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Mayoral Creative Writing Prize

Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2016

Welcome to the Blacktown Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2016. It is open to adults and children (aged 8 to 17 years) who live in the Blacktown City. The poems and short stories must be works of fiction.

This prize was developed as an outcome of Council’s support of the National Year of Reading in 2012. The prizes were first awarded in 2013. This is the fourth year of the prize.

Submission Criteria

  1. Works must be original and completed in the last 6 months. They can be either:

    • Poem, maximum of 25 lines
    • Short story, maximum of 500 words
  2. Only one entry per person is permitted in each category.
  3. Each entry must have a completed entry form.
  4. Each page must have a footer which includes:
    • Page numbers
    • Title of the piece
    • Name of the entrant.
  5. All winning entries will be published by Council and all entries will be placed in the library’s local history collection.
  6. Members of staff, members of Council, their partners and members of their immediate families are ineligible to enter this competition.
  7. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  8. All participants will receive a certificate of participation. A presentation ceremony will be held on Friday, 25 November 2016, where the winners will be announced.
  9. Submit entries with a completed entry form in one of the following ways:

Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2016 prize money

The total prize pool is $1,600.

Winners aged 17 or younger will receive $100 and their school, if located in Blacktown, will receive a corresponding $100 as an incentive to encourage the budding authors of our local area.

Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2016 deadline and entry form

Entries close Friday, 23 September at 4:30pm.

Download the entry form and condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the theme this year?

The theme this year is 'Enter a different world'. You can write about the theme or include the words in the piece.

Can I read the winning entries from last year?

We have published the prize winners below.

What are the age groups?

  • 8-11 year olds
  • 12-14 year olds
  • 15-17 year olds
  • Adults 18 years and over.

What is the judging criterion?

The criterion is simple:

  • Originality
  • How the story or poem is constructed
  • Use of language (including creative expression, gramma, sentence structure, punctuation and spelling).
  • Character development
  • Setting and atmosphere
  • Use of words.

Who can enter?

Any adult or child who lives in the Blacktown local government area.

Who can not enter?

Members of staff, members of Council, their partners and members of their immediate families are ineligible to enter this competition.

Can I use something from another competition?

No. Your writing must be original, written in the last 6 months and fitting the theme of 'Enter a different world'

Can I put an entry in both the poetry and short story sections?


Can I put in multiple stories and poems?


Is the competition only open to the residents of Blacktown City?


The competition rules say there is a word and line limit - what happens if the entry goes over the limits?

The judges will read only up to the word limit.

Once the competition is finished what happens to the individual entries?

  • The winners are announced at the presentation night on Friday, 25 November 2016.
  • The winners and any highly commended works will be published on the Blacktown City Libraries website.
  • All other works will be retained for the Local History collection.

Will I receive confirmation of my entry?

Yes, we will send a letter within 2 weeks of receiving your entry. If you do not receive the confirmation letter, please contact Council's Outreach Programs Coordinator, Margaret Redrup-May on 02 9839 6609 or by email:

Is an entry form required?

Yes. You can download an entry form here.

Is there a maximum of words for the story or lines for poetry?


  • Poetry, maximum of 25 lines
  • Short stories, maximum of 500 words.

Does the title count as a line or words?


How does the judging process work?

Judges individually access the entries and submit their selection for shortlist considerations. Judges then meet as a panal to discuss the shortlist and then determine the winners.

When will the winners be announced?

Friday, 25 November 2016 at a special presentation at the Max Webber Library Function Centre.

Who will be invited to the presentation evening?

The winners and the highly commended writers and their family members.

If there are two winners for a category do they both win the full prize?

No, the prize money is split between the two winners.

If my child goes to a school outside of Blacktown City, can they enter the competition?

Yes, your child can enter, but the school prize is only awarded to local schools so their school will not receive the 'incentive prize'.

Past prize recipients

To read the work of previous entrants, download the PDF files below or click on the publications to begin reading in your browser.

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