PRESENTS:

Are you the author of
Australia’s best short story?

PRESENTS:

Are you the author of
Australia’s best short story?

Short stories have the power to transport us to another world, they educate and entertain us, and can make the everyday seem extraordinary.

The West Australian and Minderoo Foundation present The Best Australian Yarn, a search for Australia’s best short story. It is a celebration of creative writing and the arts across Australia.

Everyone has a story to tell, and now we are calling on Australians everywhere to put pen to paper and take part in the world’s richest short story competition for published and unpublished writers.

Short stories have the power to transport us to another world, they educate and entertain us, and can make the everyday seem extraordinary.

The West Australian and Minderoo Foundation present The Best Australian Yarn, a search for Australia’s best short story. It is a celebration of creative writing and the arts across Australia.

Everyone has a story to tell, and now we are calling on Australians everywhere to put pen to paper and take part in the world’s richest short story competition for published and unpublished writers.

Your story doesn’t have to be long, just 1500 - 2500 words.

Anyone can enter - published and unpublished writers, students, anyone over the age of 12.

Your story doesn’t have to be long, just 1500 - 2500 words.

Anyone can enter - published and unpublished writers, students, anyone over the age of 12.

There is a prize pool of $50,000 to be won across a range of categories:

OVERALL WINNER $30,000
WA WINNER $4,000
REGIONAL AUSTRALIA WINNER $3,000
YOUTH WINNER $2,000 + MENTORING
READERS' CHOICE $2,000
NINE SHORTLISTED FINALISTS $1,000 EACH

Terms and Conditions

There is a prize pool of $50,000 to be won across a range of categories:

OVERALL WINNER $30,000
WA WINNER $4,000
REGIONAL AUSTRALIA WINNER $3,000
YOUTH WINNER $2,000 + MENTORING
READERS' CHOICE $2,000
NINE SHORTLISTED FINALISTS $1,000 EACH

Terms and Conditions

Enter your yarn now.

So what are you waiting for? Submissions are now open. Enter your yarn here for the chance to have it published in The West Australian or one of our other platforms. Entries close on Tuesday May 31, 2022.

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement

Enter your
yarn now.

So what are you waiting for? Submissions are now open. Enter your yarn here for the chance to have it published in The West Australian or one of our other platforms. Entries close on Tuesday May 31, 2022.

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement


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The Judges.

Anthony De Ceglie

Editor-in-Chief, The West Australian

Anthony De Ceglie is the Walkley award-winning editor-in-chief of West Australian Newspapers, responsible for The West Australian, The Sunday Times, thewest.com.au, PerthNow and the company’s 18 regional and 11 local PerthNow newspapers. Before editing The West, he was the deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney. His first job was at a small regional paper, The Collie Mail, in rural WA.

Nicola Forrest AO

Co-founder and co-chair, Minderoo Foundation

Nicola is co-founder and co-chair of the Minderoo Foundation. Nicola champions early childhood education, arts, culture and community initiatives across the organisation. Nicola is Life Patron of the Black Swan State Theatre Company, Patron of the Kimberley Foundation Australia and Impact 100 WA and is Life Governor of Sculpture by the Sea. Nicola is passionate about arts participation and local stories. 

Terri-ann White

Publisher, Upswell Publishing

Terri-ann White was director of UWA Publishing from 2006 to 2020. She has been an independent bookseller, has had her writing published widely, and she has collaborated with other artists: dancers, visual artists, and musicians. In 2021, Terri-ann launched Upswell Publishing, with a focus on distinctive works in fiction, narrative nonfiction, poetry and works of hybridity.

Rachel Bin Salleh

Publisher, Magabala Books

Rachel Bin Salleh is a Nimunburr/Yawuru woman from Broome. She is an experienced editor, has worked as Sales/Administration Manager, Marketing Assistant, Production Co-ordinator, part-time bookseller and now Publisher. Rachel works with First Nations writers, storytellers, poets, yarners, songwriters, playwrights, performers and illustrators.

Robert Drewe

Australian author

Robert Drewe’s novels, short stories and non-fiction works have won national and international prizes and have been adapted for film, television, radio and theatre. He has twice edited the Best Australian Short Stories and in 2019 his own collection of stories, The True Colour of the Sea, won the prize for the best book published in Australia. His latest novel, Nimblefoot, will be published in August. His column The Other Side appears in The West every Saturday.

The Judges.

