Calling all writers and artists! Here is a list of competitions for writing and illustrating open to children under 12. The list will be updated as often as we can. (Note: most of these competitions will be open to Australian residents only.)
Some tips when it comes to entering competitions:
- Writing comps are a good way to hone your writing skills and to work to a deadline.
- If you don’t win, it doesn’t mean your work is bad—don’t lose heart, just keep at it!
- Many writing/art competitions have free entry for kids. If there IS an entry fee, check with your parent/guardian about whether it’s a reputable competition. (Some competitions ask you to pay large amounts of money to enter, or say it is free to enter but then want you to buy a book with all the ‘winners’ writing published. It’s usually a good idea to avoid those sorts of competitions.)
- Read all the entry conditions. And read them again! You don’t want to be disqualified for going over the word limit or missing the closing date.
- We list competitions here but we are not usually affiliated with those competitions and do not necessarily endorse them. You will need to check with a parent/guardian before entering.
CYA Conference Writing competition – Hatchlings (Closes 30 April 2014)
Writing and illustration competition open to 8–18 year olds who have not had a children’s or young adult’s book title published previously. Entries can be submitted for picture books, chapter books and graphic novels and illustrated books. See website for details.
ENTRY: $11.50 per entry ($12.50 if paying via Paypal)
For each category: First place – $50, Second place – $30, Third place – $20, and submission of short listed entries to at least one children’s publisher.
ALL entrants receive feedback in the form of a judges’ marking sheet (Sent to entrant by 31st August 2014).
City of South Perth Young Writers Award (Closes 10 May 2014)
Entry is open to any school aged child residing in or attending school in the City of South Perth. Entries must be prose, up to 1500 words in length.
Prizes may be awarded for first and second in each category, and certificates for highly commended works may also be awarded.
- The most outstanding entry for 2014 will be awarded the Christobel Mattingley Bronze Medallion.
- All finalists will be notified about the award ceremony by mid-July.
CBCA (WA) Make Your Own Storybook competition (Closes 6 June 2014)
Open to students in WA. Create a picture book or storybook that tells an ORIGINAL story, using original illustrations and original text. Maximum word limit 5000 words. Books can be entered by individuals or by two students working together.
Three prizes awarded for each age group in each category.
You’ll find tips for creating a book and the work of the 2013 winners on the Children’s Book Council of Australia WA branch website.
The West Australian Young Writers’ Contest (Closes noon, 24 June 2014)
Students can submit one poem and/or prose, to a maximum of 1500 words, on any topic(s) of their choice.
Selected entries (or extracts of) will be published in a special ED! Magazine Young Writers’ edition in Term 3.
Open to primary and secondary students in Western Australia.
Cash and book prizes awarded to first, second and third place winners in age categories for poetry and for prose.
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards (Closes 30 June 2014)
Write a poem up to 80 lines in length. The optional theme for 2014 is: “What shall we tell you?”.
Open to students enrolled in Australian education facilities. Class (group) entries accepted as well as individual poems.
ENTRY: $25 School entry fee for up to 30 entries; $50 for more than 30 entries. (Talk to your school about entering.) $15 for individual entry (i.e. homeschoolers)
For each category: Cash, trophy and prize pack.