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About the Competition

Entries for the 2019-2020 competition are closed and judging is now taking place. The winning entries will be announced in April 2020.

The inaugural competition in 2018 attracted over 550 entries from residents in every state and territory of Australia. Check out the 2018 Winners.

The New Themed Short Story…Category D

The year 2020 marks the 250th Anniversary of the encounter by the First Australians with Lieutenant James Cook and the crew of the HMB Endeavour at Botany Bay (or Kamay as it is also known). That first encounter took place in what is today called Kurnell, a suburb of the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area in Sydney's south.

To acknowledge this historic event, we’ve added a new category to this year's Awards – a short story with the theme:

2020: Looking Back, Moving Forward

The underlying concept here is that, by going back to this historic event, and by telling its stories with truth and with respect, we can move forward together and as a Nation.

There, are of course many ways, in which you can incorporate this theme into your short story should you decide to enter Category D. The Sutherland Shire Council does, however, note the importance of bringing all Australians together by recognising our shared heritage.


Australian residents over 18 years of age are invited to submit their individual, original works in the following categories:

  • Rhyming verse (max 80 lines)
  • Free verse (max 80 lines)
  • Short story (max 2,000 words)
  • Themed short story (max 2,000 words)
    2020: Looking Back, Moving Forward

3 prizes are being offered in each category:

  • 1st Prize - $1,000
  • 2nd Prize - $500
  • 3rd Prize - $250

At the judge’s discretion, a separate Shire Resident’s Prize of $250 may be also awarded for the best entry in each category from a Shire resident not winning another prize in that category.

Prizes will be awarded in April 2020 at a venue to be advised.

More Information

If you have questions or would like more information about the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition please contact Sutherland Library.

phone 02 9710 0351

This competition would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors