For your perusal: freelance writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 

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Writing Awards and Competitions

The Elyne Mitchell Rural Writing Award commemorates internationally renowned Silver Brumby author Elyne’s life and work, and hopes to encourage women all over Australasia to write their stories and send them in. Up to 2500 words referencing an Australasian rural experience. 2017 Theme: ‘Local Stories, People, Places and Events’. Fiction or Non-Fiction: Open Category – $15 per entry- 1 x $1000 prize money. Upper Murray Writers Category – $10 per entry – Open to residents of Towong, Tumbarumba and Indigo Shires – 1 x $500 prize money. Non fiction “bonus” $100 Dymocks Voucher.

CLOSING 17/08/17

Epoch Times: Inspiring the World

We are inviting submissions of short (500-1,000 words), nonfiction articles that highlight any of the following themes: compassion, redemption, triumph of the human spirit, and life’s surprises. There is no entrance fee. Each entry must include: an article plus supporting media (photo, video) plus a mockup of an Facebook post. Three deadlines: Group 1: July 24, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Group 2: August 7, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Group 3: August 21, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST. First prize $5,000, publication, and copy of print edition. Second prize $3,000 and same. Third prize $1,500 and same. Honorable mentions $200 and publication. Write an article that captures any of the following themes: Compassion, Redemption, Triumph of the human spirit, Life’s surprises.

CLOSING 21/08/17

Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program, delivered by QWC

Launched in 2008, this program is a creative and professional skills development intensive that helps emerging Australian writers to refine an existing manuscript. Up to 10 writers are selected through a competitive submission process to take part in a four-day retreat program , during which they receive feedback on their manuscripts and workshopping opportunities with Hachette Australia publishers, editors and authors, undertake specialised training in establishing a writing career, and take part in networking events with industry leaders.

CLOSING 14/08/17

Horne Prize

Aesop and The Saturday Paper have been cultural partners since 2014, promoting the written word through an annual calendar of events. Together, they nurture writers of longform non-fiction through The Horne Prize, and essay award valued at $15,000.
This year’s prize will be presented in early December for an essay of up to 3000 words, addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian life’ – shining light on a particular aspect of who we are, from a contemporary perspective. Entries are open until September 18.
The prize is named for the late Donald Horne AO, in honour of his exceptional contribution to Australian letters. A shortlist will be announced on November 17; the winner will be announced and the winning essay published in The Saturday Paper on December 23.
All writers are invited to enter. Taking cues from Donald Horne’s rigorous exploration of Australian culture, essays should be founded on reportage, and bring light to a person or issue that helps us to understand who we are.

CLOSING 18/09/17

John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing

The John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing was established to encourage, reward and foster creativity in the development and showcasing of science-fiction writing for feature film, television, web-series and interactive media.

Funded by a bequest from the late Australian film critic John Hinde, the award offers $10,000 for the best produced script and professional support for the best unproduced script submitted each year.

John Hinde began his career as a journalist and was a correspondent in the Pacific during World War II. He became a film reviewer for the ABC in 1966 working in radio before making the transition to television in 1983. Later in his career, Hinde gained a new generation of fans through appearances on programs such as McFeast. In 2002 he received an award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to the film and media industry. He died aged 92 in 2006.

CLOSING 06/08/17

Let There Be Light Contest

Write a 2,000-word fictional short story using any nuance, definition, or understanding of the word “light.” Prize is $1,000 and publication in The Writer Magazine. Second place receives $500 and publication, and third-place $250 and publication.

CLOSING 21/08/17

Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award

The Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Awards are now open for entries. You may submit one entry into each of the following award categories:

Short story (1500 to 3000 words)
The Dorothy Porter Award for Poets (up to 100 lines)
Novella (10,000 to 20,000 words)
Graphic short story (up to eight A4 pages)
Narrative non-fiction (up to 10,000 words)
Life Writing Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers (up to 3000 words).

The Life Writing Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers is a new category for 2017 and will be awarded to an outstanding work focused on documenting, discussing or highlighting a uniquely Victorian story of Australia’s First People. This prize recognises the work of unpublished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and supports City of Melbourne’s ongoing commitment to promoting the richness of Indigenous culture and reconciliation.

Winning entries will receive a $2000 category prize. The overall winner of the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award will win an additional $10,000. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply for all categories.

