Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Peninsula Writers’ Club invite local writers to apply for the Mayor’s Short Story Writing Awards!

The Awards aim to encourage and support Mornington Peninsula writers of all abilities, celebrate our diverse talent and showcase local stories and voices.

Applications close Sunday 1 August 2021 at 5pm.

Applications will be judged by authors Gary Disher, Paul Kennedy and Danielle Binks alongside Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Despi O’Connor.

Winners will be announced in September 2021.

Award categories and prizes:

  • 8 – 12 years
    500-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $500 prize and bookstore vouchers
  • 12 – 17 years
    1000-word limit / short creative fiction
    $500 prize and bookstore vouchers
  • 18+ years
    2,000-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $1,000 prize and two-week Police Point Artist Residency

The Peninsula Writers’ Club (PWC) are the only not for profit incorporated writing organisation on the Mornington Peninsula, representing and supporting emerging, aspiring, and established writers of all abilities and writing genres.

Story submissions

You can submit your story online.

  • Submissions open 14 April 2021
  • Submissions close 1 August 2021

Meet the Judges

Paul Kennedy is a national television presenter for ABC News Breakfast. He has worked for three television networks and has written numerous books, including Fifteen Young Men and co-authored Hell on the Way to Heaven with Chrissie Foster. His fifth book, Funkytown, is due in late September and published by Affirm Press. Paul lives on the Mornington Peninsula with his wife and their three sons.

Paul Kennedy head shot

Garry Disher has been a full-time writer for most of his working life. He lives on the Mornington Peninsula and is the author of over 50 books, including many award-winning, best-selling and widely translated crime and literary novels for adults and children. His latest novel is Consolation (2020).

Garry Disher head shot


Danielle Binks is an author and literary agent who lives on the Mornington Peninsula. The Year the Maps Changed was her debut middle-grade novel released last year, and recognised as a CBCA 'Notables' book for 2021. Her second novel The Monster of Her Age will be her first foray into YA, and is coming August 2021.

Danielle Binks head shot


Depsi O’Connor is Councillor for Briars Ward and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor. Mayor Cr O’Connor is a teacher and long-term Peninsula resident. She is also a teacher at Mount Martha Primary School.

Mayor Despi O'Connor head shot


Award Sponsors

Thanks to the following local bookstores for contributing to the prizes:

  • Antipodes Gallery and Bookshop
  • Farrells Bookshop
  • Petersen's Bookstore
  • Rosebud Book Barn

Farrell's Bookstore Logo


Terms and Conditions

Mayor’s Short Story Writing Awards Terms and Conditions

1. Only people residing within Mornington Peninsula Shire are eligible to enter.

2. To validate your age and address in the three categories of ages of 8-12 years; ages 12 – 17 year and 18+ years you will be asked to provide your date of birth and residential address in the application form online.

3. Entry is free.

4. All entries are to be original and unpublished work composed by the entrant and must not exceed the word limit. There is no set theme.

5. Maximum of 1 entry per person –only 1 entry form must be completed for your short story submission.

6. Name of entrant and details should appear on entry form only. DO NOT write name on story in footer, header or title or end page.

7. Entries must be submitted by 5pm on Sunday 1st August 2021. Late entries will not be accepted.

8. Entries are for short stories of creative fiction only (not poetry). Word limits are 8-12 years 500 words;
12-17 years 1000 word limit; 18 + years 2, 000 word limit

9. The judges’ decision is final, and discussion will not be entered into. Feedback will not be given on entries. Successful winners will be notified via email or telephone.

10. The winner of each category will be invited to the online Announcement and Awards Ceremony to be held at the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce / MP Shire Offices on 8 September at 12:00 noon. This awards ceremony will be announced by MP Shire Mayor. Each winner will be invited to read a small extract of their piece.

11. If COVID-19 restrictions still apply by this date, a Zoom link will be sent to prize recipients to attend a virtual award ceremony.

12. The announcement will be recorded and shared via the MP Shire YouTube platform and social media

13. The inaugural Mayor’s Short Story Award will be judged by a panel of industry professionals. The entries will be judged anonymously based on established criteria. The judges’ decision is final.

14. There will be one winner only per category and, if judges deem additional entries sufficiently meritus, honourably mentioned work/s in each category.

15. Prize recipients will have their short stories published on the Mornington Peninsula Shire website and the Peninsula Writers’ Club website