The power of the pen to change the world.

Pens Against Poverty is a unique writing competition. It was created especially for young writers in New South Wales, Western Australia and the ACT.

If you are a creative young writer in Year 3 – Year 10 in ACT, NSW or WA, then Pens Against Poverty is a competition for you!

The 2021 Pens Against Poverty Competition will be launching early 2021!

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

The aim of Pens Against Poverty is two-fold:

Develop and teach an awareness and understanding of the experience of poverty and homelessness across Australia.

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

The competition is coordinated by NSW teacher, Kate Halcrow with Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT. In 2020 we also partnered with Anglicare WA

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


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.’