Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered our 3rd Quarter Fact in Fiction Writing Competition.

Once again we had a large number of very high standard entries in this competition so please don’t be disheartened if you didn’t win a prize.

Entries that stood out were those with strong characters and voices where there was a piece of action or something to hook the reader in straight away.

Cancer was a subject that featured strongly in many works. If yours was a cancer story or you have written one on this theme, you might consider entering it in the annual Daffodil Day writing competition run by The Cancer Council.

There were some very powerful stories with strong themes and great writing and this made judging difficult but enjoyable.


These are based on some of the things that prevented stories in this competition from being the best they could be.

  1. Stories must always be submitted according to submission guidelines stated.  This means them must be the stated length of 500 words and they must be set out correctly. “Double spaced” refers to the gap between the lines of text. If you select “Paragraph” from your “Format” menu, it should give you the option of choosing “line spacing”. Select “double”.
  2. Be consistent with the tense you are writing the story in…don’t change from past to present and back again.
  3. Always check your punctuation and spelling before submitting your entry. Read your story out aloud and this will help you pick up places where words have been accidentally missed out or the story doesn’t make sense.
  4. Too much telling and not showing. Don’t talk about what your characters said. Show them talking with dialogue. Don’t tell the reader about the things that have happened to a character, show them happening. This will involve the reader more in your story.
  5. Check your story for tension and conflict. These are the things that will keep your reader reading to find out what happens next.
  6.  You don’t have much time to hook your reader so get to the action as soon as possible.

I hope you find these hints helpful for future writing.

If you want to enter future competitions of any kind please check the submissions guidelines. Judges may mark you down if your manuscript isn’t formatted correctly.

Congratulations to all the worthy winners and to every one who wrote a story and had the courage to enter it.



Age 8-12

1st Place Emily Ryan Sky Star
Highly Commended Caitlin Casady The Mesa
Highly Commended Kathleen Cuppen Breast Cancer
Highly Commended Lorna Armstrong That Day
Highly Commended Stella Elgood Field The Raid
Highly Commended Eliza Fletcher-Hobbs Bound for Botany Bay
Highly Commended Salina Poletta In Icy Waters
Highly Commended Gemma Boase-Bowden Smash
Highly Commended Frank Cooper The Sunday Disaster
Commended Erin Mckelvie The Rail to Safety
Commended Dominic Beaudequin Inside the Eureka Stockade
Commended Bryce Thomson Beck Granger
Commended Olivia Tollardo Love and Death
Commended Savannah W Havemann Eric the Red
Commended Matthew Dimotakis Rilamba
Commended Nicholas Dimotakis Scar
Commended Olivia Black Crazy Adventure
Commended Annie Quartermaine Crocodillus
Commended Lauren Tinkler Halfway Down the Banister
Commended Josie Cooper An Excerpt from Hugo
Commended Indiana Harris Wonders in a Forest


Teen Category

1st Place Melodie Liu A Temporary Affliction
Highly Commended Kim Rance Connected by blood
Highly Commended Julie McNamee The Sun Will Shine Again
Highly Commended Phoebe. O. Morakinyo Black Cats
Commended Mikaela Hannen-Woolf Dolphin Song
Commended Reena Mukherjee Violet Miller, The Cook Of The Court
Commended Devindi Gunarathne Let it be


Adult Category

1st Place Jo-Ann Spataro The Car that Ate Vegetables
Highly Commended Dimity Powell Undead Ed
Highly Commended Melissa Wray Cheese Ball Challenge
Commended Patricia Simmons Mona the China Elephant

Thanks again for entering our competition. All prize winners certificates will be sent out this week and book winners should receive their prizes shortly.

First place winner in the children’s and teen categories also receive a five-page manuscript assessment. Our adult winner receives a ten-page assessment. Please email your five pages, double-spaced in 12 point font with 3cm margins all round to dee@deescribe.com.au

Details of our NEW COMPETITION will also be advised soon. 

Happy writing:)



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  1. Congratulations to all those mentioned in the writing competition. Thanks Dee for offering such a great competition!

  2. Kathleen Cuppen says:

    Hello Dee,
    You mentioned something about Cancer, I would like to enter that comp. I went into the website but couldn’t find out how to enter or where to enter. Do you know where?

  3. HI Kathleen,

    The competition has closed for this year, but the Cancer Council runs it every year. You could fill in the contact form on their website and ask to be notified when their next competition is and they will put you on their mailing list. Here’s where you find the form http://www.artsawards.com.au/contact/

    Good luck.


  4. Kathleen Cuppen says:

    Thank-you for the reply Dee,

    Just another thing, do you know of any other writing comps that are running now? I don’t care about how many words as long as it’s over 500. Do you run any other comps except these ones?

    • Hi Kathleen,

      Unfortunately I don’t run any other competitions because it takes me quite a while to read all the great entries I get for the ones I run on this blog.

      Voiceworks often runs competitions and has opportunities for young writers. Here is a link to their site express-media.tumblr.com/submittovoiceworks

      Also, you might find other competitions for young writers in a book called Australian Writer’s Marketplace that you should be able to find in your local library or you can buy it online.

      In addition to this, Alphabet Soup has publishing opportunities for young writers at http://www.alphabetsoup.net.au/ and the CYA Conference runs a competition for young writers every year http://www.cyaconference.com/

      I hope you find this helpful.

      Good luck with your writing. Enthusiasm and perseverance are great qualities for a writer and I can see these are qualities you have:)

      Happy writing:)


  5. Kathleen Cuppen says:

    I must be getting annoying but I have a question about this quarters topic.
    When you say journey could it be a fugitive, it’s kind of a journey. Would you accept that?

  6. Hi Kathleen,

    You’re not at all annoying:) Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Your journey story could definitely be about a fugitive.

    I look forward to reading it.