This page is a space for creative writing opportunities created by the AAWP and our partners.
For more, non-AAWP, prizes and activities, see the News thread.

AAWP prizes have been ratified by Arts Law:

‘Arts Law was very impressed with AAWP’s attitude, which clearly demonstrated AAWP’s respect for writers.’

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In 2023, the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) and Westerly Magazine once again offered a prize for Life Writing. We welcomed submissions of autobiography, biography, memoir, and essays. We celebrate Life Writing as a rumination upon memory and experience and encourage creative and hybrid approaches.

The prize is open to writers at all stages of their journey; emerging and established writers are welcome to enter. The prize recognises excellence in nonfiction, creative nonfiction and hybrid modes of storytelling. Hybrid storytelling is broadly conceived as storytelling that crosses traditional boundaries of nonfiction and creative nonfiction and/or is experimental in form.

We invited you to send Life Writing submissions of up to 3500 words. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, a one-year subscription to Westerly, and conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP, where they will be invited to read from their work. Please see item 3 (Terms and conditions). The winner’s work will be considered for publication by Westerly.

We encouraged you to take advantage of this stunning opportunity to celebrate diverse interpretations of nonfiction, creative nonfiction and hybrid modes of storytelling, and be welcomed into the thriving community of writers associated with the AAWP.

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: ‘There is another world, but it is this one’ by Luke Allan

Author Bio:
Luke Allan is a poet and typographer from Newcastle, UK. He is former Managing Editor at Carcanet Press and Deputy Editor of PN Review, and is currently Editor-in-Chief at Oxford Poetry. His work is published in the TLS, the Literary Review and The Poetry Review. He received the 2019 Charles Causley Prize and the 2021 Mairtín Crawford Award.

Judges’ Report:

‘There is another world, but it is this one’ is this year’s winner of the Westerly/AAWP Life Writing Prize. And it is difficult to contain within the constraints of a judges’ report. Made of 50 gobbets of calculated zaniness, it spins through subjects as diverse as shoes, mothers, multivitamins, pickles, black holes, grief, the north of England, the queen of England, dreams, books, sex, suicide, love… and always comes up both irreverent and lyric; somehow moving and deft. It is the sort of work you begin to underline and then stop because the page is more full of ink than not; it is the sort of work which is dangerous to read in public, due to splutters of laughter or the need to be still and think for a little while. What it adds up to is a kind of plot of grief: its ridiculousness, its illogicality, and even something like its temperature. It is an astonishing piece of life writing, and the author deserves every commendation. As a team, we’d like to extend our thanks to them for the pleasure of engaging with their work.

It has, again, been a genuine delight to partner with the AAWP in offering this prize. The entries we received were of a high calibre, and we would like to put on record our thanks to each and every author who submitted work. We’d also like to make mention of some pieces which were close in the running for first place. ‘Monster Mouth’ was our second-place choice, and ‘No waves down here’ came in third. Two works were highly commended this year: ‘Thinking about ornithophobia’ and ‘The lotus lake’. Choosing a winner is immeasurably difficult, especially when the pool of entries is so strong and deep!

Second Place: ‘Monster mouth’ by Leila Wright
Third Place: ‘There are no waves down here’ by Soren Tae Smith
Highly Commended: ‘Thinking about ornithophobia’ by Michael Farrell
Highly Commended: ‘The lotus lake’ by Elizabeth Tyson-Doneley

Past Winners:

  • 2022 – ‘Doors’ by Suzanne Hermanoczki 


We were deeply interested in capturing a composite “picture” of what people are writing about. Now. We invited creative work—short-short fiction, “sudden” fiction, “sketchy” stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, as well as hybrid forms.

We accepted submissions on the following scale: up to 400 words prose, 40 lines for poetry, 200 words for prose poems, and the equivalent for hybrid forms. Submissions must be previously unpublished.

The winner receives $500, their work published on the Express Media website and a Voiceworks subscription, and a one-year membership to the AAWP.

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: ‘this is the earth’s Alarm system going off’ – Maz Howard

Author Bio:
Maz Howard is an emerging prose and poetry writer on Kaurna land. Their work has previously been published in Slinkies 2022 and Making Tracks zine. Recently graduated from university, they now spend most of their time putting the kettle on to boil.

