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 

 

 width=

A range of writing awards cater to Australia's non-fiction writers and writers focusing on history and family history. The following selection lists the awards which could be interpreted as relevant to such writers.

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 & Family History Society Awards for Books & Articles

In alphabetical order of society, they include:

      • Alexander Henderson Award offered by the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies trading as Family History Connections, is presented to the person(s) judged as producing the best Australian family history submitted for the award. Strong emphasis is placed on a pre-Australian component. More details ...
      • Don Grant Award offered by the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies trading as Family History Connections is presented to the person(s) judged as producing 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 1,200-2,400 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 ...
      • 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, Family History Book Award, for a book featuring a South Australian family or written by a South Australian author. More details ...
      • https://www.genealogysa.org.au/whats-on/family-history-book-awards/introduction
      • 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 trading as Family History WA no longer mentions on its website 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. 

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:

      • ARA Historical Novel Prize for Australian and New Zealand historical novelists, with the most significant prize money for any genre-based prize in Australasia. Entries judged on excellence in writing, depth of research, and reader appeal. Offered by ARA Group in partnership with the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) and administered by New England Writers’ Centre (NEWC). $30,000. More details …
      • Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History is a biennial award recognising works that make a significant contribution to our understanding of Tasmania’s past and seeks to celebrate and promote books on Tasmanian history and cultural heritage, including biographies. $25,000  More details ...
      • 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 ...
      • Les Carlyon Literary Prize, administered biennially by the Australian War Memorial, intended to encourage and support emerging writers publishing their first major work of fiction or non-fiction relating to Australian military history, social military history, or war history. $10,000. 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 ...
      • Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, administered by Waverley Council, NSW, 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 ...
      • 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 ...

      • The Williams/Lee Steere History Prize of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society for the best new book on WA history. $1,000. 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 ...

Awards for Articles

The following competitions cater to family historians with distinctive individuals or 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 $2,000. 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 ...
      • E.M. Fletcher Writing Award run by the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra, for a short story of 1,500 - 2,000 words. Small entry fee. Prize $1,000. 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 ...
      • Janet Reakes Memorial Award in Australian Family Tree Connections magazine appears to have lapsed.

      • 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 ...
      • New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction, for an article of up to 2,500 words. Sponsored by New England Writers' Centre. $500. More details ...

      • Rolf Boldrewood Literary Awards of the Macquarie Regional Library, Dubbo, are no longer offered
      • 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. No updates since 2018. 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' and 'Times Past'. 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 an 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. $1,000. 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 managed by the Queensland State Library include a Non-Fiction Book Award sponsored by the University of Queensland, with a prize of $15,000 . More details ...
      • Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prizes are not specific to history. More details ...
      • Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction, with a prize of $25,000. Formerly known as the Nettie Palmer Award. More details ...

      • West Australian History Award is no longer listed as 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 25 Jan 2021. Please advise if you find a broken link, or are aware of other relevant awards not included in this list. 

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.