2016 Competition

2017 Theme: The Other Side

Young writers across the ACT inspired us with their amazing poems and stories for the very first Pens Against Poverty Schools Writing Competition last year, with author Jackie French as judge.

So this year, we’re doing it all again!

Write your original POEM or STORY (no more than 500 words) based on the theme, The Other Side.

Be creative; be compassionate; try a fresh perspective on the topic, ‘The Other Side’!

Who Can enter: students from the Australian Capital Territory and Southern NSW, in grades 3-10.

A WINNER and HIGHLY COMMENDED entry will be chosen from each of EIGHT categories:

  • Poetry Writing: Grades 3-4
  • Story Writing: Grades 3-4
  • Poetry Writing: Grades 5-6
  • Story Writing: Grades 5-6
  • Poetry Writing: Grades 7-8
  • Story Writing: Grades 7-8
  • Poetry Writing: Grades 9-10
  • Story Writing: Grades 9-10


  • overall winning written piece 
  • winning school/s for overall participation (in terms of general quality and number of entries)

Go to ‘How to Enter’ to enter your submissions online.


That writing demonstrates:

  • empathy with subject
  • creative interpretation of theme
  • innovation and control of language
  • authentic and original author’s tone