CLOSING 31/08/17

Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel

The Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel is an exciting new award for writers holding New Zealand citizenship or who are permanent residents of New Zealand.

The prize is in memory of Michael Gifkins, much-loved author, editor and literary agent. Thanks to a generous financial commitment from his partner Ann Hatherly and his son André Gifkins, and Text Publishing, the winner will receive a contract for world rights with Text and an advance to the value of NZ$10,000.

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) will administer the award.

CLOSING 20/11/17

The 2017 Newcastle Writers Festival Joanne Burns Microlit Award 

The Newcastle Writers Festival and publisher Spineless Wonders are excited to announce the launch of the 2017 joanne burns Microlit Award. Melbourne writer and academic Cassandra Atherton will judge the competition entries, which are invited from writers across Australia as well as from Australians living overseas. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘time’ and the maximum length of entries is 200 words. The competition deadline is 31 August, 2017.

Now in its second year, this award for microfiction and prose poems honours the work of experimental Australian poet joanne burns, who was the recipient of the prestigious NSW Premier’s Kenneth Slessor Award for Poetry in 2016.

CLOSING 31/08/17

Odyssey House Victoria Annual Short Story Competition

This competition is open to writers of all ages and experience.

Each submission must be no more than 1500 words and follow the theme “Courage”. It will need to make a reference to alcohol and/or drugs. There is a limit of three entries per person, and the entry fee is $10 per story.

CLOSING 03/11/17

Olga Masters Short Story Award

The Olga Masters Short Story Award is a competition celebrating the life and writings of Olga Masters (1919-1986), Australian journalist and author. Olga was born on the Far South Coast of NSW, and lived there, in Pambula then Cobargo, until the age of 18. Much of her fiction is coloured by her experiences in this region.

Stories must be about any aspect of Australian rural family life, 2000-5000 words. First prize is $1500. There is a $500 prize for the runner-up. Supplementary prizes may be offered at the discretion of the organisers.

The winning story will be published in Island magazine.

This year’s judges are:

Geordie Williamson, publisher of the Picador imprint
D’Arcy Randall, long-time editor of Olga Masters’ work
Craig Munro, award-winning writer, editor and publishing consultant, and Olga Masters’ first publisher in Australia.

CLOSING 18/08/17

Penguin Random House Australia Literary Prize

We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the inaugural Penguin Random House Australia Literary Prize. Officially launched at the Leading Edge Books Roadshow in Sydney on 17 July, this prize endeavours to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors writing in the areas of literary fiction and non-fiction, and celebrates the recent formation of the Penguin Random House Literary Division.

Of the prize, Nikki Christer, Group Publishing Director of Penguin Random House Australia said, “Penguin Random House is home to many of Australia’s most admired and celebrated authors. The Penguin Random House Australia Literary Prize will enable us to remain a great house of literature, by helping us discover the great writers of tomorrow.”

Submissions are being accepted from today, with entry open to all Australian residents aged 18 and above. Entries will close on Friday 20 October. 

Entries will need to include a 300 word synopsis, manuscript and pitch document (full details on the entry page below). 

The winner, to be announced on Friday 9 February 2018, will be awarded $20,000, with the winning book slated for publication in early 2019.

CLOSING 20/10/17

Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest

In its nearly two centuries of existence, The Saturday Evening Post has published short fiction by a who’s who of great American authors, including Ray Bradbury, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Louis L’Amour, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Tyler, and Kurt Vonnegut, among so many others.

“This contest is a tribute to the Post’s legacy of featuring the most renowned American fiction writers,” says Steven Slon, editorial director and associate publisher for The Saturday Evening Post. “Our goal is to continue the tradition of finding and featuring compelling stories and the authors behind them.”

The winning story will be published in the January/February 2018 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, and the author will receive $500. Five runners-up will each receive $100 and will also have their stories featured online.

CLOSING 31/10/17

The Scarlet Stiletto Awards

The idea for a national award for short stories, written by Australian women and featuring a strong female protagonist, was cooked up over a few glasses of wine in 1994 at a convenors’ meeting in St Kilda, Victoria. The purpose was to support and unearth new talent.

This has been achieved in spades.

In the 23 years to 2016, 3084 stories have been entered with 22 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners.Three collections of winning stories have been published by Clan Destine Press: Scarlet Stiletto: The First Cut, Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut and Scarlet Stiletto Short Stories: 2013 (ebook).

