Authors we met!

WRITER WATCH: CAROLINE OVERINGTON. ‘The Ones You Trust’. Fans of crime fiction visited the dark side with Associate Editor of the ‘Australian’ and crime writer Caroline Overington as she explored family secrets and scandals in her new book ‘The One Who Got Away’. Caroline is the author of two non-fiction books: ‘Only in New York’ and’ Kickback’, which won the Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature. She has twice won a Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism, and has also won the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalistic Excellence. In 2009 Caroline published her first novel, ‘Ghost Child’ to great acclaim and hasn’t stopped since. Like Caroline’s books? Check out ‘I Came to Say Goodbye’, ‘Matilda is Missing’, ‘Sisters of Mercy’, and of course ‘The One Who Got Away’. Caroline’s latest unnerving thriller is ‘The Ones You Trust’. (Photo by L.J. May S/S, ABC-TV)


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.   

  • THE HORNE PRIZE, valued at $15,000, is a major essay award for an essay of exceptional quality up to 3,000 words that addresses some part of the theme ‘Australian Life’. Entries close at midnight on Monday, 17 September 2018.
  • The Arts Central Queensland LORNA McDONALD ESSAY PRIZE celebrates the achievement of Lorna McDonald’s efforts in collecting, interpreting, recording and writing the history of the Central Queensland Region. There is no age limit and entries are welcome from writers anywhere in the world as long as they express this Central Queensland focus. Entries close at midnight on Friday, 28 September 2018.
  • Submissions for the NEW ENGLAND THUNDERBOLT PRIZE FOR CRIME WRITING  for short-form crime writing in the open categories CRIME FICTION, CRIME NON-FICTION and CRIME POETRY are now open. Entries close on Sunday, 30 September 2018.
  • Creative organisations and individuals with major cultural projects on the go are invited to apply for GRANTS FROM THE COPYRIGHT AGENCY. Applications for THE CULTURAL FUND ARE NOW OPEN and close at 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 24 September, 2018.

For THEATRE/FILM/TV etc. Click here: THEATRE, FILM & TV 


Who: Aesop and The Saturday Paper.


Entries close: Monday, 17 September 2018.

Contact: For information about the prize, visit the website at Entrants to The Horne Prize can read the guidelines at and see the terms and conditions, make enquiries and submit essays at Any enquiries relating to the Prize should be emailed to: The prize will be presented in early December 2018.

Cost: There is no cost to submit an entry.

What’s happening:The Rules. Cultural partners since 2014, AESOP and THE SATURDAY PAPER have again joined forces to present THE HORNE PRIZE, a major essay award for an essay of exceptional quality up to 3,000 words which addresses some part of the theme ‘Australian Life’. Each entry must be an original and unpublished work of which the entrant is the author. Entrants are advised to retain a copy of their entry as the promoters are unable to return any submissions.

The prize is named for the late PROFESSOR DONALD HORNE, in honour of his exceptional contribution to Australian letters. An eminent author, editor, journalist, academic and public intellectual, Donald Horne (1921–2005) is widely remembered for his book The Lucky Country, an incisive critique of Australian culture, first published in 1964.

All Australian writers are invited to enter The Horne Prize, but entrants need not be Australian citizens. Judges are seeking insights from all writers who have been engaged with or affected by Australian culture. Taking cues from Donald Horne’s rigorous exploration of Australian culture, essays should be based on reportage, and bring light to a person or issue that helps us to understand who we are.

Renowned for first-rate narrative journalism, The Saturday Paper has become a weekly fixture in the lives of Australians who enjoy its astute long-form coverage and analysis of news and cultural affairs. While its primary business is skin care, Aesop is also known for its consistent cultural engagement.

The Prize: The award is valued at AU$15,000 and will be awarded in early December, with the winning essay published in The Saturday Paper on 22 December 2018.


Who: Arts Central Queensland Inc.


Entries close: Midnight on Friday, 28 September 2018.

Contact: For guidelines and the application form visit the website at Conditions of Entry

Entry Form Online entry is required and should be either Word documents or in Rich Text Format.

Cost: NIL

What’s happening:The Rules. The Arts Central Queensland LORNA McDONALD ESSAY PRIZE celebrates the achievement of Lorna McDonald’s efforts in collecting, interpreting, recording and writing the history of the Central Queensland Region. The Prize encourages essayists to bring the perspective of new generations and advance refreshing points of view regarding the region.

Newly expressed or overlooked cultural experiences/perspectives are very welcome. These may include history; whether social, economic or political; but also embrace the arts, Indigenous experience, natural history, marine science, geology, land use, land care, biology, or any other matter pertaining to the region.

