Opportunities for Young Writers


Penguin Literary Prize

Aspiring authors are now invited to enter the 2022 Penguin Literary Prize, a competition to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors.

Since launching in 2017, the prize has offered writers from across the nation the opportunity to become part of the Penguin Random House family. 

Publishing Director Justin Ractliffe said each year it was a pleasure to launch the Penguin Literary Prize and discover brilliant new writers.

Enter Here


Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize

by Island

Submit poems of between 20 and 100 lines, in any form.

Entry fee: $16.50.

Prizes: The winning poet will receive $2000 and a three-issue subscription to Island. Two runners-up will each receive $500 and a three-issue subscription to Island. All three poems will be published in Island issue 164, due for publication in March 2022.

Closing date: Thursday 9 December 2021.

Enter Here


Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition

by KSP

Submit a story on the theme of ‘best friend’.

Word limits: 500 words for youth category and 1,200 words for adults.

The adult category of this competition is open to Western Australian residents only; however, the youth category is open nationwide.

Entry fee: free for youth

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Short Story Competition

by MNC Writers’ Centre

Submit a short story of up to 3,000 words on an open theme.

Entry fee: $15.

Prizes: First prize ($700), second prize ($300), third prize ($100).

Closing date: Sunday 14 November 2021.

Enter here


Undiscovered Gems

by Exisle Academy

"Undiscovered Gems" exists to provide authors whose books remain unpublished an opportunity to present their work in a different light, and achieve the recognition and reward which may have previously been out of reach.

To enter, write a short story based on your unpublished book. How you interpret this is up to you, but here are some ideas:

  • If you have written an instructional non-fiction book, summarize a core lesson from your book in the form of a short story about how someone applied that concept to change their life.
  • If you have written a children's book, you could summarize the plot OR tell a story about how a child's life is changed after they find your book at their local library.
  • If you have written a memoir, capture a key episode of your life in the form of a self-contained story.

There are only two major rules:

  • Your story must be self-contained, which means readers should be able to appreciate it without reference to your whole book.
  • Your story must be based on or at least inspired by a book that you have written (or are in the process of writing) that you would like to get published by a traditional publishing house.

Writers from all countries are invited to participate. One winner will be selected to receive a monetary prize of USD $500 / £350. The winner, alongside five runners-up, will have their stories published on ExisleAcademy.com and be invited to send their manuscripts into Exisle Publishing or EK Books for priority consideration with free, expert assessment from our senior publishers. Results will be announced in February 2022.

Entries Close December 1, 2021

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