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

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Freelance Writing Jobs

Writing Awards and Competitions

2017 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

The Deborah Cass Prize is now in its third year and is going national. This is a prize for writers with a migrant background who are relatively early in their careers.

In the first two years the prize was open to Victorian writers and attracted a high quality field of entrants.

The inaugural prize was won by Moreno Giovannoni for Tales of San Ginese, a book of tales about an Italian village, which will be published by Black Inc. in 2018. Melanie Cheng, who was runner-up in the first year, recently published her first collection of short stories, Australia Day, which are about belonging in contemporary Australia.

Jean Bachoura won last year’s prize, for Night Falls, about a young Syrian-Australian man, largely set in war-destroyed Damascus.

Three of Australia’s leading writers, Christos Tsolkias, Alice Pung and Tony Ayres, are the judges of the prize again in 2017. The winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript will be presented to Black Inc. There is also the opportunity for publication of the wining excerpt in Mascara Literary Review.

CLOSING 16/10/17

Elle Australia Writing Competition

Write a 4,000-word short story on the topic of your choice. Where you choose to take it is up to you. Fall in love, rule the country or walk a day in Beyoncé’s shoes. The aim is to move the judges, whether they laugh, cry (or cringe). Deadline for entries is November 3, so if you’ve got a story to tell, go on and get telling it.

The winning fiction will be published in the January issue of ELLE Australia, and the author awarded a $5,000 prize. Two runners-up will receive a prize pack of recent releases from Hachette Australia worth $200.

CLOSING 03/11/17

Futurescapes Competition ($4,500)

For 2017, the Futurescapes Contest theme is “Blue Sky Cities.” We’re seeking stories set in a near-future city where significant strides have been made toward improving air quality, climate adaptation, or even net positive impacts on climate and air quality.

You need not paint us a utopia – we don’t really believe in those. We believe that at any given time, depending on individual perspective, every city has dystopian and utopian aspects. The key is to show us a solution, but don’t strip it of realistic political, scientific, or logistical obstacles, and don’t neglect the possibility and ramifications of unintended consequences from even the best solution.

CLOSING 13/10/17

Hammond House International Poetry Prize 2017

The winner receives a £250 cash prize and worldwide publication of their work in an anthology of poetry together with twenty-four other shortlisted entries. 2nd prize is £50, 3rd prize is £25. The theme for 2017, ETERNAL, is intended to be inspirational, not restrictive, please feel free to interpret it in any way you choose. Be creative, be unpredictable, be different; the judges will be eternally grateful if you can make them feel the honesty and the emotion as well as the intellect and rigour in your poem. There are no limits to line length or word count, so both Haiku and Epic poems fit the bill. This competition will be judged by Christopher Sanderson, Robert Etty and Paul Sutherland.

CLOSING 30/09/17

Hammond House Short Story Contest

This prestigious prize is awarded each year for a short story on a chosen theme. The winner receives a cash prize and worldwide publication of their story. 
In 2017 there are even bigger cash prizes and greater opportunities for publication with the full shortlist of 25 entries being included in an anthology dedicated to this prize.

The theme for 2017, ETERNAL is intended to be inspirational, not restrictive, please feel free to interpret it in any way you choose. Be creative, be unpredictable, be different; the judges will be eternally grateful.

CLOSING 30/09/17

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

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

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.

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

The Plough International Poetry Prize

For previously unpublished poems on any subject. An Open Competition for a poem up to 40 lines plus, new this year, The Ronald Duncan Short Poem Competition – maximum length 10 lines. Both competitions will be judged by Michael Symmons Roberts. The prizes in each category: 1st prize £1,000 – 2nd prize £500 - 3rd prize £250
CLOSING 31/01/18

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

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

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

The Bellagio Arts & Literary Arts Residency

This residency, by The Rockefeller Foundation, affords time to create work on the tranquil shores of Lake Como, Italy. All fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights and poets, who share the foundation’s vision of promoting the well-being of humankind and whose work relates to or is inspired by global or social issues, can apply. See their guidelines for detailed work sample and recommendation letter requirements.
CLOSING 01/10/17

Copyright Agency Author Fellowship

The Copyright Agency will award $80,000 to a mid to late career author for a 12 month period to develop and create work.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a mid to late career author with at least five substantial published books. Of these five published books, two can be self-published.

The applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Open to novelists, playwrights, poets, scriptwriters, non-fiction writers, children’s and young adult book writers, and journalists.

CLOSING 25/09/17

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

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

Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship

The Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship was established by the Trust to honour one of our founders and first Chair, the late Hon. Ian Wilson AM. The Fellowship is offered annually and supports an emerging author or illustrator with creative time and professional development.
CLOSING 30/09/17

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.

The Princeton Arts Fellowship

This prestigious fellowship is for early-career artists, including poets, novelists and playwrights. Fellows must teach one course each semester, but can take up an artistic assignment in lieu of a class.
CLOSING 15/09/17

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

Write for Archer

Archer publishes articles and images about sexuality, gender and identity from a diverse range of writers/artists, from all levels of experience.Archer is aimed at all individuals interested in sexuality, gender and equality. Archer promotes inclusivity, regardless of gender identity, geographical location, ethnic identity, sexual orientation or level of education.
We accept pitches for the Archer website all year round. We often source writers from our website. If our editor thinks a piece may be suitable for the print edition, you will be contacted.

Please specify during your pitch if you would only like to be considered for the print edition.

[see website in link for full submission criteria]

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

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

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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