CLOSING 31/08/17

The Scribe Prize

Now in its fifth year, The 2017 Scribe Nonfiction Prize is a unique development award to foster talented writers aged 30 and under writing longform work. Entries between 5,000 and 10,000 words are welcome across all nonfiction genres, including memoir, journalism, essay, and creative nonfiction.

The winner receives:

  • a cash prize of $3000

  • an editorial mentorship to develop their work

  • a generous selection of new-release Scribe books tailored to their reading interests.

The shortlist will be selected by Elizabeth Flux (Editor of Voiceworks from 2013 to 2015, writer for Junkee, Metro, The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings), Tim McGuire (Editorial Committee of Voiceworks from 2015 to 2016, writer for The Australian, Big Issue, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging), Julia Carlomagno (Senior Editor, Scribe Publications) and Fiona Dunne (Creative Producer, Express Media). The winner will be selected by Scribe Publications.

CLOSING 10/09/17

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition

Organised every three months since July 2009, this competition is for original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long. All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (online and in print) – published by SPM Publications. Prizes: £200 (First), £100 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (Highly Commended), £10 x 3 (Commended). Judge: Oz Hardwick.

CLOSING 31/08/17

2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

The prize, worth £30,000 to the winner, is an international award, founded in 2010, that is open to any story of up to 6,000 words written in English. Stories need to have been either previously unpublished or only published after 31 December 2016. Five other authors shortlisted for the award will each receive £1,000. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors. To be eligible, the author must simply have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

CLOSING 28/09/17

Writer Magazine - Let there be light

Write a 2,000-word fictional short story using any nuance, definition, or understanding of the word “light.”
Deadline: August 21st, 2017
Grand prize: $1,000 and publication in our magazine
Word count: 2,000 words or less

Other prizes: Our second-place winner will receive $500 and publication on our website,; our third-place winner will receive $250 and publication on as well. 

CLOSING 21/08/17

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2017

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will be awarded for a story up to 2500 words on the theme ‘World-Changing Words’. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review.

The theme can be interpreted as broadly and playfully as you like. Feel free to experiment with form and content, but please keep submissions within the word count.

Entry fee is $15. Entries close at midnight (AEST) on 15 September 2017.

CLOSING 15/09/17

Residencies, Festivals, Fellowships and Funds

Author's League Fund

Since 1917, the Authors League Fund has been helping professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune.

Most of those we help suffer severe health problems but have inadequate insurance; some face eviction; many are older writers whose income has ceased through no fault of their own.

The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers, even their lives, with dignity by providing open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to pay for pressing expenses.

CLOSING 31/10/17

Creative Writing Fellowship (Uni of Queensland)

This Fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for an emerging Australian author to develop a new work of creative writing. You will draw on the special collections of The University of Queensland's Fryer Library utilising rich primary sources as inspiration for your novel, play, collection of short stories, book of poems, novella or associated creative work.

We encourage aspiring Australian authors (not commercially published in print) to apply.

This Fellowship is offered with the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, an Australian not-for-profit organisation with an interest in supporting creativity, and library donors.

$25,000 to be awarded to one recipient.
Feedback and guidance on your project from your chosen mentor, an established Australian writer
A feedback session with the editorial team of The University of Queensland Press. They will consider the final manuscript for possible publication. 
To be immersed in a higher education setting and receive support from Library staff, the School of Communication and Arts, and University of Queensland Press.

CLOSING 01/09/17

Dickinson House Fellowships

There is a €15 fee to apply. Dickinson House is pleased to offer two fellowships to writers for its 2018 residency season. These fellowships (all two-week residencies) waive the residency fee (room and board). Fellows are responsible for travel costs, their own insurance and visa fees, and any incidentals. Fellowships are awarded based on merit and need. People of color, women, and LGBTQ people are especially encouraged to apply. You do not need to apply for a residency separately if you apply for a fellowship. Your fellowship application constitutes application for residency. Location Belgium.

CLOSING 15/09/17

Emerging Writers' Residential Program - West Words

In 2017 the WestWords Varuna Western Sydney Residential Program offers Western Sydney emerging fiction, poetry and narrative non-fiction writers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds the opportunity of a six-day residency at Varuna, The Writers’ House in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Joining you will be Elena Gomez, editor at Text Publishing.

