Young Writers’ Prize 2016

Do you have some great ideas for the big challenges facing Australia?

Want to make a contribution to the national policy debate?

Enter the Per Capita Young Writers’ Prize – share your ideas, win $2,000

The prize is open to all Australians aged 25 years and under, and is designed to encourage young people to think about the major public policy challenges facing Australia.

First Prize is $2,000

Second Prize is $1,000

In addition, your winning entry will be published by Per Capita, and subject to editorial discretion, in the national mainstream media.

How to Enter

  • To enter, answer one of the set essay questions.
  • All entries must be submitted electronically to, and must be lodged by 31 August 2016.
  • Entries must be in Word or PDF format.
  • Each entrant must complete the entry form as part of their submission, which binds them to the conditions of entry.
  • An electronic acknowledgment will be sent to each entrant upon receipt of entry.

Conditions of Entry

  • Entrants must be aged 25 years or younger as at 29 July 2016. The competition is open to all Australian citizens and residents.
  • All entries must be original work, entirely by the entrant. All references must be properly cited.
  • The entry should take the form of an essay that specifically addresses one of the essay questions, or a question of your own choosing. The essay should be no more than 3,000 words. It must be in English.
  • The winning entry will be published by Per Capita and it is intended that a short-version will be published in the national mainstream media, however this is not guaranteed. Any further publication rights remain with the author.
  • The entry cannot have been published elsewhere.
  • Each entrant may enter only once per year.
  • Each entrant is required to agree to the conditions of entry.
  • Breach of any conditions of entry will render an entry invalid

Judging Criteria

Judges will give preference to entries that consider substantial policy issues, and the national challenges facing Australia in the long-term. Entries will be judged on a range of criteria, including:

  • The originality of its ideas
  • The potential public benefit of the ideas put forward.
  • Fluency of writing
  • How well the ideas are expressed, and the case is argued.
  • Accuracy

The winning prize will be awarded to the entry which the majority of judges consider to satisfy these criteria. The majority decision of the judges is final.