Award Winning Australian Writing (AWAW) Submissions

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions are open to pieces that have won first place in Australian short story and poetry competitions held between 1 June 2016 and 31 May 2017.
  • Send your piece as a Microsoft Word document or Rich Text Format (.rtf) file.
  • Format the file with double-spacing, and keep fancy fonts and other additional formatting to a minimum.
  • Download and fill out an AWAW Submission Form (one per submission).
  • Include your name and the title of your piece in the file name for both the submission and submission form.
  • Send your piece and submission form to the editor at editor@melbournebooks.com.au with 'AWAW Submission' in the subject line.

Deadline: 23:59 on 31 May 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my piece eligible for consideration in Award Winning Australian Writing (AWAW)?

If your piece has won first place in an Australian competition in the stipulated timeframe, it is eligible for submission. 

What if my piece has already been published elsewhere?

If your piece has already been published, it is still eligible for submission. However, please note that there might be publication rights associated with the original publication — you’ll have to obtain permission from the original publishers. On our end, we will be happy to acknowledge in your author bio where your piece was initially published.

Is there a word limit?

We prefer short stories to be no more than 3000 words, but there are exceptions. (We cannot, however, consider stories over 5000 words.) 

For poetry, the number of lines depends on line length. As a guide, ideally we would like poems of no more than 200 lines.

How do I submit my story/poem?

As stated above, submit your piece via email to the anthology's editor via editor@melbournebooks.com.au as a Microsoft Word document or Rich Text Format (.rtf) file, double-spaced, with fancy fonts and formatting kept to a minimum, along with a completed AWAW Submission Form (one per submission).

Can I submit more than one piece?

Yes. Every piece that wins first place in a writing award is eligible for submission.

Do I need to submit anything else?

Yes. We’ll need you to send in a completed AWAW Submission Form (one per submission). The form includes a space for you to write a 100-word bio, written in the third person (e.g. ‘John Smith is a Sydney-based writer’). Please email these through with your submission/s to the editor, Chloe Brien, at editor@melbournebooks.com.au.

If my piece is selected for inclusion in AWAW, will I be paid?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of short-story and poetry publishing and the non-commercial nature of the anthology, we would not be able to afford to publish AWAW if we paid authors outright. However, we provide each author one complimentary copy of the book once it is published, along with ongoing discounts for both authors and competition organisers when ordering the book through us.

Will I retain copyright to my work?

Yes. If your piece is selected, we will publish your work on a non-exclusive basis, meaning you are free to publish your work elsewhere if you wish. You retain all rights to your work.

When will I find out whether my piece has been selected?

We should be able to let you know whether or not your work has been selected by mid-August at the latest. If you have not heard from us by then, please feel free to get in contact with the editor, at editor@melbournebooks.com.au.

If selected, will my work be edited?

Yes, but only minimally. We will edit pieces for grammar, punctuation and style (e.g. numerals, capitalisation, italicisation, etc.), mostly in line with the Macquarie or to conform to our house style. As much as possible, we would like pieces to published in the form they were in when they won the competition. You will be consulted on any editing changes made.

Once finished, where is the anthology distributed to? Is it sold in retail shops? 

We have a national distributor, Dennis Jones & Associates, in charge of contacting bookshops and ‘spruiking’ our books. AWAW has become an integral part of the literary market, and is available in many chain, independent and university bookshops, along with being stocked in a number of state and local libraries. It is also available on the Small Press Network (SPN) website in both print and e-book formats, as well as the Booki.sh online store and, of course, on the Melbourne Books website.

How is the anthology regarded in the writing and publishing community? Who actually gets to see it (e.g. is it reviewed in the press)?

The anthology’s supporters include Lisa Dempster, the director of the Melbourne Writers Festival; authors Arnold Zable and Delia Falconer; poet Mark Tredinnick; and Fellowship of Australian Writers president Philip Rainford — each of whom have written forewords for previous editions of the anthology. Prominent authors who have been featured in the anthology include Margo Lanagan, Ron Pretty, Robert Adamson, Sarah Holland-Batt, Josephine Rowe, Kevin Gillam, Amy Espeseth, Laura Jean McKay, David Campbell and Sam Cooney.

The 2010 edition was received very favourably in the media, with positive reviews and features in The Age, Adelaide’s Advertiser, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Fringe Magazine, and several community papers. Similarly, the 2011 edition garnered a lengthy feature in The Weekend Australian, along with positive reviews in The Age, Overland and The Melbourne Review. The 2012 edition was written about in ArtsHub and Lipmagazine, while in 2013 the anthology was publicised in The Age and Kill Your Darlings.

As part of the 2013 Emerging Writers' Festival, then–AWAW editor Adolfo Aranjuez was invited to speak about writing awards. He also had a piece on writing competitions in The Emerging Writer 2013.

Will there be a launch?

Yes. It is attended by many of the authors, some of whom do readings and/or talk about their writing experiences. The 2008 and 2009 editions had launches that were part of the Melbourne Writers Festival (around August), and in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 AWAW had a standalone launch at the Melbourne City Library around October. The 2014 edition was launched at The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne’s CBD, and the 2015 edition was proudly launched as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival once again.