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.
Looking for children’s contests? Those exclusively for young writers are marked (KIDS), but others may include junior sections.
Enter poetry pieces under 80 lines on the theme of ‘generosity’ for the chance to win up to $10,000 in the ACU Prize for Poetry, closing 6 July, 2020.
The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers, for writers who have not been published by a commercial publishing house, offers $10,000 and mentoring to the winner. Entries close 10 July, 2020.
Griffith Review seeks poetry for its Generosities of Spirit issue, closing 10 July, 2020.
The Olga Masters Short Story Award (entry fee, cash prizes), for short stories about life in rural Australia, has added a youth prize. Entries close 10 July, 2020.
Ballarat Arts Foundation grants are open until 10 July, 2020
Rattle Poetry Prize offers $US20,000 in prizes (entry fee) and closes on 15 July, 2020
Melbourne’s Poetry Almanack is seeking submissions from poets who have not been published in a literary journal but have been rejected by same, closing 15 July, 2020
Post-graduate students are invited to submit to SWAMP Writing (theme: silence) by 17 July, 2020
The Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize offers a $1,000 prize for a poem with an environmental theme and is open to Australian and New Zealand writers (entry fee, publication). It closes 20 July, 2020
AlburyCity Short Story Award (entry fee, cash prize) seeks stories to 3,000 words, closing 23 July, 2020
Applications for Varuna Residential Fellowships close 29 July, 2020
The Rose Frankcombe Short Story Competition Rose Award (short stories between 1200 and 1500 words, entry fee, cash prize) closes 31 July, 2020
The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing has categories for fiction, non-fiction and poetry across several age groups (entry fee, cash prizes) and closes 31 July, 2020
Not Very Quiet, an online journal of women’s poetry, is open until 31 July, 2020, for Issue 7 with a theme of ‘memoir’.
Ireland-based Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Competition (entry fee, cash prize plus residency and publication) closes on 31 July, 2020
The UWRF/AAWP Emerging Writers Prize (entry fee) accepts poetry and prose and offers attendance at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and the Australasian Association of Writing Programs annual conference. Submissions close 31 July, 2020
The Woorilla Poetry Prize offers prizes in open (entry fee) and youth sections (free), closing 31 July, 2020
Short stories on the theme of ‘friendship’ are sought by Irish magazine Anthology for its short story contest (entry fee, payment, publication and more), closing 31 July, 2020
The Ampersand Prize offers a publishing contract to an unpublished writer for a middle-grade or YA book. Closes 31 July, 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
NWF/joanne burns Microlit Award (entry fee, cash prize) seeks flash fiction to 200 words on the theme of ‘pulped fiction’, closing 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 Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter contest offers $15,000 and mentoring to each of 10 writers to develop a written work. Free to enter, closing 10 August, 2020
KIDS: The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers offers a mentorship to writers of secondary school age working in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Closes 17 August, 2020
The Peter Blazey Fellowship offers up to $15,000 to a non-fiction writer working in biography, autobiography and life writing, closing 24 August, 2020
The Alice Sinclair Writing Competition (short story and poetry, cash prize, entry fee) opens 29 May and closes 28 August, 2020
Booroondara Literary Awards (free, resident youth categories, open short story, cash prizes) close 28 August, 2020
FAW Tasmania 2020 Poetry Prize (poems no longer than 60 lines, entry fee, cash prize) closes 31 August, 2020
The Sisters of Crime run the Scarlet Stiletto Awards for crime fiction written by women (entry fee, cash prizes), closing 31 August, 2020
Sunspot Literary Journal in the US is open to all forms of prose and poetry until 31 August, 2020
First Nations and Afro-Black writers are invited to submit short stories to a young adult anthology, Unlimited Futures: Speculative, Visionary Blak+Black Fiction, to be published in 2021 by Fremantle Press. Submit between 31 July and 31 August, 2020
The Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition includes an environmental/climate change theme in its contest (entry fee, cash prizes), closing 1 September, 2020
Bicycles meet feminism in a speculative anthology series from Microcosm Publishing, with the latest, Bicycles and Broomsticks, seeking fiction to 6000 words by 1 September, 2020
The OutStanding LGBTQIA+ short story competition (free, prizes, youth section) has a theme of ‘reconnection’ and seeks stories to 750 words, closing 1 September, 2020
KIDS: Kill Your Darlings seeks fiction and non-fiction from students on social or political issues for its School Writing Prize, opening 13 July and closing 4 September, 2020
US organisation Query Letter is seeking blurbs for unpublished books to 100 words (free to enter, cash prize), closing 15 September, 2020
Peril magazine is accepting poetry, fiction, non-fiction and more for its unthemed Edition 42, closing on 15 September, 2020
The Copper Triangle Writers (SA) literary contest for short stories and poetry (entry fee, cash prizes) has extended its closing date of 30 September, 2020
Noosa Arts Theatre Playwriting Competition seeks one-act plays to be produced as part of a festival (entry fee, cash prizes) by 1 October, 2020
The UK-based Perito Writing Prize seeks short stories of 1,000-2,000 words on the theme of accessibility (cash prize and publication, free entry) and closes on 1 October, 2020
US-based Book Pipeline contest (entry fee) for unpublished manuscripts closes on 5 October, 2020
The UK-based Bedford Competition seeks poetry and short stories (cash prizes, entry fee, inc. students), closing 31 October, 2020
Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize offers consultation and editing on an unpublished manuscript with a publishing option (80,000 words max., entry fee), closing 18 December, 2020
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.