All essays should be coloured by personal, memoirist experience, at once literary and imaginative, as covered by the broad term ‘essay’, which implies personal connection and strong feeling, as well as broader perspectives. This is an opportunity for academic writers to reveal their personal connection and passion for their subject and for memoirists to expand their personal story by researching and writing on broader aspects of life in CQ.

Entries are welcome from writers worldwide and there is no age limit. Authors may come from anywhere as long as they express this Central Queensland focus. For the purposes of this prize, Central Queensland is loosely defined as an area bounded by the 2014 Queensland Local Government Areas of Banana, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Central Highlands, Diamantina, Gladstone, Isaac, Livingstone, Longreach, Rockhampton and Winton.

Judging is completely anonymous. The 2018 judges are Roger McDonald, Lorraine Cairnes, and Julie Davies. A shortlist will be announced in late October 2018, followed by the announcement of the overall winner at a special ceremony to which all entrants will be invited.

The Prize: The winner will receive AU$1,000, and the prize money also covers the right for Arts Central Queensland’s one-off digital publication. Copyright in the essay(s) remains with the entrant.


Who: The New England Writers Centre.


Entries close: Sunday, 30 September 2018.

Contact: For downloadable entry forms with full guidelines and details, visit the website at Please post your work, double spaced and single sided, along with the entry form to: New England Writers’ Centre, P.O. box 1219, Armidale, NSW 2350, or submit by email to Results will be announced in mid-November 2018. 

Cost: Fee per entry: $10 for adults, $5 for youth (under 18). No limit on number of entries per entrant but a fee must be paid for each individual entry.

What’s happening:The Rules. Stand and deliver your best writing to the NEW ENGLAND THUNDERBOLT PRIZE FOR CRIME WRITING. In this, the sixth year of the Prize, there are six prizes on offer for crime writers – see Prizes below for categories. All genres of crime writing are eligible, from hard-boiled to comic, paranormal to rural historical to contemporary, noir to cosy. Entries are welcome from published or unpublished writers anywhere in Australia,


The Prizes: Each OPEN CATEGORY carries a first prize of $500. Prizes for THE NEW ENGLAND AWARD for the best entry in any category by a resident of New England – $250; EMERGING AUTHORS AWARD for the best entry in any category by a new, unpublished writer (over 18) – $250; YOUTH AWARD for the best entry in any category by writers aged under 18 – $150.


Who: The Copyright Agency.


Applications close: 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 24 September, 2018 for grants outlined below.

Contact: Go to for all categories and closing dates. Successful applicants will be notified approximately eight weeks after the advertised deadline.  For application queries, email, or phone (02) 9394 7623 during business hours.For more about the Copyright Agency, go to

Cost: NIL to apply.

What’s happening:The Rules. Creative organisations and individuals are invited to apply for GRANTS FROM THE COPYRIGHT AGENCY. Applications for THE CULTURAL FUND ARE NOW OPEN. The Copyright Agency Board endeavours to support a mix of writing, publishing and visual arts projects from around Australia. Applicants to the Copyright Agency Individuals Career Fund must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.

When considering applications to the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, the Cultural Fund Committee gives priority to those that support innovation in the Australian creative industries to develop local and foreign markets for Australian works and to projects that are not supported by government funding bodies.

If you have a project that meets the Cultural Fund’s guidelines, you may apply online to an advertised round of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. The application process is run on the Smartygrants platform on behalf of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

The Cultural Fund Committee assesses applications and makes recommendations to the Copyright Agency Board. The Board reviews the Cultural Fund Committee recommendations and makes Cultural Fund allocations.

The Grants: A range of grants is available. For all categories and closing dates, go to See the next page of competitions for THE COPYRIGHT AGENCY AUTHOR FELLOWSHIP, THE COPYRIGHT AGENCY 2018 FELLOWSHIP FOR NON-FICTION WRITING, and THE COPYRIGHT AGENCY FELLOWSHIP FOR A VISUAL ARTIST, each of which attracts a $80,000 grant. All three applications close at 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 24 September, 2018.






WRITER WATCH: KÁRI GISLASON (L) RICHARD FIDLER (R). ‘Saga Land’. Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends who share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland – the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. There are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. Richard and Kári travel across Iceland to the place where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And they have another mission – to resolve a longstanding family mystery – a gift from Kári’s Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors. Their book Saga Land describes their incredible journey. (Publicity Photo courtesy of Publisher)