This is a unique chance to write a poem or short story and contribute to raising awareness on the issue of poverty and homelessness. This year’s theme is ‘Time for Change’.
On offer are some great prizes and what’s even more amazing is that every entry is judged by award-winning Australian writer Jackie French OAM.
Entries close on Friday 3 September with winners announced during Anti-Poverty Week in mid-October.
We encourage parents and schools to get their young talent involved and educate our future generations on the issue of poverty.
Why should I enter Pens Against Poverty?
Below are four reasons why you should get young writers involved in the competition.
1. To challenge your creative writing ability
The Pens Against Poverty competition gives you full flexibility to submit any form of creative writing up to 500 words — a shorter poem or a longer story.
We encourage participants to think outside the square and use their imagination. Your story could talk about poverty in a practical sense, or dive into the more emotional and metaphorical side.
Get inspired: The Pens Against Poverty competition began in the ACT in 2015, where the inaugural winner submitted a 31-word poem.
2. To get reviewed by one of Australia’s most accomplish authors
It’s not every day that you get your writing judged by award-winning Australian author Jackie French, as well as Australian poet John Foucher.
Jackie has won more than 60 awards in Australia and overseas. From Diary of a Wombat (2002) and Pete the Sheep (2004) through to the recently bushfire-inspired The Fire Wombat (2020), her books are a mainstay on the shelves of many Australian homes and libraries.
3. To win some great prizes
By entering Pens Against Poverty, you have the chance to win some amazing individual and school prizes.
A winner and highly commended for both the poetry and short story competition will be chosen from each of the four age categories (Year 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10).
Prizes on offer:
- Poetry ‘winner’ – $40 voucher + book (valued at $20)
- Poetry ‘highly commended award’ – $20 voucher + book (valued at $20)
- Short Story ‘winner’ – $40 voucher + book (valued at $20)
- Short Story ‘highly commended award’ – $20 voucher + book (valued at $20)
- Jackie French Young Writers Development Award – $200 voucher
- John Foulcher Young Writers Achievement Award – $200 voucher
- Individual State Schools Awards – $100 voucher
4. To educate others on the issue of poverty and homelessness in Australia
Did you know that there are 3.24 million people in Australia living below the poverty line?
This includes 774,000 children and 424,800 young people. In dollar figures, this poverty line works out to $457 a week for a single adult living alone; or $960 a week for a couple with 2 children.
The 2016 ABS Census determined that in Australia there are 116,427 people who are homeless. On any given night in South Australia, there are 5,985 people experiencing homelessness.
By participating in Pens Against Poverty, you are helping raise vital awareness and changing stigma, which all contributes to lifting families out of poverty.
How to enter
- To be valid, entries must be received by Friday 3 September 2021.
- It must be an original POEM or STORY and be no more than 500 words.
- The theme ‘Time for Change’ should be a focus of the story or poem in some way, however, the theme does not need to be overdone. Imagination, lateral thinking and creativity are encouraged.
- All submissions must be entered online by a teacher or adult.
- No more than three entries per student.
The judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrates empathy and humanity through creative writing
- Creative treatment of the competition theme
- Effective control of language to communicate meaning
Winners will be announced during Anti-Poverty Week (17-23 October 2021).
Don’t know where to start? Check out some of the great writing resources below.