Judges’ Report:
Inspired by Chris Jordan’s documentary Midway, about the impact of plastic waste on Laysan Albatross, ‘this is the earth’s Alarm system going off’ is a compelling read. Written from the perspective of floating oceanic plastic – “little me factory-made and sailed two oceans” – this is a poem about the now, about life and death at this point in time, its crystal-clear voice held together by a deft control over language and rhythm. It compacts antitheses like the islands of trash it describes – flesh becoming plastic, natural becoming artificial, smashing together real and unreal into a mangled heap. Infused with the apocalyptic aura of “the earth unmaking”, the poem churns forward like a meat grinder, its uncontainable manic energy working its way to the surface through its insistent pace and clever syntactic and aesthetic choices. ‘this is the earth’s Alarm system going off’ has the quality of great slam poetry: an urgent and relevant message, delivered with fresh invention, demanding to be spoken and heard. “if you see me,” it concludes, “weep.” And we did! Congratulations on an outstanding poem. 

Second Place: ‘Vaginapoem’ – Coco Stallman
Third Place: ‘There is a song you used to sing to me’ – Martina Kontos
Highly Commended: ‘cyber_memory_archive.exe’ – Matthew Platakos

Past Winners:

  • 2022 – ‘Hereditary’ by Jeimer Ng – Read the 2022 winning entry on the Express Media website, here.
  • 2022 Highly Commended: ‘Before it was white’ by Isabelle Biondi Saville
  • 2021 – ‘Crack’ by Zoe Davidson – Read the 2021 winning entry on the Express Media website, here.
  • 2021 Highly Commended – ‘Everyday Supernovae’ by Jeimer Ng
  • 2020 – ‘Little Apocalypse’ by Raphail Spartalis – Read the 2020 winning entry on the Express Media website, here.


This prize is offered in partnership with the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF), and is open to translators at any stage of their career. The prize includes a ticket to the UWRF and accommodation for the duration of the festival. The winner also receives one year’s membership to the AAWP, fully subsidised conference fees for the AAWP’s annual conference in November, and will be considered for publication by the editors of Meniscus! Entries must be no more than 30 lines (poetry) or 3000 words (prose), and entrants can translate their own work into English. Entries must be accompanied by a ‘Translator’s Statement of Intention’ (up to 400 words) addressing the aims of the translation.

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: ‘Introduction to Darkness’ by Leila S. Chudor – John McGlynn

Translator Bio:
John H. McGlynn is Director of Publications at the Lontar Foundation, established in 1987 for the purpose of introducing Indonesia to the world through literary translations. Through Lontar, McGlynn has ushered into print close to 250 books on Indonesian literature and culture containing translations of literary work by more than 650 Indonesian authors. Also through Lontar, McGlynn initiated a film documentation program which has thus far produced 60 documentary films on Indonesian writers and more than 30 films on Indonesian performance traditions. As the translator of several dozen publications himself, he has garnered much international praise for his work.

Second Place: Bruma by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida – Alison Entrekin
Third Place: ‘Buldoser’ by AS Laksana – Pamela Allen
Highly Commended: ‘Knocker’ from GJAK by Dimosthenis Papamarkos – Sian Valvis
Highly Commended: Kumo o sagasu (Looking for spiders (and Clouds)) by Kanako Nishi – Allison Powell

Judge’s Report:

This year, the number of submissions to the UWRF Translators’ Prize was unprecedented. So was the range of languages targeted in the act of translation: 20 entries and 8 languages ranging from romance languages, including Latin, to Japanese, Chinese. Nepalese, Indonesian and Hindi to Greek and Czech. The number and variety of entries in this competition has certainly demonstrated to me at least one thing: translation may not be widely published in a seemingly monolingual culture, but it is certainly an art that is being practised by established translators and beginners alike.

Every translation reflects an intense engagement with, and close reading of, something ineffable even in the original language. Each translation enacts, a translator’s encounter with the work and how they have been affected by it. Each translation recreates the work through the lens of a philosophy of translation determined by an understanding of fidelity.

Translation is a highly complex activity, and the notion of fidelity open to interpretation. Technique (literal, literary, adaptation, recreation, etc.) is dictated by the text itself. Nevertheless, from the ethical point of view, an incontrovertible principle remains: fairness both to the writer and to the reader. Beyond words and even ideas, each language is actually an original way of thinking and feeling, and translation has to transmit this otherness. It has to resist the common temptation of ethnocentric translation‘, which naturalizes anything from abroad, as if there were only one way of being in the world. So, openness is the key to interpretive acts which are entailed – and forestalled – in translation.

