1. Submissions must be in English and be the original work of entrants. The author must be living. No alterations can be made to a submission once received.

2. Submissions must be unpublished (excluding personal blogs or websites), must not have won any other competition, and must not be under consideration by any publisher, literary journal or for any other prize for the duration of the competition.

3. Entrants must be citizens or residents of Australia. Any international student currently studying at an Australian institution may also apply.

4. Entrants’ names must not appear on any page of the work, but only on the entry form.

5. Each submission must be accompanied by an entry form and entry fee. The form must be complete. Multiple submissions are permitted. Separate entry forms are not required for each entry. The entry fee should accurately reflect the number of submissions. Multiple submissions may be paid for with one cheque, money order or EFT.

6. Entrants must sign the declaration on the entry form to be eligible.

7. Submissions should be on typed on A4 pages, font size 11 or 12. Pages should be numbered and the title of the submission should appear on each page. Hard copies should be printed single side only.

8. Submissions must comply with their nominated category guidelines, including word count (a maximum of 3000 words or 40 lines of poetry). The word count does not include bibliographical references that are listed at the end of an entry, or any bibliographical footnotes. Footnotes themselves are not typically included in the word count, providing the overall length of the footnotes combined is kept within 10% of the 3000 word limit. The rule and practice with footnotes is to keep them ‘within reason’ therefore.

9. Submissions may be made electronically and emailed to notjackwritersprize@gmail.com, or in hardcopy and mailed to Yana Canteloupe, SHAPS, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010. Mailed submissions will not be returned. Acknowledgement of receipt of submissions will only be given if a SAE marked ‘Acknowledgement’ is enclosed.

10. a) The prize is open for submissions to the Open and Baringhup categories from September 1st 2016 to November 15th 2016. The prize is open for submissions to the Youth category from November 1st 2016 to March 17th 2017.

10. b) Submissions must be postmarked on or before the respective closing date for the relevant category, and be complete with entry form and correct copies of submission(s). Any submission for which the fee has not been received by close of business on the respective closing date for its category, or are incomplete, will be ineligible for entry.

11. If entrants withdraw their submission, the entry fee will not be refunded. Incomplete entries will not be processed.

12. The judges reserve the right not to award the prize should none of the submissions fulfill prize requirements, including but not limited to where the submissions are not deemed to be of sufficient merit.

13. Copyright will remain with the author. notJack Writers’ Prize reserves the right to quote extracts from submissions, but not to exceed ‘fair dealing’ provisions of the Copyright Act, in order to promote the notJack Writers’ Prize. This is separate from the licence entrants grant notJack Writers’ Prize to reproduce short and long listed submissions in full in any prize anthology subsequently published.

14. The short and long listed submissions will be announced within eight to twelve weeks of a category closing. Results will be published on the notJack Writers’ Prize website and may be published in external publications including newspapers, magazines etc. Successful entrants may be requested to provide a biography and photograph and take part in any subsequent publicity surrounding the prize.

15. The short and long listed entrants will be notified individually by email.

16. The short and long listed entrants are responsible for any expenses incurred in attending a masterclass. Masterclasses are expected to take place in or around Melbourne and Sydney, but the actual location may be influenced by the home cities of the short-listed entrants.

17. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence about the result will be entered into. Organisers of the Writers’ Prize reserve the right to change the judge(s) and/or the right not to award the prize.

20 replies on “Guidelines

  1. Hello,
    Are there guidelines for each category as per “Submissions must comply with their nominated category guidelines.” elsewhere on the site or is all the guideline info needed about each category on the generic guideline page? Does this make sense? Hope this isn’t a stupid question. Thanks for your time.


    1. Hi Barbara,

      That’s a perfectly sensible question! There is some category specific information on the ‘Prize Details’ page of the website, and this should not (one hopes!) conflict with the generic guidelines page. For instance, the Baringhup category carries a more specific theme than the Open or Youth categories. This is mentioned specifically on the ‘Prize Details’ page, but the generic guidelines also apply equally to the Baringhup category.

      Do ask again, if that explanation is poor, and indeed feel free to ask anything!


    1. Hi Therese,

      The prize welcomes all genre entries in which place, and writing from place, figures prominently. This is a deliberately broad theme, designed to provide entrants with as much possible scope for the purpose. Place may be actual, metaphorical, figurative… Stories are most welcome!

      I hope that clarifies matters for you. notJack hopes to see your child’s entry cross its desk.


    1. Hello there and thanks for the inquiry.

      notJack aims to have a long-list released 4-8 weeks following the closing date for entries. The eventual timing depends upon the volume and length of entries, along with the availability of readers and judges. Updates are sent to entrants if the judging process draws out.

      We hope to see your entry come March 14th!


    1. Hello Olivia,

      Absolutely one may enter more than once. It is even encouraged, given the prize accepts submissions of all genres and many writers do not confine themselves to one only. Note that the entry fee of $10 is per entry.

      Warm regards!


    1. Hello Amanda,

      The difference is partly to do with age brackets and partly to do with the nature of the entry. All entrants up to, and including, age 18 years may enter any category. All entrants aged 18 years or above may enter Open and Baringhup. If you enter Baringhup there is an additional guideline that must be satisfied. The piece must be written specifically from, or about, the Central Goldfields region of Victoria. You can find information on the categories on the website here: https://notjackwritersprize.wordpress.com/entry-details/.

      All the best!


  2. Dear NotJack,
    Just another question, does the character or setting ‘have’ to be Australain, or can the story be based in a country completely different? Sorry if this is a bother.


    1. Hi Rees,

      Excellent question! The word count does not include bibliographical references that are listed at the end of the essay, or any bibliographical footnotes. Footnotes themselves have never been included in the word count as, thus far, entrants have kept them within 10% of the 3000 word limit. The rule and practice with footnotes is to keep them ‘within reason’ therefore. If this is too general a piece of advice, then send an email to notjackwritersprize@gmail.com to nut out the details.



    1. Morning Jared,

      Thank you for your interest in notJack.

      A writer of any age is certainly welcome to enter the Open category. And yes, you are eligible for the Youth category at age seventeen (note that the Youth category reopens as the Open category closes). Entries are $20 a piece per category.

      notJack hopes to receive your entry!


  3. Hi again,
    The story which I hope to submit (youth category) has been ‘published’ in my school’s anthology, which is NOT in itself a published work. Am I still eligible to submit this story?


    1. Jared,

      Having said that – notJack was just now forced to close the Youth Category for 2017. It is disappointing that your entry will not be received after all. You are welcome to email notJack directly (notjackwritersprize@gmail.com) to discuss a potential alternative arrangement.



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