poetry Prize

If you're a poet and you know it, then the FAW Tasmania 2015 Poetry Prize is for you! The Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania is welcoming original and unpublished poetry, of no more than 60 lines. The competition is open to poets worldwide and accepts poems containing any theme. Submissions close 31st August.

Poetica Christi Press 2015 Annual Poetry Competition

During the month of August, the Poetica Christi Press is compiling a poetry anthology centred on the theme of 'imagine'.  Along with a chance to win up to $300 prize money, your poem could be part of the PCP anthology to be launched at the end of the year. Submissions close on the 31st August.

10 Minute Quickies Competition

If you've ever dreamed of having your plays performed on a stage, then this competition is your perfect opportunity! The 10 Minute Quickies competition, from Eltham Little Theatre Inc., offers emerging script writers the chance to win some prize money and have their works performed. Make sure you submit before 30th August. Entry fee of $10 applies.

Opportunities: June & July 2015

The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition

Submit an original 3000 word short story for the chance to win €2000, publication in Southward journal and a week long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat. Short fiction writers worldwide will love this opportunity which allows for any style of writing on any subject matter. For €15 per entry, you can submit as many short stories as you would like.

Field of Words Writing Competition

Emerging writers are invited to submit short stories between 1000 and 2500 words to the Winter Round of the competition. A fee of AUD$20 per entry applies for entrants worldwide. Up to AUD$600 of prize money is on offer.

Mona Brand Short Story Competition

Short fiction writers are encouraged to submit works that are up to 2000 words and are on any topic. A small $7 entry is required for your piece.

The Carmel Bird Award

Spineless Wonders Publishing company is opening its doors for "spine-tingling" short stories. Winners will receive $500 and publication in a crime-themed anthology. Entries must be below 5000 and be submitted before the 31st August. Entry fee is $15.

2015 Cowley Literary Award

Whether fiction or nonfiction, you can submit your best pieces to the 2015 Cowley Literary Award. A $25 entry free applies, for the chance to win $6000 in prize money. With no subject theme required, make sure to enter before the 31st August.

Questions Writing Prize 2015

Are you a talented writer between the ages of 18 to 30? Submissions are currently open for short fiction and nonfiction pieces. Winner will receive prize money as well as publication in a book and issue of Questions. Make sure to electronically submit your 1500 to 2000 word piece before 1st July.

The Moth International Short Story 2015

The Moth, a UK arts and literature magazine, encourages writers to submit original short stories. A €12 entry fee and 6000 word limit applies, however no theme is required. Along with publication in their magazine, the three winners will receive €3000 (1st place), a writing retreat (2nd place) and €1000 (3rd place).

Albury City Short Story Award 2015

Albury City is opening its doors for short fiction, up to 3000 words, on the topic of 'journeys'. All writers are welcome to submit their pieces guaranteed to sweep the reader away on a journey, however momentary or infinite. Submit before the 22nd July for your chance to win $1000 in prize money. A $10 admission fee applies.

S.D. Harvey Short Story Award

The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) is once again holding the S.D. Harvey Short Story Award for exceptional crime writing. All crime stories, between 2000 and 4000 words, are welcome for consideration. A $10 entry fee and 15th June deadline apply.

Tasmania Literary Award

The Society of Women Writers Tasmania is encouraging writers to submit short stories between 1300 and 1500 words. No theme applies, though fiction for children is discouraged. For only $8, writers worldwide can submit their pieces. Total prize money on offer equals $2000, however winners residing in Tasmania will receive additional prizes.

Geoff Dean Short Story Competition

For the first time ever, the Geoff Dean biennial short story contest is  opening its doors for Australian writers. Submit outstanding short fiction, between 3000 and 10,000 words, before the 31st July for the chance to receive publication in Island Magazine and prize money. A $20 fee per entry applies.

Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

Writer's Digest has a long history of supporting and celebrating emerging writers. Once more they're opening their doors for excellent pieces in 10 different categories. Whether you're penning a poem, a short story or a stage play, make sure to enter before 5th June. Entry fees apply.

American Short Fiction Contest

The American Short Fiction Contest is on again, and welcoming 2500 to 6000 word short stories for entry. The contest is open to domestic and international entries in English, provided a $20 entry fee. Winners receive publication and prizes.

Narrative Magazine Narrative Prize 2015

Each year Narrative Magazine awards the $4000 Narrative Prize for the best in short stories, poems, plays and literary nonfiction. Writers of all genre and form can submit their pieces before 15th June for publication and incredible prizes.

The Novella Award 2015

The Novella Award is now in its 2nd year running. Submit your 20,000 to 40,000 word novella manuscript for the chance to be published and receive prize money. Writers world wide are welcome to enter their unpublished English manuscripts. An £17 submission fee applies.

Shore Scripts Screenwriting Competition

This one's for the screenwriters. Submit your feature script or short script 31st July for the chance to have your script viewed by producers, production companies and agents, and to win a whole lot of prizes. Shore Scripts is on the hunt for the best screenwriting talent, so make sure to submit your best before August.

InkTears Flash Fiction Competition 2015

For fantastic flash fiction writers seeking publication, InkTears is opening their doors for submissions until the 31st July. The competition is open worldwide, to writers 18 years and older. A small fee of approximately £3 per entry applies. Winners receive publication in print and online, as well as prize money.

Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition 2015

This one's for the poets among us. In honour of the poetry competition, poets worldwide can submit poems up to 40 lines long. Make sure to submit before the 9th July for your chance to receive $1000 in prize money and a free course at the National Writers Centre in Wales (travel costs not included).

Vallum Award for Poetry 2015

Vallum, contemporary poetry magazine, is opening its doors for the Vallum Award for Poetry. Poets can submit 1 to 3 poems, up to 60 lines each and the applicable $25 entry fee comes with a free one-year subscription to Vallum. Winning entries receive up to $750 in prize money and publication in print and online. Submit before 15th July.

Scribes Writers Open Poetry Competition 2015

Poets are encouraged to submit poems, in traditional verse or free verse, for the 2015 Open Poetry Competition. The contest is open to all poets and all topics, with a $7 fee per entry. Competition closes 30th June.