Writing competitions (Australia / New Zealand)

Below is a list of non-fiction, essay, memoir and life writing contests based in Australia and New Zealand — although some may be open to writers elsewhere.

We aim to avoid listing competitions which make unreasonable demands on entrants, such as copyright claims on all entries. Please check terms and conditions before entering, in case some slip through.

For a list of UK, Ireland, and European competitions, click here, and for US / Canada, click here. Some competitions in both listings will be open to writers worldwide. 



18th December
Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize
For proposed books of up to 80,000. Aus$45 entry fee. 



15th January
Calibre Essay Prize 2020 
“We seek essays of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. We welcome essays of all kinds: personal or political, literary or speculative, traditional or experimental.” AU$7,500 fund.



31st March
Charles Brasch Young Writers Essay Competition 
Open to those aged 16–21. No more than 1,500 words. AU$500 winner’s prize. 



Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize (March 2021)
Furphy Story Prize (April 2021)
Questions Writing Prize (May 2021)
The Lifted Bow Experimental Non-fiction Prize (May 2021)
The AAWP Slow Canoe Creative Non-fiction Prize (June 2021)
Australian Orchid Foundation Essay Prize (June 2021)
Landfall Essay Competition (July 2021)
The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction (July 2021)
ACICA Essay Competition (July 2021)
National Science Week WA – ICRAR Monologue Competition (July 2021)
Lane Cove Council Travel Story Prize (August 2021)
Bass Coast Prize for Non-Fiction (September 2021)
The Deakin University Non-Fiction Prize (September 2021)
The Horne Prize (November 2021)
JNZL Essay Prize (December 2021)

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