Anthony De Ceglie

Editor-in-Chief, The West Australian

Anthony De Ceglie is the Walkley award-winning editor-in-chief of West Australian Newspapers, responsible for The West Australian, The Sunday Times, thewest.com.au, PerthNow and the company’s 18 regional and 11 local PerthNow newspapers. Before editing The West, he was the deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney. His first job was at a small regional paper, The Collie Mail, in rural WA.

Nicola Forrest AO

Co-founder and co-chair, Minderoo Foundation

Nicola is co-founder and co-chair of the Minderoo Foundation. Nicola champions early childhood education, arts, culture and community initiatives across the organisation. Nicola is Life Patron of the Black Swan State Theatre Company, Patron of the Kimberley Foundation Australia and Impact 100 WA and is Life Governor of Sculpture by the Sea. Nicola is passionate about arts participation and local stories. 

Terri-ann White

Publisher, Upswell Publishing

Terri-ann White was director of UWA Publishing from 2006 to 2020. She has been an independent bookseller, has had her writing published widely, and she has collaborated with other artists: dancers, visual artists, and musicians. In 2021, Terri-ann launched Upswell Publishing, with a focus on distinctive works in fiction, narrative nonfiction, poetry and works of hybridity.

Rachel Bin Salleh

Publisher, Magabala Books

Rachel Bin Salleh is a Nimunburr/Yawuru woman from Broome. She is an experienced editor, has worked as a Sales/Administration Manager, Marketing Assistant, Production Co-ordinator, part-time bookseller and now Publisher. Rachel works with First Nations writers, storytellers, poets, yarners, songwriters, playwrights, performers and illustrators.

Robert Drewe

Australian author

Robert Drewe’s novels, short stories and non-fiction works have won national and international prizes and have been adapted for film, television, radio and theatre. He has twice edited the Best Australian Short Stories and in 2019 his own collection of stories, The True Colour of the Sea, won the prize for the best book published in Australia. His latest novel, Nimblefoot, will be published in August. His column The Other Side appears in The West every Saturday.

Frequently Asked Questions.

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Is it free to enter The Best Australian Yarn short story competition?
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Yes, there is no entry fee.


Can I enter more than one category?
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Yes, if you fit the criteria for one of the three sub-categories. You will need to tick the relevant box when submitting your story. Entries into these sub-categories will automatically go into the pool to be considered for the shortlist for the major prize and the Readers’ Choice prize.

Entrants aged between 12 and 18 can submit their story into the Youth category. Entrants for this category must be under 18 on May 31, 2022.

Entrants who live outside a major city (see criteria in the Q&A below) can submit their story into the Regional Australia category.

Entrants who live in Western Australia can enter the WA Prize category.

If you fit the criteria for all three categories, you can tick all relevant boxes when submitting your story.


How do I know if my town or city is considered regional?
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To be eligible for the regional prize, your home address must be outside a major city, which are classified in this competition as MM1 under the Modified Monash Model. You can search your location here to find out if you qualify.


Does my short story have to be fiction?
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Yes. The Best Australian Yarn is for fiction writing.


Does my short story have to be about a particular theme, idea, or genre?
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There are no restrictions on theme for the competition. The stories can be on any subject and in any style, as long as they are original, unpublished and written in English.


What is the word limit for The Best Australian Yarn?
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Stories must be between 1500 and 2500 words. Any entries outside this word count will not be considered.


Is there a minimum age to enter?
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You must be 12 years of age by May 31, 2022 to enter the Best Australian Yarn. Parents and guardians may not enter a story on behalf of a child under 12.


Do I need to be an experienced writer to enter?
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No. The competition is open to all writers, both published and unpublished, aged 12 and over.


Can I enter multiple stories?
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No. Each writer can only submit one entry.


Can I change my entry after I have submitted it?
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No. Make sure you have finalised your story before you submit it, because no changes can be made to it once it has been received.


Where do I submit my story?
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You can submit your story here.


What is the cut-off date for entries?
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All entries must be submitted no later than 11.59pm AWST on May 31, 2022.


What if I have problems submitting my entry?
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Please email bestaustralianyarn@swm.com.au and we will help you.


Will my work be checked for plagiarism?
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Yes. All short stories submitted must be the author’s own original, unpublished work.


How will the entries be judged?
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First, entries will go through a longlist panel of experienced writers from The West Australian, which will select the best 50 short stories.

Those entries will then go to the Prize Jury, who will determine the final shortlist of 10 and the winners in the various categories.


Who are the judges?
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Click here to meet the judges.