Whenever I’m judging a competition, I like to give myself time to live with what amounts to a personal shortlist. This time round, however, I doubted my ability to even decide on a shortlist. Indeed, such was the quality of the writing in the target language, i.e., English, that I had to scrutinise the translators’ statements to better understand their approaches and more deliberate choices. Consequently, to me it was the most enriching and distracting experience not least because I had to adjust my judging criteria, and finally to re-think my shortlist quite radically.

To keep the text open in its journey across cultures (that journey in which it becomes another text), we need to understand enough of the source and target culture (and enough of their differences) to know what works and what will not work in each. Between languages as vastly separated as Japanese or Chinese and English, it is unlikely that parallel sets of homophones or homonyms will be available. In such cases, translators may strive for equivalent effects, enhancing ambiguity rather than clarity.

It is with this in mind that I arrived at the final ranking and chose ‘Introduction to Darkness’ as the winner.

‘Introduction to Darkness’ is an excerpt from the third book of Leila S Chudori trilogy which focuses on Indonesia’s second president, Soeharto’s authoritarian regime known as the New Order and its aftermath impact. The third book Namaku Alam (My Name is Alam), slated for September ‘looks at the discrimination endured by families whose loved ones, having been accused of being Communist, were murdered. The translator states: ‘Because of their subject matter, these books are not always easy to read, but Leila’s writing style makes readers want to continue reading even when gritting their teeth’. My first notes on the translation conclude with ‘very accomplished translation. I was struck by the literariness of the writing – in particular, the energy and lyricism of the prose, the striking images and the delightful cadences. Because I am not familiar with the source language, I looked for syntactical upon re-reading, I then focused on the dialogue. I believe that this translator has indeed attained her goal, that of achieving ‘the same fluidity in the target language’.

Second place is awarded to an excerpt from Bruma, also part of a triptych which reimagines the life of an old black servant who used to read to the celebrated Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz, giving him a life and story of his own’. The excerpt offers a rich tapestry of life in the mid-nineteenth century. Though vivid and, the writing has ponderous overtones.

‘Bulldozer’ earns third place. It is a fantastic translation of a short-story by Indonesian journalist and author AS Laksana focusing on the relationship between father and son at a time of crisis. It conveys the complexity of family life that comes with the realisation of forces beyond their control. The ending is moving but unsentimental. The emotionally engaging story resonates long after the last line. In my mind it competed fiercely for second place and I have no doubt it will be published.

Highly commended is ‘Knocker’, sourced from Gjak: Tales of Blood, a collection set in the aftermath of the Greco-Turkish war (1919-1923), an untold chapter of Greece’s involvement in WWI. It is a strong two-layered narrative with an emotional impact and idiomatic complexity that conveys the oral register of story-telling. In the end, it is this quality which demoted a translation also competing fiercely for second and third place.

Also highly commended is the excerpt from Looking for Spiders (and Clouds), a memoir which explores grief and belonging in a cross-cultural context grabs the reader’s attention from the outset, maintaining interest throughout as the main protagonist experiences confusion, disorientation, fear, illness and finally the uplifting wonder of acceptance. The writing engages with Western, Middle Eastern and Japanese culture, creating a distinctive lexicon, not least because the translation is in Canadian English.

I would like to thank all the translators who entered the award. Each of the entries left me with something memorable, including the agonising business of choice.

Mine was the privilege not only of discovering writers but of witnessing the creative process at work in the act of translation.

Thank you.

Past Winners:

  • 2022 – Great Sertão: Meanderings by João Guimarães Rosa – Alison Entrekin
  • 2021 – White Moss by Anna Nerkagi – Irina Sadovina
  • 2021 Highly Commended – Dante: The Faery and the Wizard by Alberta Adji – Alberta Adji
  • 2021 Highly Commended – Collecting Butterflies by Sergei Aksakov – Kevin Windle
  • 2020 – 423 colores by Juan Gallardo and Rafael Avendaño – Lilit Thwaites


This prize is offered in partnership with the UBUD Writers and Readers Festival, and is aimed at emerging writers of fiction or poetry. The prize includes a festival ticket to the UWRF and accommodation for the duration of the festival. The winner also receives one year’s membership to the AAWP, fully subsidised conference fees for the AAWP’s annual conference in November, and will be considered for publication by the editors of Meniscus! Entries should not exceed 30 lines (poetry) or 3000 words (prose). 

