Entries are now closed! The long listed writers are linked below – be sure to read the entries. Winners will be announced at the Awards Night on 6 October 2023 in Parramatta, NSW
15 March 2023
31 May 2023
6 October 2023
Your story must be between 500 and 1500 words. Entries over the word limit will be disqualified.
The competition is open theme. This means that your story can be about anything you want. It can also be written in any genre.
Entries open March 15th 2023 and close May 31st 2023. Your entry MUST be submitted within these dates.
Unfortunately not. As this is a short story competition, all entries must be written in prose, not verse. Poetry might be used as an element of the story, but the majority of the story must be written in prose.
Stories are being judged on two key things:
CRAFT: Is your story well written and descriptive? Have you shown a strong command of language, structure, and vocabulary? Is it clear that you understand what key elements go into making a good story?
IDEA: How original and unique is your idea? Has your story got something interesting to share? Does it affect the reader emotionally? Does your story grab the reader and make them want to read more?
We encourage all students to enter the competition! We are judging based on ideas and passion for storytelling just as heavily as on technical craft and command of language.
A longlist will be announced in August 2023 and winners will be announced in September 2023 at a prize ceremony held in Sydney.
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. He’s been at it fifteen years, but his mum insists it’s just a phase and any day now, he’ll pursue a real career. He signed his first book deal in high school. Loathing Lola was released when he was just nineteen. His contemporary novels, The First Third and The Sidekicks, warmed (then broke) hearts the world over. His first foray into fantasy, the Monuments duology, saw teenagers accidentally killing gods hidden under different Aussie high schools, absorbing their powers, and wrestling with what it means to be gods. We Could Be Something is his latest novel. It’s a humorous yet heart-rending look at family, fame and falling in love.
Selina Moir-Wilson is a writer, editor and comics artist. They are the editor of Voiceworks magazine and a co-editor of Layabout. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Voiceworks, The Big Issue, Going Down Swinging and others. They are a 2023 SEVENTH Gallery emerging writer in residence and were a 2022 Toolkits: Graphic Narratives participant. In addition to the $5000 prize, the overall winner’s story will be edited and published in an issue of Voiceworks magazine.
Ally Burnham is an AWGIE-winning screenwriter. A NIDA graduate (2016, Masters Writing for Performance), she is best known for her feature film Unsound (2020, Netflix) and the Metropius short film and comic book series (2022).
In addition to the $1000 prize, the winner of the Sydney Western Suburbs prize will receive a one-on-one mentorship with an award-winning author, sponsored by WestWords.
Bonni Neighbour is the Story Leader at The Story Island Project. She has a background in creative arts and health, with a strong focus on social justice and community development programs. As well as maintaining her own creative practice in writing, music and visual art, Bonni has experience working as an arts facilitator within a range of diverse environments and demographics both across Australia and internationally. She is a strong believer in the power of creative expression as a means of nurturing imagination and cultivating social, cognitive and emotional development.
Khaled Damag is a writer and skilled bilingual communicator. He is a Board Member of The Story Island Project—a Hobart-based not-for-profit organisation that nurtures the creativity and writing skills of young Tasmanians—and has served on Amnesty International Australia’s Youth Advisory Group. A graduate of the University of Tasmania (with a Business degree majoring in Finance and Business Economics), Khaled is currently a research and policy officer at RACT, working on advocacy projects in areas such as road safety, mobility and sustainability.
Helen Kassidis is a team leader with a passion for words and reading. She has an Honors Degree in literature and loves writing as a creative outlet. Helen believes a great short story has these key elements: memorable characters regardless of whether you like them or not they need to make an impact, smart writing, strong themes and a well-paced plot and of course a memorable ending that makes sense to the reader.
Edoardo Crismani is a Wiradjuri writer and filmmaker. He is the recipient of the 2023 Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship, and has had short stories and poetry published both in Australia and overseas. Edoardo was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild Award for his documentary called The Panther Within. Find out more about his work at https://www.edoardofilms.com/
To enter the competition please complete the form below. You will need a parent or other adult guardian’s permission to enter.
Be careful when attaching your file – you can only enter once so be sure to get the attachment right!
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