Anthony De Ceglie, Editor in Chief of The West Australian, will chair the Prize Jury, which will also include representatives from Perth Festival, Writing WA and Minderoo Foundation.

The longlist panel will consist of experienced authors and writers from The West Australian’s stable.


How will the stories be judged?
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The judging criteria will be set by the Prize Jury, and will consider, among other things, readability and originality. Stories should entertain and challenge through a clear understanding of what it takes to make a compelling story.

The evaluation process will be ‘blind’ which means the entrant’s name will not be known by the panel of judges.


Will you provide feedback on my story?
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No. The Best Australian Yarn short story competition is expected to attract a large number of entries and while all will be read and assessed, it is unfortunately not feasible to provide feedback to everyone. 


I have written a story with someone else. Are we eligible to enter as a duo?
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No. Stories entered in The Best Australian Yarn must be written by an individual and cannot be collaborations.


My friend/relative has written a story. Can I enter it on their behalf?
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No. All stories must be entered by their authors. Please encourage your friend/relative to enter their story in the Best Australian Yarn competition for their chance to win.


Can I use references in my story?
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Yes, but only if absolutely necessary. Please put them at the end and use them sparingly. The text used from references will be included in the word count.


Can I submit an illustrated story?
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No. The Best Australian Yarn competition is a celebration of the written word and does not take into account illustrations.


Can I submit a poem?
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No. Entries can be creative and original in style but must have a short story narrative structure.


It says entries to The Best Australian Yarn must not have been previously published; what does this mean?
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This means that an entry to the competition cannot have been published before in any form – this includes in print and online, such as a journal, magazine, newspaper or anthology or on a personal blog or website.

If you submitted your story for assessment in a writing course, but it has not been distributed further, this does not constitute publication and you can enter it in The Best Australian Yarn.


My story was shortlisted/commended for another prize; can I enter it in The Best Australian Yarn?
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No. A story that has been entered for another prize is not eligible to be submitted to The Best Australian Yarn. Please contact us at bestaustralianyarn@swm.com.au if you are unsure about eligibility.


Can I submit the work I entered in The Best Australian Yarn elsewhere while I await the results?
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No. Entries must remain unpublished and not be entered for other prizes for the duration of The Best Australian Yarn competition, which is expected to announce winners by November/December 2022.


If you publish my entry, will I be paid?
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No. During the selection process, some entries will be published in The West Australian and The Sunday Times and associated platforms, with custom illustrations and design treatment, to help encourage others to enter. By submitting your story, you give us permission to use it in this way. You will still be eligible to win the prize money.


Who owns the copyright?
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All writers retain the copyright to their story and can use it in any way they choose, after the competition is over. By entering The Best Australian Yarn, you are licensing us the rights to potentially publish your story. Please see the full terms and conditions at the end of this list for more details.


When will long-listed authors be announced?
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The long list of the top 50 entries is expected to be announced in August 2022.


When will the shortlist be announced?
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The shortlist is expected to be announced in October 2022.


When will winners be announced?
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The winners are expected to be announced in November/December 2022.


What is the prize money for The Best Australian Yarn?
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The prize pool for 2022 is worth a total of $50,000 (AUD) – making it the world’s richest short story prize open to both published and unpublished writers.

This will be split in the following way:

The winner of The Best Australian Yarn 2022 will win a grand prize of $30,000.

The remaining nine shortlisted stories will each be awarded $1,000.

The WA Prize for the best story by a West Australian resident is $4,000.

The Regional Australia prize, for the best story from an entrant living outside a major city, is $3,000.

The Youth Prize, for entrants aged 12-18, is $2,000 and includes mentoring opportunities curated by The West Australian.

The winner of The West Australian’s Readers' Choice Prize, judged by a public vote, will receive $2,000.


Will my story be published?
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The Longlist plus some other entries will be published at the discretion of The West Australian.


Where can I find the complete Terms and Conditions of entry?
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Entrants should read the full terms and conditions before submitting their story as they contain important information about your entry. These can be found here.

Please contact us at bestaustralianyarn@swm.com.au if you require any clarification on rules or entry procedures.

Enter your yarn now.

So what are you waiting for? Submissions are now open. Enter your yarn here for the chance to have it published in The West Australian or one of our other platforms. Entries close on Tuesday May 31, 2022.

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement

Enter your
yarn now.

So what are you waiting for? Submissions are now open. Enter your yarn here for the chance to have it published in The West Australian or one of our other platforms. Entries close on Tuesday May 31, 2022.

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement

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