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Tim Winton Award for Young Writers

TWA-poster-webcopy-(1).jpgThe City of Subiaco proudly presents the 2016 Tim Winton Award for Young Writers. Celebrating its twenty-fourth year, this annual writing award encourages creativity, originality and imagination, and is a great opportunity for young people to develop their creative writing skills. 

All Western Australian students aged five to eighteen and in school years one to twelve are invited to enter. To stay up to date with information about this award, join the award e-newsletter.

Download the 2016 Tim Winton Award poster (PDF 8.4MB)
Download th 2016 Tim Winton Award flyer (PDF 5.9MB)

About the Award

2016 online entry information 

Online entries will open on Monday 13 June. All entries must be made online. To enter, register your entry details from Monday 13 June and upload a copy of your story in Word Document format. Stories submitted in the wrong format will not be accepted and will need to be resubmitted in the correct format.
Entrants must not include any personal identifying information on their submission such as name, age, gender or school. Your Word Document file should be saved in the following title format: entry category_story title. e.g: lower primary_My Story.
Entrants are encouraged to type their own stories. If stories are typed by a teacher or parent on behalf of an entrant, a scanned copy of the original, handwritten story must be uploaded along with the word document. 
Entries close at 5pm on Monday 4 July. For assistance with the online entry please contact Subiaco Library on 9237 9300 or library@subiaco.wa.gov.au.

You will need the following information when entering your details in the online entry form:

  • Contact name, email, phone and postal address
  • School
  • Author’s name, age, gender
  • Entry category (school year)
  • Story title, number of pages, word count 

Competition terms and conditions

Entry requirements
The award is open to all Western Australian students aged between five and eighteen, and in school years one to twelve. Stories submitted must be original and be the sole work of the entrant. Entries should be fiction, no more than 2000 words and be written in prose. Prose is the ordinary language that people use when they speak or write. It does not include poetry or verse.

Entries may be accepted from individuals or teachers on behalf of student however entry in this award is limited to one per person. Teachers will be able to upload multiple entries on behalf of their students via the teacher’s entry portal, when entries open on Monday 13 June.  

The award judging panel is made up of local authors, educators and librarians. Entries are judged individually in the following categories:

Lower primary – school years one and two 
Middle primary – school years three and four 
Upper primary – school years five and six 
Lower secondary – school years seven, eight and nine
Upper secondary – school years ten, eleven and twelve

This is a creative writing competition and entries will be judged on the originality of the themes, the development of the story and the quality (not quantity) of the writing. The judges are looking for entries which use words to create imagery.
Please note: due to the high number of entries received for this award each year, individual feedback cannot be provided. Entries cannot be returned so please ensure you keep a copy of your entry. 

Prizes and award ceremony
Prizes from the City of Subiaco and award sponsors will be presented to the top three entries in each category. The 2016 Tim Winton Award for outstanding achievement will be presented to the best overall entry across all categories. Finalists will be acknowledged at an award ceremony held at Subiaco Library. Finalists who live outside the Perth Metropolitan area will receive travel assistance to attend the ceremony.
Finalists’ stories will be displayed at Subiaco Library for one month, following the award ceremony, as part of the 2016 Tim Winton Award for Young Writers exhibition.
The city would like to acknowledge the generous support of award patron Tim Winton and our valued sponsors Janet Holmes à Court AC, One20 ProductionsKool Kreative, The Lane bookshop and New Edition Bookshop.

Public use of entries
Entries may be used in City of Subiaco publications and for future promotion of the award. Entries may also be displayed at Subiaco Library and other venues around the city. The title of the entry and author’s name will always be acknowledged with the entry when it is used. 

Frequently asked questions 

For more information about this year’s award, download the frequently asked questions document.

Tips for teachers and parents

To help get the best out of your student or child please download the information for teachers and parents (PDF 313KB) to understand the judging criteria, what the judges are looking for and entry procedure. To stay up to date with information specific to teachers and parents, join the Tim Winton Award e-newsletter.

Read the 2015 winning stories

Lower primary category (PDF 180KB)
Middle primary category (PDF 487KB)
Upper primary category (PDF 236KB)
Lower secondary category (PDF 306KB)
Upper secondary category (PDF 490KB)

About Tim Winton


Tim was born in Western Australia, where he still resides, and is the author of over twenty-five books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction and books for children. Tim decided he wanted to be a writer at the age of ten. Today a world-class author, he is a fine example and inspiration for all young writers.

Four times winner of the Miles Franklin Award and twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tim’s work continues to be critically admired and loved by readers around the world. Many of his best-loved stories, including Cloudstreet, The Riders, Dirt Music and Lockie Leonard, have been adapted for film, television, radio and theatre. Tim Winton's most recent work includes novel Eyrie, and Hatched: Celebrating twenty years of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers, which features cover art by Shaun Tan and showcases the talent of the overall winning stories from 1993 to 2012.

Tim has a passion for theatre and debuted as a playwright in 2011. In 2013 the Black Swan State Theatre Company performed his third play, Shrine.


The quality of entries in the award has been recognised by the publication of three compilation books:

  • Destination Unknown (Fremantle Press, 2001)
  • Life Bytes (Fremantle Press, 2002)
  • Hatched (Fremantle Press, 2013). 



Hatched: Celebrating twenty years of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers features the overall winning story from each year of the award from 1993 to 2012. It features cover art by Shaun Tan and showcases the talent and range of young Western Australian Writers.

Junior Bookseller + Publisher said: ‘The calibre and diversity of the writing is mind-blowing – many of the stories are so accomplished I often forget they were penned by children.’

Award patron Tim Winton said: ‘It’s a great pleasure to see young people exercising their storytelling instincts. During the twenty years in which the award has been given in my name I’ve had the privilege of witnessing this stubborn, lovely impulse as it lives on in a new generation. Whether they’re writing feverish fantasy or gritty realism these young writers are coming to terms with their language and their lives, using stories to shape or unpack what they know and what they fear and what they hope for.’

Hatched can be purchased from leading booksellers and Fremantle Press.