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2019 Deborah Cass Prize 
“Early career writers of migrant background are invited to apply for the 2019 Deborah Cass prize. The winner receives a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript is presented to Black Inc. publishers for consideration, with the winning excerpt published in Mascara Literary Review. The award package is designed to help an early-career writer finish their manuscript and get their book published.” Closing 9th September. 

Writing residency in a treehouse
Applicants are invited to apply to The Jan Michalski Foundation for its annual writers’ residency program. The residencies take place at the foot of Switzerland’s Jura Mountains and the selected writers each live and work in modern treehouses. Applications closing 15th September.

Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2020-2021
“The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA) is a development award assisting writers and performance makers to grow their first drafts, pitch documents, sample scenes, or creative development findings into a production-ready text.” Applications close 15th September.

ARKfest Play Submissions
ARK welcomes writers of all age, experience and gender from across Australia to submit their plays, including radio plays and monologues, for consideration in the ARKFest Short Play Festival in March 2020. You may enter up to 5 plays, 10 minutes or less each in duration. Black box/minimal set theme is strongly encouraged, entry is free and applications close 15th September 2019. 

2019 Magabala Creative Development Scholarships open
Magabala Scholarships are open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, artists, illustrators and storytellers. The scholarships support professional development relating to writing, illustration and storytelling, which may result in a manuscript for potential publication. Applications close 20th September.

Better Read Than Dead
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
~ Albert Camus
Using the above as inspiration, write a short story of between 1000-1500 words centred around the theme of winter in Sydney. Please submit your stories to by 23 September with a short bio about yourself, including your inspiration/aspiration for writing. Please make sure you have also filled out the expression of interest and consent form [on website]’. Closing 23rd September.

KSP Short Fiction Competition
Submit in the categories of youth (10-17 year olds; maximum 1,000 words; entry is free) or adult (18+ years old; maximum 2,500 words; entry is $10). The theme for both categories is open. Closing 27th September.

Patrick White Award
Themes for 2019, Kindergarten to Year 12

  • “Staring back at me..”
  • “Now I am in charge”
  • “I opened the garage door….”

Group Competition – Years K-3
The Group section of the competition is offered to support Aboriginal students working together with their classmates to develop a shared story, poem or play. In the early years of schools group work is encouraged and the AEC would like to support this learning approach. As long a one member of the class identifies as Aboriginal the work will be accepted. The prizes are awarded on a class by class basis for each of the years Kindy to Year 3. Schools are free to enter as many stories, poems or plays as they like for each class. A Group is made up of three students or more. Closing 27th September.

2019 Stella Prize
The 2019 Stella Prize is open to female and non-binary Australian or permanent resident writers who published a book in English anywhere in the world between 1st January and 31st December 2019. Self-published and books published in ebook form are not eligible for entry. Closing 27th September.

Red Room Poetry Object Competition
Open to schools and individuals for young writers (years 3-10) to create poems of up to 20 lines inspired by treasured, curious or talismanic objects. Free entry. Closing 27th September.

KYD New Zealand showcase
“In November 2019 Kill Your Darlings magazine is shining a spotlight on brilliant writing from Aotearoa New Zealand. Following our Indonesia Showcase in July, and state & territory showcases in 2018, we’re excited to bring New Zealand voices to new audiences.” Accepting essays/commentary, memoir/personal essay, cultural criticism, and short fiction. closes 30th September.

Call-out for Poets: Spirit of Home
“Submissions are invited for SPIRIT OF HOME, the 5th in an annual series of popular Manly Art Gallery & Museum live poetry readings. Twenty poems will be chosen by event curator Michele Seminara for live reading by the authors, who will each receive $50. Three of the poems will be selected for publication in online creative arts journal Verity La ( and receive an additional $50 payment. All twenty poems will be eligible for publication on the Australian Poetry Collaboration website (” Entries close 30th September.

Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship
“The Fellowship enables an editor to undertake a professional development program comprising of a contemporary professional research project in an international market followed by a series of presentations to peers and industry in Australia. The value of the Fellowship is $AUD20,000. Editors are encouraged to apply for the Fellowship by proposing a research project for consideration.” Closing 30th September.

The Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship
“The Fellowship is offered annually and supports an emerging author or illustrator with creative time and professional development.” Closes 30th September.

ABR Indigenous Fellowship
“This Fellowship… aims to help develop and promote vibrant new non-fiction journalism by an emerging or established Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. The selected Fellow will be provided $10,000 to assist the Fellow develop three non-fiction articles to be published in print and online with ABR over the course of twelve months.” Applications close 1st October.

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2019
Theme: All Lit Up, limit of 2,500 words. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. Highly commended will also receive publication in Mascara Literary Review, and $250. Closing 1st October.

Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing 2019 – New England Writers’ Centre
Entries are now open for the 2019 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing. There are six awards on offer for crime writers, with five open to writers in Western Australia:

  • The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Fiction for a story of up to 2,500 words (First Prize: $500)
  • The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction for an article of up to 2,500 words (First Prize: $500)
  • The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry for a poem of up to 60 lines (First Prize: $500)
  • The New England Award for the best entry in any category by a writer resident in New England (Prize: $250)
  • The Emerging Authors Award for the best entry in any category from new, unpublished writers over 18 only (Prize: $250)
  • The Youth Award for writers under 18 (Prize: $150)

All genres of crime writing are eligible, and entries welcome from anywhere in Australia, from published or unpublished writers. Entry fee: $10 for adults, $5 for Youth. Closing 7th October.

Underground Team

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