Book in time to write

Now may be the time to dust off that unpublished manuscript and enter the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards by Sunday 31 May. Win up to $12,000 if your work is judged to be the outstanding entry across five categories.

Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature and has a proud history of great Australian writing, whether readers’ tastes run to Helen Garner or Christos Tsiolkas, George Johnston or Alice Pung.

Melburnians have always embraced this literary culture, ever since the State Library (Australia’s oldest) opened in 1854 and municipal libraries proliferated soon after.

The Melbourne Writers Festival and the Wheeler Centre have also been part of this cultural landscape.

Melbourne City of Literature research tells us that Melburnians consume more books, magazines and newspapers per capita than any other Australian city.

We know how important writers are to our community and the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards are firmly grounded in this deep wellspring of literature. In recognising unpublished writers, we aim to promote our city as a place of ideas and creativity.

The awards offer plenty of scope across all genres. This year we’ve introduced a new Feature category. This will change in each competition, with the inaugural being Script/Play.

The Life Writing Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers will be awarded to an outstanding work that discusses or highlights a uniquely Victorian story of Australia’s First People.

This prize supports City of Melbourne’s ongoing commitment to promoting Indigenous culture and reconciliation.

Winners in each category receive $2000. This year the Creative Writing Award categories are:

  • The Dorothy Porter Award for Poetry
  • Narrative Non-Fiction (no more than 5000 words)
  • Short Story set in Melbourne (no more than 5000 words)
  • Life Writing Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers (no more than 5000 words)
  • Feature – Script/Play (no more than 30 pages)

Submissions close on Sunday 31 May.

For more information, visit Writing Awards.

Why your library card has superpowers

Our libraries are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. However, you can still enjoy e-books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, music, documentaries and films for free online, using your library card.

You can also tune into our podcasts for book tips, research the history of your family or house through our online heritage database, and study or refine a skill through free and unlimited access to courses on

If you aren’t already a library member, you can sign up online. If you have existing loans, rest assured that fines won’t accrue during the closure. Find out more at Libraries.