The residency will run from 2nd – 8th October, is limited to only four participants and includes:

a mix of mentorship, private writing time as well as social time for unstructured conversation.
One-on-one mentorship/consultation with Elena Gomez
Six nights’ accommodation at Varuna including meals
The residency is intended for the development of a current project where a significant amount of work has been completed. Prior to taking up the residency successful applicants will be required to submit the manuscript they intend working on. This is for the purposes of tailoring the mentorship to your needs.

CLOSING 08/08/17

Haven Foundation

The Haven Foundation gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe. Grants are awarded and renewed at the discretion of the Haven Foundation Board.

CLOSING 31/10/17

Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund 2017

Australian literary professionals will be able to follow their storylines around the country and overseas following the announcement of a new travel fund.

Opening for applications in July 2017, the inaugural Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund will provide inspiration and practical support to emerging, midcareer and established writers, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers and other literary professionals.

Delivered by Writers Victoria in Melbourne, the national professional development opportunity has been made possible by the generous support of The Myer Foundation.

Named in honour of writer Neilma Sidney (1922-2015), the travel fund recognises the unique value of travel in the development of new writing and literary careers.

Sidney was a constant traveller, with many of her eight books written whilst on the road (or upon the sea – her preferred mode of transport). Catching rides on container ships gave Sidney the time to write and space to travel with a typewriter and a trunk full of books.

The travel fund that bears her name will give small grants of between $2,000-$10,000 to Australian writers and literary sector workers to undertake strategic travel opportunities for the benefit of their own writing practice or career development, or for the broader Australian literary sector.

The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund will invest in Australian writers and writing, and position Australian storytelling within an international context.

A total of $300,000 in travel grants will be distributed to the sector over the next three years.
Applications for the first round of the travel fund will open on Monday 24 July and close on Monday 21 August 2017.

Judges for the first round will include author Toni Jordan, Jill Eddington from Queensland University Press and Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books in Melbourne.

CLOSING 21/08/17

Playwriting Australia – Seeking Stageplays

Playwriting Australia is seeking original plays. They approach the selection of plays with care and precision. It is a multi-stage process that involves a number of different readers assessing plays across a detailed list of criteria. It is a process that also allows for readers to be in conversation with them and with each other, ensuring quality control of readers' responses.

They believe terrific new writing must be produced and they do this reading to give playwrights opportunities to develop and/or showcase their best new plays in order to see the work reach production.

All plays submitted to Playwriting Australia are read in their entirety.

Submissions are ongoing.

NSW Regional Arts Fellowships

The NSW Regional Arts Fellowship is offered by the State Government to enable an artist or arts/cultural worker from regional NSW to undertake a self-directed program of professional development.

The Fellowship is open to professional artists, practitioners, creative partnerships or groups, and arts and cultural workers at any stage in their career from all art forms, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts, literature, music, theatre, screen, community arts, curatorial and the visual arts.

In 2017, three Regional Arts Fellowships will be awarded.

CLOSING 07/08/17

NSW Writer’s Fellowship

The NSW Writer’s Fellowship is offered by the State Government in partnership with Varuna, The National Writers’ House to enable a professional writer to undertake a self-directed program of professional development.

The Fellowship is open to writers of fiction, literary non-fiction, children’s and young adult literature, poetry, graphic novels, literary digital and new media work and writing for performance.

CLOSING 07/08/17

Western Sydney Arts Fellowship

The Western Sydney Arts Fellowship is offered by the State Government to enable an artist or arts/cultural worker from Western Sydney to undertake a self-directed program of professional development.

The Fellowship is open to professional artists, creative partnerships or groups, and arts/cultural workers at any stage in their career from all art forms, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts and culture, literature, music, theatre, screen, community arts, curatorial and the visual arts.

CLOSING 07/08/17

Publications Seeking Submissions

Allen & Unwin Friday Pitch

Allen & Unwin know how difficult it can be for writers to get their work in front of publishers, which is why we’ve created our innovative and pioneering submissions system – The Friday Pitch.

The Friday Pitch allows for writers of all genres to have their work considered by one of our in-house Submission Editors.

Please select the genre of your work, and follow the links to the appropriate submissions page for more details.

CLOSING 31/12/17

Creative Non Fiction True Story Magazine

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation is pleased to announce that, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, we’ve started a new monthly magazine. Each issue of True Story will features one exceptional work of creative nonfiction, and is distributed in print and digitally (though not available online). Submissions should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words long, on any subject, in any style.* Surprise us! The only rules are that all work submitted must be nonfiction and original to the author, and we will not consider previously published work. We’ll pay $300 on publication and give you 10 free copies of “your” issue.

CLOSING 31/12/17

Hot Chicks With Big Brains Issue #4

Hot Chicks with Big Brains has always been interested in what women do for work and how they present themselves in the world. (As in, the “hot chicks” part, and the “big brains” part.) If these overlap, even better! (As in, our logo is a Venn diagram.) Random examples of the kind of things that might fit that overlap include:

  • The experiences of black women who get told their natural hair is ‘unprofessional’ in corporate environments
  • Photographic portraits of women whose professions are connected to their bodies – pageant queens, athletes, body-builders, dancers, etc.
  • Profiles of some ultra-successful women whose partners stay at home to raise their kids
  • Visual art exploring how being a stay-at-home mother effects a woman’s sense of self
  • Conversations with mining engineers, beer brewers, undertakers, and farmers who happen to be women surrounded by men

CLOSING 20/07/17

Monthly Catch at Penguin

Do you have a manuscript you would like Penguin to consider? Penguin Group have what’s known as the ‘Monthly Catch’. During the first week of every month, you can submit unsolicited manuscripts for their consideration.

CLOSING 31/12/17

Manuscript Monday - Pan Macmillan

On the first Monday of every month only, between 10am and 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, we accept electronic submissions that comply with the guidelines set out below.

Manuscript submissions sent on any other Mondays or day of the month will not be read so we advise you to wait until the next month if you miss the deadline.

We are looking for:

Commercial fiction – women’s fiction, romance, thriller, crime, historical, humour, paranormal, fantasy
Literary fiction and non-fiction – novels, short stories, and narrative non-fiction only
Children’s books and young adult – junior and middle grade fiction, young adult/crossover fiction; we are not accepting picture book submissions
Commercial non-fiction – history, memoir, mind body spirit, travel, health, diet, biography
Please familiarise yourself with what we publish. We do not publish scripts, plays or poetry in Australia and will not assess them.

Academic submissions are not accepted during Manuscript Monday.

CLOSING 31/12/17

Right Now

Right Now is committed to covering human rights issues in Australia through free, accessible, creative and engaging online, print and radio media. Creative writing is a great way to explore human rights in Australia: from poetry to flash fiction to long and short pieces. Ongoing.

Scum Mag

Scum is interested in publishing feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 1000 words (50 lines for poetry) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. They tend not to publish traditional reviews of books and films—to get a feel for the reviews they do publish, check the review tag. Feel free to pitch to them if you’re not sure if your piece is a good fit. (Please note that they don’t accept pitches for fiction or poetry.) 

Submissions to Scum are open the first week (from the 1st to the 7th) of every month. The rest of the month, submissions are closed. They pay $60 per piece of writing. 

Seizure - Flashers

At Seizure, short-form work is living large. Flashers is the online home of Australian flash fiction.

Each week we publish work between 50 and 500 words that could be written in an hour and read in a minute. We are looking for short, sharp snippets of prose. But flash fiction is so much more than a quick-fix for the time-hungry wordaholic. Flash fiction attracts writers and readers for its peculiar challenges – and authors have to make every word count.

Accepted pieces will have an accompanying illustration by a volunteer artist that matches and complements the writing. Thanks to the Australia Council, we are able to pay our Flasher contributors $50 for each published piece.

CLOSING 31/12/17

Women Writers of Colour Commissions

Thanks to a recent donation, two women writers of colour based in Victoria will receive paid commissions for new pieces of work to be published in The Victorian Writer magazine (to the value of $200 per person).

Submissions must align with one of our upcoming themes, which are:

October–November: Doing It Yourself (self-pub, e-pub etc)
December–January: The Mash-Up (genre cross-over)
To apply, you can submit short stories, poems, creative non-fiction or non-fiction works up to 2,000 words. 150-word pitches will also be considered.

CLOSING 21/08/17

ZOETROPE Open Submissions

We consider unsolicited submissions of short stories and one-act plays no longer than 7,000 words. 
Zoetrope: All-Story is a quarterly literary publication founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997 to explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film. Pays up to $1,000 per submission.

CLOSING 30/09/17


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