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. 



31st May
The Australian / Vogel’s Literary Award
Opens 21st January. Open to writers aged under 35 at date of entry closure. 50,000–80,000 words. Books on Australian history or biography accepted. A$20,000 plus publication. A$25 entry fee. 

MTP 2021 Short Story Competition
Non-fiction accepted. £2,021 top prize. 3,000 words max. Open to authors worldwide. Entry fee £5 / £7. 

The Writers College Free Writing Competition
600 words on ‘The Best Writing Tip I Ever Received’. NZ$200. 



June 30th 2021
Australian Orchid Foundation Essay Prize 
Theme: “Getting young people involved with orchids”. $350 / $250 / $150. 4,000 words max. 



The Lifted Bow Experimental Non-fiction Prize (May 2021)
The AAWP Slow Canoe Creative Non-fiction 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)
Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize (December 2021)
The Spark Prize (January 2022)
Overland’s Kuracca Prize for Australian Literature (January 2022)
Calibre Essay Prize 2020 (January 2022)
The Writers College My Writing Journey Competition (January 2022)
World Bank Blog Writing Contest (February 2022)
Charles Brasch Young Writers Essay Competition (March 2022)
Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize (March 2022)
Furphy Story Prize (April 2022)
Questions Writing Prize (May 2022)

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