Eurovision Mania Revisited!

EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2019: Get ready to sing and dance and wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care! Eurovision mania will once again grab audiences around the globe – a train to somewhere for some performers and a train wreck for others. The 64th Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live and in prime time (depending on when you get up and where you live), exclusive to SBS in Australia, from Wednesday, 15 May to Sunday, 19 May 2019. The ever camp comedian JOEL CREASEY (at left), and the ever popular MYF WARHURST (at right) hosted the first ever ‘Australia Decides’ in February, and both of them will return as presenters for the SBS broadcast this year. (Photo by L.J. May S/S)


On these pages you will find competitions and other opportunities for authors, performance writers for stage and screen, illustrators and filmmakers. See entries below the quick list for more detailed information.  

In this section we list competitions open to writers of prose and poetry. Detailed information poetry is listed below. Entries are in date order and those with deadlines looming are highlighted in red.    

  • All Australians are invited to enter THE 2019 GRIEVE WRITING COMPETITION (for prose and poetry), now in its 7th year. Submit a story, maximum 500 words, or a poem up to 36 lines by 8.00 p.m. AEST on Wednesday, 15 May 2019.
  • The BANJO PRIZE is offered annually, and any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter. Writers need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission. Submit your entries via the HarperCollins website by5.00 p.m. AEDT on Friday, 24 May 2019. 


Who: Hunter Writers Centre.


Entries close: 8.00 p.m. AEST on Wednesday, 15 May 2019.

Contact: To read about the GRIEVE PROJECT, go to the website at Read the competition Terms & Conditions and FAQs. Find the ENTRY FORMS at for the 2019 Grieve Writing Competition – Word Length is 500 words including the title and subheadings and for the  2019 Grieve Writing Competition – Max 36 lines of poetry.

Cost: Entry fee for your story/essay: $16.50 ($15.00 + $1.50 GST). Entry fee for your poem: $16.50 ($15.00 + $1.50 GST).

What’s happening: The Rules. ‘You know the measure of your love by the weight of your loss.’  Entries are open to all Australians for THE 2019 GRIEVE WRITING COMPETITION (for prose and poetry), now in its 7th year. Submit a story, maximum 500 words, or a poem up to 36 lines.

In 2013, the director of Hunter Writers Centre and a palliative care nurse specialist, who also loved to write, dreamed up the idea of calling for stories and poems to publish for Grief Awareness Month (August). Each year, Australians living here and abroad submit poems up to 36 lines or stories/personal essays up to 500 words and approximately 110 works are published in the annual anthology.

There is now a dedicated Grieve Project website where people around the world can read the wonderful writings by Australians. Beyond Blue have been involved in the Grieve Project since its inception. Here is their article on Grief and Loss. The 6th anthology was published in 2018. Listen and watch the reading of the 2018 prizewinning pieces selected by the judges. View the names of the 110 finalists selected for the 2018 anthology 

The project is grateful for the support of their distinguished judges. Learn more about them here: Meet the judges. As a not for profit organisation, the organisers ensure that all monies made go back in to support the project.

The Prize: Over $7000 in prizes – Click to view


Who: HarperCollins.


Entries close: 5.00 p.m. AEDT on Friday, 24 May 2019.

Contact: Entries are via the HarperCollins website at Please read the Terms & Conditions on their website for full eligibility requirements and submission guidelines.  Shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, 27 August 2019, and winners will be announced on Tuesday, 17 September 2019. Please check the FAQ page if you have questions about entering The Banjo Prize. There is a video on how to write a synopsis for your novel on the website.

Cost: There is a limit of one entry per person.

What’s happening: The Rules. The BANJO PRIZE is offered annually and any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter. Writers need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission. Applications also need to include a synopsis of approximately 500 words and a 200-word biographical statement.

HarperCollins says: ‘We’re on a quest to find the next great Australian storyteller. We’re looking for exciting new Australian voices telling the sorts of stories that we love to read – from sweeping family sagas and lush romances to dark and gritty crime, twisty psychological thrillers, rich historical dramas and contemporary romantic comedies. We’re looking for stories that make us laugh and make us cry. Stories that keep us reading late into the night… 

‘THE BANJO is named after Banjo Paterson, Australia’s first bestselling author. His first collection of poems, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, was published by Angus & Robertson in October 1895 and was an instant success.  The first edition sold out in the week of publication and went on to sell over 7,000 copies in just a few months.  We hope that The Banjo will strike literary gold too.’

To enter, entrants must submit an original work of adult fiction, not previously published in a commercial publication of between 75,000 and 100,000 words.

Fantasy, science fiction, young adult, poetry, plays, works for children and any kind of non-fiction are not eligible. The manuscript can be set anywhere, but the author must be of a resident of Australia aged 18 years and over. They want to find the next great Australian storyteller.

The Prizes: THE MAIN PRIZE WINNER WILL WIN: A publishing contract to publish your work as a commercial publication on reasonable commercial terms including an advance against royalties of A$15,000.00. THE RUNNER UP PRIZE WINNERS WILL EACH WIN: A written readers assessment by a HarperCollins editor on your work.






EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2019: Award-winning singer-songwriter KATE MILLER-HEIDKE will represent Australia in Semi-final 1 with her operatic pop song ‘Zero Gravity’ after being selected by the Australian public and a jury of industry experts at the first national selection show ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ in February. Kate says: ‘To be voted by the Australian public to represent the country at Eurovision is such an honour. It’s not a responsibility I take lightly. People have put their trust in me and I can’t wait to give it my all. I’ve always loved the more out-of-the-box performances and “Zero Gravity” will be just that. It’s a rousing, uplifting song about emerging from depression. For me, it was a feeling of absolute elation and the song ends in a really empowering place. It was written to be performed live and the staging is like nothing I’ve ever attempted.’ (Photo of Kate Miller-Heidke during her ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ winning performance in February 2019, by L.J. May S/S)