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Date Published: 14/06/2022

With upcoming holidays, now could be a great time to get stuck into writing for pleasure! There are several writing competitions currently open to secondary school students.

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers is a developmental award open to Australian secondary school-aged students across the nation.

The prize recognises writing excellence in three categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Shortlisted writers get the opportunity to receive mentorship from an established author. In 2022, the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers Mentor is Zana Fraillon!

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers gives young writers the opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of some of Australia’s favourite authors. The Prize aims to ignite passion for creative writing and poetry in the minds of Australia’s secondary school students, and to encourage them to pursue writing and publishing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.

All entries must be received by 11.59PM AEST, Thursday 7 August 2022. The instructions and conditions of entry are provided on the website.


The prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $500 courtesy of Hachette Australia
  • publication of their work on the Express Media website
  • their names and an acknowledgement printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal.

All fifteen shortlisted writers will:

  • Be invited to participate in a writing masterclass
  • Attend an exclusive Q&A with Zana Fraillon
  • Receive a book pack of YA Titles courtesy of Hachette Australia

Zana Fraillon

Zana Fraillon is an internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning Australian writer of books for children and young adults. Zana’s books have won the Amnesty CILIP Honour Award; the ABIA Book of the Year for Older Readers; The Readings YA Book Prize; the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; the CBCA Honour Book Award; and her book The Bone Sparrow was chosen as the biennial book to represent Australia for the International Board on Books for Young People. Her books have also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Award; the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize; the Prime Minister’s Literary Award; the INKY awards; the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award; the Queensland Literary Award; the CBCA Book of the Year Awards; the UK Crime Fest Award; and the Aurealis Awards

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards

The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is Australia’s longest running annual poetry competition for school-aged children. In 2022, the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society has chosen the theme “In My Opinion.” As always, it is an optional theme. The Society encourages students to write about topics and experiences that spark their poetic genius (in whatever form they choose). For more information visit the website and check out the poster below! Entries close June 30th so be quick if you’d like to enter!


The winner will receive:

  • $500
  • Trophy
  • Prize pack

Runner’s up will receive:

  • $300
  • Prize pack


Created by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with The Australian Botanic Garden, POEM FOREST invites students and teachers to use their words to make positive climate action. For every nature poem received a tree is planted to help heal habitats and create a POEM FOREST for future generations. In 2021, over 5,000 poem trees were planted.

All POEM FOREST Prize entries are published in their digital library and have the chance to win $5,000 in prizes, including $500 cash for each category, book packs from Magabala Books, Pantera Press, Wonderground as well as Garden tours, plants, seeds and more. Entries are now open, closing Friday 23 September. For more information, visit the website.


The following prizes will be awarded to the best poem in each category:

  • $500 cash
  • $100 book pack from Magabala Books, Pantera Press, Wonderground Journal
  • Seeds from the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
  • Judging notes and winner’s certificate

Highly Commended prizes in each category will also be awarded a book from Magabala Books

You have to be in it to win it, so start your creative writing journey today! If you’d like more information about any of the competitions pop into the iCentre or ask your English teacher.


Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. (2022). 2022 OPTIONAL THEME: “IN MY OPINION”. Retrieved from

Express Media. (2022). The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers. Retrieved from

Red Room Poetry. (2022). Poem Forest. Retrieved from

Zana Fraillon. (2022). About Me. Retrieved from

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