***The 2022-23 Local Word Writing Prize has now closed.
Entries for the 2023-24 Local Word Writing Prize will open in August 2023***

Entries for the inaugural 2023 Local Word Poetry Prize open on 1 April and close on 1 July 2023. More information here

The Geelong Regional Libraries & Deakin University Local Word Writing Prize

Judging has finished and we are very pleased to announce that the winner of the Local Word Writing Prize 2022-23 is Dani Netherclift, from Mansfield, Victoria, for her entry titled “Telephone and Address Book”.

Commended entries, in no particular order, are:

Claire Varley, Geelong, Victoria  - “The Button Story”
Maria Joseph, Melbourne, Victoria - “City of the Drowned”
Chelinay Gates, Perth, W.A - “Fingers”

A huge congratulations to these four very talented writers!

The shortlist was selected from a longlist of 28 entries by our judging panel comprised of Vanessa Schernickau, Geelong Regional Library Corporation’s CEO, Professor David McCooey of the Faculty of Arts and Education in the School of Communication & Creative Arts at Deakin University, and Geelong Regional Library’s Virtual Writer in Residence, Louis Glazzard (from the United Kingdom).

We received a total of 597 entries to the competition, which was a fabulous response!

The overall winner of the Prize was announced at our World Poetry Day event on Tuesday 21 March at Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

The Geelong Regional Libraries & Deakin University Local Word Writing Prize

The Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) and Deakin University are pleased to present The Geelong Regional Libraries & Deakin University Local Word Writing Prize. 

Entries of up to 3000 words are welcome from emerging and established writers in prose fiction and creative nonfiction.

The winner of the prize will receive:

  • a prize of $2000.
  • a one-hour mentoring session with a Deakin University writing practitioner.
  • publication on GRLC’s website and announcement in GRLC’s e-newsletter

Commended writers will receive:

  • a prize of $250
  • publication on GRLC’s website and announcement in GRLC’s e-newsletter

Entries closed at 5.00pm, Saturday 28th January, 2023

Contact events@grlc.vic.gov.au if you require any clarification or further information regarding your entry.


Submission Guidelines

  1. Entries will be accepted in prose fiction (short story) and creative nonfiction (personal essay, lyric essay, and other literary nonfiction forms of prose writing).
  2. Entries must no longer than 3000 words in length. They may be part of a longer work but they should function as stand-alone pieces.
  3. Each entry must be an original work by the entrant and written in English.
  4. Entrants must be over the age of sixteen and residents of Australia.
  5. Entries must be typed and double-spaced. Please do not include your name anywhere on the submission.
  6. Entrants must submit their entries by using the online entry form. Complete one form per entry. Entries submitted without the completed entry form will not be processed.
  7. There is a maximum of two entries per individual.
  8. Entries must be received by 5.00pm Saturday 28th January, 2023. Late entries will not be accepted. GRLC takes no responsibility for lost or delayed entries.


Terms and Conditions

  1. The submission guidelines form part of the terms and conditions.
  2. No more than 10 percent of the entry material may have been previously published (in print or electronic form) on a commercial basis.
  3. While the entrant may submit the work in other prizes, the entry material must not have previously been awarded first place in any other prize. If, during the judging of the this prize, the entry material wins another prize, the entrant must notify GRLC as their entry ceases to be eligible.
  4. Entrants warrant that their submission is their own original work; that they are the sole author and owner of the copyright in the entry; that the material has not been previously licensed for exclusive use in any form in any territory; that the material does not infringe any existing copyright or licence or any other third-party rights.
  5. Permanent staff of GRLC and continuing staff at Deakin University are not eligible to enter.
  6. An announcement of shortlisted entries will be made on the GRLC and Deakin University websites and in associated media, and shortlisted entrants will be notified by Saturday 4th March, 2023
  7. Shortlisted entrants agree to take part in events and media activities to promote the Prize. If your entry is shortlisted, you grant GRLC and Deakin University permission to use part of your entry for the purpose of promoting you as a shortlisted entrant.
  8. The winner will be notified in strict confidence during March 2023 but must agree to keep this news confidential until the announcement of the winning entry.
  9. The judges have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider to be of equal merit, should the situation arise. In this instance, the prize money will be split evenly and a mentoring session will be awarded to both winners.
  10. The judges may decide not to award the prize if they do not believe any of the entries to be of a suitable standard.
  11. The mentoring session must be completed within 12 months of the awarding of the prize. The meeting may occur at a GRLC Library, Deakin University, or via phone or Zoom, depending on the winner’s preference and location.
  1. Copyright of the winning and commended entries remains with the authors.
  2. The winner will assist in writing a 200-word testimonial about winning the prize for publication on the GRLC and/or Deakin University website and/or media releases and a 300-word article about winning the prize for publication in GRLC e-newsletter and/or GRLC website. The winner will provide a promotional head and shoulders image for publication.
  3. Entries will be independently judged. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 

Application requirements

Please take note of the application requirements carefully, as GRLC is unable to accept entries from or notify entrants that do not follow all the terms and conditions correctly:

  1. Each entry will be judged by readers of English.
  2. Each entry must include the title of the work in the header.
  3. Each entry must not include the name of the applicant.
  4. The application must be submitted online through this link (no printed or emailed applications will be accepted)


Key Dates - 2022-23 Prize

Saturday 19th November, 2022 Prize announced at the Local Word Regional Showcase
Submissions Open
Saturday 28th January, 2023 Submissions Close 
By Saturday 4th March, 2023 Entries Shortlisted (shortlisted entrants will be notified)
By Saturday 18th March, 2023 Prizes selected
Tuesday 21 March, 2023 Winner announced: World Poetry Day event at Geelong Library & Heritage Centre


Submit Your Entry here