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.
Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition (YOUTH (8–18): 500 words, ADULT: 1200 words, cash prize, no entry fee, cash prize and publication) closes 29 March, 2020
The Annual WB Yeats Poetry Prize (poetry up to 50 lines, entry fee, cash prize) closes 31 March, 2020
Ethel Webb Bundell Literary and Poetry Competitions (poetry or short stories, entry fee, cash prize) closes 31 March, 2020
Griffith Review 70: The Novella Project VIII (fiction and creative non-fiction ranging between 15-25k words on ‘generosities of spirit’, no fee, publication) closes 31 March, 2020
Westerly (variety of genres accepted, unthemed, no submission fee, publication) closes 31 March, 2020
Australasian Horror Writers Association (variety of word limits, horror, no submission fee, trophy) closes 31 March, 2020
Poetry publisher Recent Works Press is open 1-30 April, 2020, for submissions.
The Blake Poetry Prize (spiritual and religious poetry under 100 lines, entry fee, large cash prize) closes 3 April, 2020
The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund offers grants of $2000-$10,000 towards writing-related travel. Applications close 15 April, 2020
The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction (fiction of up to 2000 words that engages with ‘future’ by Australian women or non-binary authors, entry fee, cash prize) closes 17 April, 2020
The 2020 Heroines Women’s Writing Prize & Anthology (short fiction and poetry accepted from writers who identify as women, entry fee, cash prize and publication) closes 20 April, 2020
Positive Words Short Story Competition (short stories up to 2k words, poetry up to 48 lines, cheap entry fee, cash prize) closes 23 April, 2020
The 2020 Picture Book Competition (picture books manuscripts, entry fee, cash prizes and a mentorship for first) closes 27 April, 2020
The 2020 Daisy Utemorrah Award (open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Australia, junior or YA fiction, cash prize and publishing contract) closes 30 April, 2020
Furphy Literary Award (story on Australian life of no more than 5000 words, no entry fee, prize includes cash prize, a university residency and publication options) closes 30 April, 2020
POETICA CHRISTI PRESS 2020 Annual Poetry Competition (poems on the theme of ‘joy in the morning’, entry fee, cash prize publication) closes 30 April, 2020
KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award (includes Varuna fellowship for short-listed writers, cash prize, subscribers only) closes 30 April 2020
Davitt Awards for the best crime and mystery books by Australian women (submit copies of books, trophy) close 30 April 2020
Queenscliffe Literary Festival micro-fiction writing prize (free, Victoria writers only, prizes TBA) seeks pieces of exactly 50 words via email by 30 April 2020.
CRAFT short story prize (cash prize, entry fee, stories to 5000 words) closes 30 April, 2020
Best of Times humorous short story contest (cash prize, open theme, entry fee, stories to 2500 words) closes 30 April, 2020
The Poetry d’Amour Love Poetry Contest (entry fee, cash prize, poems to 40 lines, enter by email) closes 1 May, 2020
Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize (short stories of 2000 to 5000 words, entry fee, large cash prize) closes 1 May, 2020
Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards (several categories with up to $12,000 in prizes, free) for unpublished emerging writers closes 3 May 2020
The Golden Pen Writing Award (under 18s only, variety of written and drawn genres on ‘planet earth’ no fee, various prizes) has been extended to May 10, 2020
US-based Book Pipeline adaptation contest (published work, entry fee) for its adaptation has an earlybird deadline of 20 May, 2020, closing on 31 August, 2020.
Fellowship of Australian Writers Literary Competition (multiple categories/genres, entry fee, cash prize) closes 15 May, 2020
Grieve Writing Competition (short stories (500 words) and/or poetry (36 lines) on the theme of ‘grief’, entry fee, cash prize, publication) closes 25 May, 2020
The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award (longform work by an author under 35, entry fee, cash prize and publication) closes 31 May, 2020
HarperCollins’ The Banjo Prize for adult commercial fiction (publication and $15,000 advance, two runner-up prizes) closes 29 May, 2020
US-based Book Pipeline contest (entry fee) for unpublished manuscripts has an earlybird deadline of 1 June, 2020, closing on 5 October, 2020.
2020 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize (entry fee, cash prizes) closes 5 June 2020
Adelaide Plains Poets Poetry competition (poetry to the theme of ‘vision’ in an open and junior category, entry fee, cash prize) closes 26 June, 2020
ARA Historical Novel Prize ($30,000 prize, for books published 1 Jan 2019-30 June 2020) opens 1 May, closes 30 June 2020
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards (students only, cash prizes, various categories) close 30 June 2020
Sydney Hammond Short Story Writing Competition 2020 (stories up to 1000 words on the theme of ‘if only’, entry fee, publication) closes 1 August, 2020
St Kilda Historical Society Short Story Competition (open and junior sections with different word limits for stories in or inspired by St Kilda, entry fee, cash prize) closes 7 August, 2020
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) currently has submissions open 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.
Kill Your Darlings regional Victorian writers program to be published in the magazine (it pays) until June 2020