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: ‘The Interview’ – Jake Dean

Author Bio:
Jake Dean writes stories and rides waves on Kaurna Country in South Australia. His short fiction has appeared in The Furphy Anthology, The Saturday Paper, Verandah Journal, Antithesis Journal, The Saltbush Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal and elsewhere. He won the 2021 Microflix Best Writing Award.

Second Place: The Last Sky Whale – Jacob Serena
Third Place: Rapunzel – Let Your Hair Down – Mary Winning
Highly Commended: Orang Bati – Tika Widya
Highly Commended: Kerania Versus the Dream – Vicki Kyriakakis

Judge’s Report:
Among rising sea waters and shrinking land, we look for hope to shore up from dark to light. Judging this year’s UWRF Emerging Writers’ Prize has provided some precious glimmers of hope. I have sailed beyond continents, temporalities and language borders through poetry and short stories and for this, I am grateful. I love the short form – the way it traverses both inner and outer landscapes in a limited quota of words. This year’s entries offered moments of wonder, shock and awe across experimentation, fantasy, realism, grunge, noir and lyricism.

The AAWP/UWRF award is broad in scope, and there was a fascinating variety of stories and poems this year. I had anticipated a glut of pandemic narratives but only two chose to visit that terrain. Instead, there were pieces celebrating family or friends, such as stories that sketched family dynamics, tales of migration, travel and loss, memories of childhood and those that engaged with the natural world.

Unlike past years, many submissions tap into the social and political, rather than the purely personal, many reference the current global environmental crisis in quite sophisticated ways. As was the case last year, one poem made the long list: ‘The Gecko’, which also has an environmental theme. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the cut, but would be publishable with some revisions.

All the stories are powerful, engaging and entertaining; they hold our attention and take us somewhere elsewhere – sometimes out of our comfort zone. In ‘Orang Bati’ and ‘Kerania Versus the Dream’, worlds collude, reminding us that every day necessity often triumphs over the threat of impending danger. The world of ‘Rapunzel – Let Your Hair Down’, though by far the shortest story, simmers with violence and yearning, yet light shines forth through passion and communion with the land. ‘The Last Sky Whale’, by contrast, is a tale of dislocation and grief that plays tricks with genre, time and geography; it is a philosophical tale for our times which stages Benjin-cet’s fall from the sky and its impact on two witnesses. The winning entry, ‘The Interview’, suggests a rising wave of possibility deftly adumbrated in the opening paragraph:

Gaz Garret’s Northern Rivers home was only an hour south of Burleigh. I pretended I wasn’t nervous, but as I neared his property, my arms involuntarily swung the steering wheel into the carpark of a macadamia-themed tourist castle. I sipped coffee by the window, looking towards the highway, and pulled out the folded list of questions I’d printed, which now seemed cringeworthy. ‘What has a life of surfing taught you?’ ‘Why have you eschewed the limelight?’ My eyes moved to those I’d crossed out: ‘What prompted you to disappear? What does one gain?’ I double-checked I’d brought spare batteries for my Dictaphone, and tried to remember why I’d wanted to become a surf journalist.

Though a story in realistic mode, it has surreal overtones, making us uncertain and uncomfortably self-aware. It is an accomplished piece about choice that I commend especially for its structure, imagery, tension, clipped dialogue and ambiguous ending.

I would like to thank all entrants, many of whom shared stories that were deeply personal accounts of love, loss or trauma. It was hard to choose just five, and I had to leave out many stories that were well-crafted, powerful and insightful.

Thank you.

Past Winners:

  • 2022 – Karen McKnight: ‘This is just to say’
  • 2021 – Soudhamini: ‘Ode to Ushas: This Time Let’s Get the Dawn Right’
  • 2021 Highly Commended – Joshua Lee Shimmen: ‘Pups’
  • 2021 Highly Commended – Elizabeth Walton: ‘Calcaneus’
  • 2020 – Nina Winter: ‘Pit Stop’
  • 2019 – Annabel Stafford: ‘Acid’
  • 2018 – Sophie Overett: ‘Sea Wife’
  • 2017 – Andrew Drummond: ‘Song of Shadows’
  • 2016 – Annabel Wilson: ‘Quire’  


This prize is offered in partnership with University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP), and is aimed at emerging writers. If you have written a poetry collection, literary novel, short story collection, or a hybrid, genre-crossing work, then you could win a $500 cash prize, alongside fully subsidised conference fees for the AAWP’s annual conference. You will also receive a written appraisal of your work from an established literary author and a letter of recommendation to UWAP, which will see your manuscript assessed without delay (and could even lead to a publishing contract)!

