Contact Us

 

Phone +613 9690 0636

 

Email info@louisewilson.com.au

 

Address PO Box 3055, South Melbourne Victoria 3205, Australia

 

Facebook

 

Online Enquiry

Please call me back
* Required fields

Writing Awards on Offer 

 

A range of writing awards cater to non-fiction writers. The following selection lists the awards which could be interpreted as relevant to an Australian family history writer. Nearly all the competitions involve a financial investment by the entrant, either as an entry fee or via the provision of complimentary copies of the book submitted for judging.

 

Genealogical Societies and Family History Society Awards for Books & Articles

In alphabetical order of society, they include:

      • Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, Alexander Henderson Award, which is presented to the person(s) producing, in the opinion of the AIGS, the best Australian family history submitted for the award. Strong emphasis is placed on a pre-Australian component. More details ...
      • Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, Don Grant Award, which is presented to the person(s) producing, in the opinion of the AIGS, the best Australian historical biography submitted for the award. Strong emphasis is placed on a pre-Australian component. More details ...
      • Genealogical Society of Victoria, GSV Writing Prize, for an illustrated article of 1,400-2,800 words written by a member of the GSV and suitable for publication in Ancestor. Prize, one year world subscription provided by ancestry.com.au. More details ...
      • http://www.gsv.org.au/about-us/journal/gsvwritingprize
      • Queensland Family History Society, Queensland Family History Award, for a book with significant Queensland content and a focus on a family, not an individual. More details ...
      • Society of Australian Genealogists (NSW), the Croker Prize for Biography, for members only, for an essay of up to 1,500 words. Two prizes each of $1,000 and the same entry is eligible to win both awards. More details ...
      • South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society, T.T. Reed Family History Award, for a book featuring a South Australian family or written by a South Australian author. More details ...
      • Tasmanian Family History Society, Lilian Watson Family History Award for a book, however produced or published, printed on paper, dealing with family history and must have a significant Tasmanian content. It should be a work carefully and accurately researched on a single family/individual, an autobiography or group of related families. More details ...
      • The Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc runs an annual Western Ancestor Writing Competition for a story of about 1500-2500 words accompanied by at least one picture suitable for the front cover of the Journal. More details ...

Other Awards for History Books

A number of awards are offered for history books and articles written by professional historians. But most family history writers are amateur historians. As such, and depending on the subject matter of their work, they would be eligible to enter the following awards (listed in alphabetical order). Be warned, these awards mostly focus on one's abilities as a writer, often as a 'creative' writer:

      • Ernest Scott Prize for History, University of Melbourne, open entry for a distinguished work in history submitted by a publisher. $12,000. More details ...
      • Finch Memoir Prize, for the best unpublished manuscript in the form of a life story or memoir. The competition is open to previously published and unpublished writers as well as to agented writers. Prize $10,000. More details ...
      • Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, open to Australian writers of biography, and also extends to include a writer who is working on an aspect of cultural or social history that is compatible with Hazel's interest areas. $10,000. More details ...

      • Kay Daniels Award, administered by the Australian Historical Association, biennial award for outstanding original research with a bearing on Australian convict, heritage and/or early colonial history, or its international context. $1500. More details ...
      • Magarey Medal for Biography, administered by the Australian Historical Association and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, awarded biennially to the female person who has published the work judged to be the best biographical writing on an Australian subject. Over $10,000. More details ...
      • National Biography Award of the State Library of NSW, to encourage the highest standards of writing biography and autobiography and to promote public interest in these genres, $25,000. More details ...

      • Peter Blazey Fellowship, administered by The Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne, awarded annually to writers in the non-fiction fields of biography, autobiography and life writing and intended to further a work in progress deemed to have literary merit.  $15,000. More details ...

      • Victorian Community History Awards, presented by Public Record Office Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, recognising excellence in historical method: The various award categories acknowledge that history can be told in a variety of formats with the aim of reaching and enriching all Victorians.  Financial prizes awarded, up to $5,000. More details ...
      • Waverley Library Award for Literature for excellence in research in the creation of a literary work of merit. Other factors considered by the judges include readability, literary merit and value to the community. $20,000. More details ...

Awards for Articles

The following competitions cater to those with distinctive individuals or family stories in their family's background. The requirement to tell a good and interesting story within a limited word count provides good training for a writer.

      • ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for a short story of between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $5,000. Although this is a general writing competition, a skilful writer with a literary bent could succeed with the right approach to a family history or memoir. More details ...
      • Backstory Journal, an online journal produced by Swinburne University, includes a category for non-fiction history articles of up to 3,000 words. Open to public. Peer-reviewed, citations need to follow Swinburne Harvard style. More details ...
      • Banjo Patterson Writing Awards run by the Central West Library at Orange includes a category for prose or short story of up to 1,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $1,000. More details ...
      • Calibre Essay Prize run by the Australian Book Review for an essay of from 3,000 to 7,000 words. Must be in essay format. A writing competition which could be adapted to ideas about family history. Endnotes discouraged. Small entry fee. Prize $7,500. More details ...
      • Hal Porter Short Story Competition run by the East Gippsland Shire Council at Bairnsdale, for a short story in any style of up to 2,500 words. Small entry fee. Prize $1,000. More details ...
      • Henry Lawson Society Literary Awards at the Henry Lawson Centre, Gulgong NSW include the category of Open Short Story with an Australian theme, max 1,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $500.   More details ...
      • Hunter Writers' Centre in NSW offers a prize for a short story with an open theme, max 2,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $3,000.   More details ...
      • International Society of Family History Writers & Editors - an American award for articles of up to 5,000 words in various categories, small entry fee, open to non-members. More details ...
      • Janet Reakes Memorial Award in Australian Family Tree Connections magazine, for an article of 2,000 words, with a given theme. Free entry. Prize $500. More details (no updates since 2014) ...

      • Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Awards encourage emerging writers and celebrate Melbourne's status as a UNESCO City of Literature. The five biennial Awards include one for a short story of up to 3,000 words and one for a narrative non-fiction work of up to 10,000 words, each with a $1,000 prize and eligible for the main prize - the Lord Mayor's Award valued at $5,000. More details ...
      • Newcastle Short Story Award run by the Hunter Writers Centre at Newcastle, for a short story of up to 2,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $2,000. More details ...
      • Prahran Mechanics Institute Short History Prize is an award for an historical essay, article or work of up to 15,000 words about a place or person associated with Victoria.  Prize of $1,000 is shared by author/s and the Victorian historical society to which the author/s belong. More details ...
      • Rolf Boldrewood Literary Awards of the Macquarie Regional Library, Dubbo, aiming to foster the writing of prose and poetry with Australian content, offering a small cash prize for fiction or a family history memoir of up to 3,000 words, and a small cash prize for poetry in any form or style.of up to 80 lines. More details ...
      • Story Writing & Art Competition (SWAC), run annually for members of Victoria's ex-service community as a joint initiative of Victorian ex-service organisations, the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. If you, your parents or grandparents were in the services, you are eligible to submit a story of 3,000 words or less in the categories of 'True Wartime Experience' and 'True Life Experience'. Small cash prizes offered. More details ...
      • Stringybark Short Story Award, a private initiative of David Vernon in Canberra since 2010, provides opportunities for writers of short stories about aspects of Australian life to enter various competitions, announced on a regular basis. Entries, limited to 1,500 words per story, are judged with a view to publication in anthologies. The competitions, with a small entry fee and fairly generous cash prizes for 'winners', have included the topics 'Australian History' in 2011 and 'Times Past' in 2012 & 2016. Entries for this year's 'Times Past', where you create a yarn based on a real event from the past, close on 31 July 2016. More details ...
      • Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Literary Award for Prose (Fiction or Non-Fiction), a competition run by the Peter Cowan Writers Centre in WA. Open theme, for prose up to a maximum of 2,000 words. Entries must be unpublished and not have received previous awards or recognition in any other competition. Small cash prizes. More details ...
      • Yvonne Jenkins Memorial Award, an annual competition run by the Lithgow & District Family History Society for an essay of up to 1,000 words, not previously published, on a nominated topic. Certificate and one year's membership of the Society. More details ...

Government Literary Awards for History

The Federal, State and Territory governments offer a range of hotly-contested literary awards, only some of which are specifically relevant to the writers of history. Entries are normally submitted by a mainstream publishing house.  The following list is an alphabetical guide for writers with a interest in family history:

      • ACT Literary Awards do not include a specific non-fiction or history category. More details ...
      • Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, biennial awards, include a non-fiction prize of $15,000 but nothing specific to history. More details ...
      • Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award recognizes the publication that makes a significant contribution to the understanding of Northern Territory history. More details ...
      • Nettie Palmer Award for Non-Fiction, with a prize of $25,000. One of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. More details ...

      • New South Wales Community & Regional History Prize of $15,000 for a published book or ebook that makes a significant contribution to the understanding of community, institutional, urban or regional history in New South Wales. One of the NSW Premier's History Awards. More details ...
      • Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History, now part of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, is awarded to an individual or a group for an outstanding publication or body of work that contributes significantly to an understanding of Australian history. $80,000. More details ...
      • QLD Premier's Literary Awards, which included a History Book Award sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, University of Queensland, were abolished in 2012, but public support led to the creation by volunteers of the Queensland Literary Awards, now managed by the Queensland State Library. More details ...
      • Tasmanian Literary Prizes are offered biennially but are not specific to history. More details ...
      • West Australian History Award for a significant historical work that makes a major contribution to the understanding of Western Australia's past, with a prize of $10,000. One of the Western Australia Premier's Book Awards publicised by State Library of Western Australia. More details ...

Note

The links on this page were current as at 30 May 2016. If you find a broken link, or are aware of other awards relevant to family history writing but not included in this list, please let me know. For a general list of major writing awards in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA, see James Bennett  

The contests listed above are believed to be reputable but the pros & cons of entering writing competitions, with general warnings, are outlined in this article from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.