The power of the pen to change the world

Pens Against Poverty is a unique writing competition for school students in Year 3 – 10. It was initially created for young writers in New South Wales and ACT but has grown to reach students all across Australia.

Entries have now closed for 2021. We look forward to congratulating our winners!

PAP Awards 2019
Award presentations 2019
Awards ceremony 2019
Awards ceremony 2019

The aim of Pens Against Poverty is two-fold:

Encouraging young students to develop a love for creative writing, and to find their unique voice.

Develop awareness and empathy of the issues of poverty and homelessness across Australia.

The competition is coordinated by NSW teacher, Kate Halcrow with Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT.
We are thrilled to partner with organisations across Australia in 2021 to see Pens Against Poverty reaching more schools than ever before.

This year we are partnering with AnglicareWA, Anglicare Victoria, Anglicare SA, Anglicare Tas, St Barts in Perth, in Mount Gambier and Samaritans in the Newcastle/Hunter region.

Pens Against Poverty is an official activity of Anti-Poverty Week.

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT
Anglicare WA
Anglicare Victoria
Anglicare TAS
Anglicare SA
St Barts

Pens Against Poverty seeks to nurture young Australian writing that is raw, compassionate and brave.

The Pens Against Poverty competition encourages schools, teachers and students to become educated in the important issues of poverty and homelessness in our communities in Australia, while developing unique creative voices through writing.

Jackie French OAM, award-winning Australian writer and our competition judge, gives this advice for students participating in Pens Against Poverty:

‘It’s not easy to understand lives, places and cultures that are  very different from your own, and even harder to write about them well. This competition can be seen a starting point for young people to begin to study, understand and empathise with the many different forms of poverty and the complexity around its issues. Writing should arise naturally from the understanding that develops.’