Eligible emerging writers are invited to submit one chapter (or 5,000 words) from a literary novel, short story collection, or a hybrid work that crosses genre boundaries. Alternatively, they may submit up to 50 lines of poetry from a larger poetry collection.

You must be an AAWP member, and you may enter as many times as you like.

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: The Freelancer by Jonathan O’Brien

Author Bio:
Jonathan O’Brien is a writer, software developer, and housing advocate, described as “a fresh and exciting voice” by The Guardian Australia. He was the recipient of a Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship (2020), and the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award (2017). Find him at

Judge’s Report:

‘The Freelancer’ is a compelling fictional excerpt that presents a fast-paced and perceptive satire of the contemporary gig economy and its values. The action is engaging, the characters are persuasively drawn, and the situations presented are skilfully realised. The writing encapsulates key hallmarks of the contemporary hustle culture in an assured and original voice, revealing how twenty-first-century freelance work and multitasking are often largely disconnected from what used to be called ‘reality’. This excerpt has real poise, possessing an inventive and acerbic sense of humour and a sophisticated self-awareness.

Second Place: The End of Experience (highly commended) – Martin Kovan
Third Place: Dear Mutzi – Tess Scholfield-Peters

Past Winners:


This prize is offered in partnership with the Australian Short Story Festival, and is aimed at emerging writers across Australasia. The prize includes a ticket to the Australian Short Story Festival in Adelaide in November 2023, as well as economy airfares and accommodation for the festival, and also fully subsidised conference fees to the AAWP’s annual conference in November. The winning entry will also be considered for publication in Meniscus. Entries should be no more than 3000 words, and can be in any style or genre. 

Read the full terms of entry here

2023 Winner: ‘In Search of Murakami’ by Alicia Sometimes

Author Bio:
Alicia Sometimes is an Australian poet and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Her poems have been published in Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Poems, The Age, Griffith Review, Meanjin, Westerly and more. In 2021 she completed the Boyd Garret residency for the City of Melbourne and a Virtual Writer in Residency for Manchester City of Literature and Manchester Literature Festival. In 2023 she has received ANAT’s Synapse Artist Residency and has co-created an art installation for Science Gallery Melbourne’s upcoming exhibition, Dark Matters.

Judge’s Report:
The winner of this year’s competition is an ambitious story that declares its intentions (and literary ancestry) from the outset. In ‘Search of Murakami’ charts an intertextual course through a dreamy Japan that oscillates between detachment and intimacy, mundanity and surrealism, the concrete and the ethereal. Dialogue and description are suggestive of a nascent (or perhaps repressed is closer to the mark) reality forever threatening to tear down the delicate ego defence mechanisms which appear to be keeping the protagonist-narrator from splintering into a thousand shards of oblivion. This is the fine balance the story strikes, treading the line between too much and hardly enough, between excess and scarcity. It’s further testament to the quality of this winning story to acknowledge that either of the runner-up stories could have been awarded first place without so much as a second thought. The quality at the top was very high. At the end of the day though, this was the one that felt most fully realised. Congratulations to the winners – in fact, to all the entrants, as there wasn’t a story in there that didn’t fulfil at least one promise it seemed to be making.

Second Place: Newton’s Cradle – Lisa Moule

Third Place: Number 3606360 – Stephanie Davies

Past Winners:

  • 2022 – ‘The True Light of Day is Constant’ by Catherine Armitage
  • 2022 Highly Commended – ‘The Creek, Running’ by Cat Moore
  • 2022 Highly Commended – ‘Ewe’ by Josephine Browne
  • 2022 Highly Commended – ‘How do you lose a whole person?’ by Katy Knighton
  • 2021 – ‘Video Capture’ by Clare Testoni
  • 2021 Highly Commended – ‘But They Sing Gloriously’ by R. A. O’Brien
  • 2021 Highly Commended – ‘The Group Booking’ by Michelle Prak
  • 2020 – ‘Cockroach’ by Jane Cornes
  • 2019 – ‘Kanreki’ by Anne Hotta
  • 2018 – ‘Fowler’s Bay’ by Margaret Hickey
  • 2017 – Ruth Armstrong (UTS, Sydney): ‘Paper Cranes’

AAWP HDR Conference Paper Awards


2023 Winner: Triple threat: (Screen)writing queer adaptations in the academy by Dante DeBono (UniSA)

Author Bio:

Dante is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia with the goal of promoting social inclusivity and equality through work focussed on diversifying queer representation in research and creative outputs. Her current thesis is focused on the queer potential of revisionist adaptations in fiction through screenwriting-based practice-led research that has seen the development of a queered modernisation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. She has been on the central committee for the Gender, Sex and Sexualities Conference since 2021, and is an advisory team member for the UniSA Oral History Hub.

