Welcome to the Sydney Writers' Room Submittable portal.
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The Sydney Writers' Room

Located in the heart of the Sydney CBD in the historic Trades Hall, the Sydney Writers’ Room (SWR) is a place where writers can work in ‘shared solitude’. Inspired by the legendary New York Writers’ Room, the SWR has been operating as an informal writer-run-initiative since 2007.

The Sydney Writers' Room Short Story Competition

The Sydney Writers' Room 2016 Short Story Competition will be accepting entries from 1 July 2016, via the SWR Submittable portal: http://sydneywritersroom.submittable.com/submit

Stories should be limited to 2000 words and must be single-authored and unpublished. Entries are accepted online only, as Word Documents or PDF files. The top three entrants (as judged by the SWR Short Story Competition committee) will each be awarded ‘hot desk’ memberships at the SWR for three months (valued at $600). The overall winner will additionally receive a first prize of $500.

Entries are open to writers of all ages that are resident in Australia. Current members or board members of the SWR are not eligible to enter.

A nominal administration fee of $15 per story is payable by credit card or PayPal. Entries close at midnight (AEST) on 31 August 2016. The judges will advise the authors of the winning stories by 30 September 2016. The membership prize components are not transferable and will take effect from 1 October 2016. 

Previous Winners of the SWR Short Story Competition

The SWR Short Story Competition attracts a high level of interest from writers in the greater Sydney region and beyond. Last year Susan Bennett won first prize with ‘Mister Switzerland’ - a brilliant observation of a relationship in impasse. In 2014 the winner of the competition was Kathryn 'Cipi' Morgan, with her beautiful short story 'Funeral Party'.

The 2016 SWR Short Story Competition Terms and Conditions of Entry:

1. Each entry must be an original single-authored short story of up to 2000 words, written in English.

2. Previously published or prize-winning stories will not be accepted.

3. Current SWR members or board members are not eligible to enter.

4. Entries must be submitted online via the SWR Submittable portal.

5. Judging is anonymous. Entrants’ names must not appear on their story manuscripts or in their file name/s.

6. Multiple entries are permitted.

7. An entry fee of $15 AUD must accompany each entry.

8. Entrants may withdraw their entries at any time, on the understanding that entry fees will not be refunded.

9. The closing date for entries is 31 August 2016. Late entries will not be considered.

10. Entrants will receive automatic confirmation of receipt.

11. The judges are unable to provide feedback on individual entries.

12. The judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

13. The SWR will contact the competition winner/s on or by 30 September 2016.

14. Membership prizes are not transferable. Any monetary prize will be paid by 31 October 2016.

15. In the event of necessity the SWR reserves the right to amend the competition rules or cancel the competition at any time.


Entries should be either PDFs or Word Documents. Text should be formatted in 12pt Arial font with 1.5 line spacing. The pages of stories should be numbered. The file name should include the title of the story. Authors’ names must not appear on the manuscript or in the file name.


The Sydney Writers’ Room exists to provide an affordable writer-dedicated workspace in the heart of Sydney. Our memberships are offered on a permanent or hot desk basis, and start from only $150 per month (other shared creative spaces in the city can cost that much per week). Our members include novelists, journalists, screenwriters, essayists, historians, poets and librettists.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Seriousness of intent
  • Understanding of writing as a craft and a discipline
  • Commitment to writing for publication (on any platform)
  • Quality of proposed project/s

Please include the following in your application:

  • Your desired membership type (permanent or hot desk)
  • A 500 word statement that describes the project/s you intend to develop in the Sydney Writers’ Room. Please ensure you address the above selection criteria.
  • A CV including writing achievements to date.
  • Two references (if available).

Please upload your application via our Submittable portal or by email to applications@writersroom.org.au – submissions are reviewed regularly throughout the month.

Hot-Desk Membership: Round-the-clock access to one of our 'hot desks' and Wi-Fi. $150 per month.

Permanent Membership: Round-the-clock access to your own permanent desk and Wi-Fi. $220 per month.

Members pay a one-off joining fee to assist with administrative and capital costs. Joining fees are currently $250 (includes a $100 refundable key/swipe-card bond for hot-desk members).

For more information: Visit us on the web at www.writersroom.org.au. Or email applications@writersroom.org.au to get in touch with our friendly President, James Tierney. Keep in touch by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter @SydWritersRoom