Call for Entries: SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition

$5000 prize on offer from SBS in a search for diverse, new storytellers.

SBS has announced SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition, a search for the next generation of bold new voices that reflect the diversity of contemporary Australia.

Writers aged 18 and over are invited to submit a memoir piece of 1,000-2,000 words on the topic of ‘Growing up in diverse Australia’. The winning submission will be awarded a $5,000 prize to further their storytelling future, as well as having their story published on SBS Voices. There are also runner-up prizes.

Entries will be judged by acclaimed author Melissa Lucashenko, winner of the 2019 Miles Franklin award for her novel Too Much Lip, and Benjamin Law, creator and co-writer of The Family Law and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia.

SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition judge, Benjamin Law, said: “The SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition is so necessary and important. Given the rich diversity of Australia’s multicultural communities, we don’t nearly have enough of that diversity in publishing. And we’re definitely not hearing enough from young people. Thankfully we have a lot more young and diverse writers coming up through the ranks, but I want to hear more.”

Fellow judge, Melissa Lucashenko, said: “Australia is so much more than we have been led to believe. This is a country of Blak, brown and yellow voices, both heard and unheard. It is the country of those who know they don’t feature in the mainstream imagination. The country of those excluded, and downtrodden and for too long left out of the picture. As a First Nations writer and the child of refugees, I feel a strong compulsion to say to emerging writers: you matter. Your story matters. I’m listening. Together we can make change happen.”

Marshall Heald, Director of TV and Online Content at SBS, added: “SBS is committed to sharing stories that explore diverse cultures and experiences, and reflect what it means to be Australian today. We’re excited about the opportunity to discover and support new talent through the SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition and elevate the next generation of diverse voices through this important initiative.”

Open for entries from 15 August – 15 September 2020.

There will also be a $3,000 prize awarded for second place, and two honourable mentions will each receive $1,000, to support the emerging writers to further develop their skills and knowledge. Winning entries will be announced in November 2020, with all winning entries having their stories published on the SBS Voices website.

Writers from diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are encouraged to enter submissions to share their unique experiences.

Entries open 15 August 2020 and must be submitted online at sbs.com.au/writers.

SBS Voices is a platform for and champion of emerging writers from diverse backgrounds in Australia, particularly women. In the past two years, the website is proud to have published more than 100 new writers, many of them coming through its emerging Asian-Australian writers project, and its Muslim women writers’ series, as well as its partnership with Sweatshop writers collective in Parramatta, Sydney.

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