Judges Report:

This paper reads almost like a manifesto for greater honouring of the practice of screen writing in its own right, and not just as a platform for film making. Further, it problematises the combination of writing queer screen adaptations. The paper is original, well researched with foundational scholarship and performs as strong polemic for the central thesis. I commend and congratulate the winner.

Runner-up: Queering the short story cycle for YA fiction by Chloe Cannell (UniSA)

Author Bio:

Chloe Cannell is a creative writing PhD candidate at the University of South Australia. Her research has been published in Writing From Below, TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, and the Journal of Further and Higher Education. Her short stories were published last year in the Green: Blue Feet anthology with Buon-Cattivi Press.

Judges Report:

A strongly and well written paper on the short story cycle genre that works as a sound defence of choice of this genre for the candidates PhD creative artefact More than seven colours. The paper argues that this form of writing is a method used by marginalised authors, or those writing about and from the margins, in order to privilege these voices. A well sourced and argued and written paper.


2023 Winner: Tacit: an invitation to discourse (performance) by Bethany Evans (CQU)

Author Bio:

Bethany Evans is currently enrolled in a PhD in creative writing at CQUniversity and has an MA in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Sydney. Her thesis will comprise a suite of poetry relating to her childhood trauma and an autoethnographic exegesis. Bethany has published a handful of poems in small publications, and has received several awards for her poetry. Her creative exploits extend beyond writing into playing classical music in community groups, and building tiny models. She works in libraries, and previously worked as an editor and proof-reader, an English tutor to school-age students, and a freelance journalist.

Judges Report:

This submission is a haunting and evocative piece of writing and performance by the candidate, constellating intertextuality and intersubjectivity prominently to perform 11 poems, provoking a lingering sense of deep trauma, and capped by the final poem Tacet; a rendering of defiance and angry pushback. I commend and congratulate the winner for her courage and craft.

Runner-up: In between and together with – Listening into the screenplay’s sensuous silences by Carina Böhm (UniSA)

Author Bio:

Carina Böhm is the name of the body that tells the realities of many different stories. She is PhD candidate at the University of South Australia on Kaurna country. She is a screenwriter who has worked across in story departments, casting and development across German daytime television. A collector of perspectives her nomadic feet have taken her to explore the many walks of life and the tales they have to tell – from the greens of forests to the sands of beaches and deserts, from writers’ rooms and community spaces to the meanderings of freelancing.

Judges Report:

This is an extraordinary and breathtakingly stunning hybrid foray, writing into silence. The blend of scholarship and creativity in this submission is masterfully crafted and the thesis behind it thoroughly intriguing, its dream-like qualities completely belying the harsh truths espoused. The inter-play of illustration, language and script indeed evokes a sense of sensuality and beauty.

Past Winners:

  • 2022 –
    • Scholarly: Trauma-Informed Editing Practice: A Framework by Camilla Cripps
    • Creative: The Many Homes of Home: Slow Lessons in Urgent Times by Julie Vulcan
  • 2021 – Online symposium: no prizes awarded this year.
  • 2020 –
    • Scholarly: Writing on Thresholds: ekphrasis, collaboration, and threshold poetics by Molly Murn (Flinders University)
      • Runners-up: Alternating Narration and Communal Mode in Unnatural Feminist Narrative by Alberta Natasia Adji (Edith Cowa​n University) and Escape from the Moskoe-strom: Disrupting the whirlpool of shame to restore connection by Elizabeth Bellamy (University of Canberra)
    • Creative: Strewn Scrabble Letters: exploring the writerly self and grieving self in grief memoir by Marina Deller-Evans (Flinders University)
      • Runners-up: Fractured futures, distant visions:  reckoning with a dis-connective creative writing process by Heather McGinn (University of South Australia) and Rising Tides, Rising Intuition: On the Necessity of Poetry Now More than Ever, A Metatextual Hybrid Essay in Four Parts by Kimberly K. Williams (University of Canberra)



This prize was offered in partnership with Slow Canoe Live Journal (SC), and was aimed at emerging writers of creative nonfiction, whether essay, profile, memoir, article, or hybrid. The prize included a $500 cash prize and fully subsidised fees for the AAWP’s annual conference in November, as well as the opportunity to participate in—and to be considered for publication by—SC! Entries were not to exceed 3000 words.

Last run in 2020.

Past Winners:

  • 2020  ‘An incomplete archive of blue’ by Dani Netherclift
  • 2020 Highly Commended – ‘Learning to Say Goodbye the Dublin Way’ by Breda Hertaeg
  • 2019 –’Marguerite Duras at the Tepid Baths’ by Anna Kate Blair
  • 2019 (Highly Commended) – ‘The Price of Perfection’ by Helena Gjone  


To reward postgraduate academic practice excellence, the AAWP Executive in 2020 reinstated two prizes for the best postgraduate papers presented at conference – one for a scholarly research presentation and one for a creative/hybrid research presentation. The prizes were $250 to each winner, and a bursary to attend the UK’s National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) annual conference. Our 2020 winners were:

Theoretical Stream:

Winner: Molly Murn (Flinders University) for Writing on Thresholds: ekphrasis, collaboration, and threshold poetics. To read the judges’ comments, click here.

Highly Commended:

Alberta Natasia Adji (Edith Cowan University) for Alternating Narration and Communal Mode in Unnatural Feminist Narrative

Elizabeth Bellamy (University of Canberra) for Escape from the Moskoe-strom: Disrupting the whirlpool of shame to restore connection

Creative/Hybrid Stream:

Winner: Marina Deller-Evans (Flinders University) for Strewn Scrabble Letters: exploring the writerly self and grieving self in grief memoir. To read the judge’s comments, click here.

Highly Commended:

Heather McGinn (University of South Australia) for Fractured futures, distant visions:  reckoning with a dis-connective creative writing process

Kimberly K. Williams (University of Canberra) for Rising Tides, Rising Intuition: On the Necessity of Poetry Now More than Ever, A Metatextual Hybrid Essay in Four Parts


To reward Postgraduate excellence in research, the AAWP Executive has in the past awarded prizes for the best scholarly Postgraduate papers presented at the AAWP annual conference.


  • winner—$300 cash prize, annual subscription to Griffith Review, Overland and Review of Australian Fiction. Winner also invited to co-edit conference proceedings
  • commended (up to two awarded)—$100

Eligible: Refereed stream (Academic) AAWP conference papers

Criteria: Clarity of the research question; significance of the inquiry; originality in thought and approach; appropriateness of the writing style.

Entry Fee: $20. 

Past Winners:

  • 2016 – Rachel Franks (University of Sydney): ‘Stealing stories: Punishment, profit and the Ordinary of Newgate’
  • 2016 (Highly Commended) – Jason Nahrung’s (University of Queensland): ‘Stolen Futures: The Anthropocene in Australian science fiction mosaic novels’
  • 2015 – Amelia Walker (University of South Australia): ‘Re-Collecting the Self as An o/Other: Creative writing research matters’
  • 2015 (Highly Commended) – Caitlin Maling (Sydney University): ‘Collage and ecopoetry in Brian Teare’s Companion Grasses’
  • 2014 – Lisa Smithies (Melbourne University): ‘Playing with Gaps: Cognitive Science and the Creative Writer’.
  • 2014 (Highly Commended) – Shari Kocher (Melbourne University): ‘Flying into the eye of the volcano: Dickinson’s volcano imagery in Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red’.


To reward Postgraduate excellence in creative practice, the AAWP Executive has in the past awarded a prize for the best creative Postgraduate paper presented at the AAWP annual conference.

Prize: $300 cash prize, annual subscription to Griffith Review, Overland and Review of Australian Fiction.

Eligible: Refereed stream (Creative) AAWP conference papers

Criteria: Clarity; originality in thought and approach.

Entry fee: $20.

Past Winners:

  • 2016 – Rowena Lennox (University of Technology Sydney): ‘Coolooloi’
  • 2016 (Highly Commended) – Caitlin Malling (University of Sydney): ‘Spending a Month with William Stafford in Oregon’
  • 2015 – Amelia Walker (University of South Australia): ‘“I” has to give: Rethinking Bloom’s apophrades and/as ghostly Derridean gifts’

Any questions about our prizes? Email