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2021 Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition

THE RESULTS OF THE PC600SS Competition are now available HERE:

The Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition was launched by our Centre in 2010 in honour of our namesake Peter Cowan (1914–2002), one of Western Australia’s most esteemed writers and academics. It is fitting that the competition celebrates short story writing as Peter Cowan published several volumes of short fiction and is well known for writing in this genre. Peter was the recipient of several major writing awards, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1987. He was named a Western Australian State Living Treasure in 1999. PCWC re-published eight of Peter Cowan’s stories in the Centre publication, Homecoming: Peter Cowan Writers Centre 20 Years. The book may be ordered HERE:

Entries Open: Tuesday, 2 March 2021 at 8:00 AM

Closing Date: Friday, 16 April 2021 at 11:59 PM (AWST)

Theme: Open

No of words: 600 words maximum per story

No. of entries:  The maximum number of entries is three/writer for the Open and Novice Awards, with a limit of one entry for Youth entrants.


Writers who are Australian residents are invited to submit their unpublished prose entries in the Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition. Stories must not have been recognised in any other prose competitions, and must not have been published or be currently under consideration for publication or another award. Stories are considered published if they have appeared in print, on a website, online forum or personal blog.

Simultaneous Submissions Allowed: No, your story must not be under consideration elsewhere for publication or in another competition

Judge: the judge for the competition is not announced until entries have closed to ensure impartiality in the judging process


This year we are offering three categories: Open, Novice and Youth

Open Prizes#: 1st prize – $200, 2nd prize – $100, 3rd prize – $50, plus 4 x Highly Commended and 4 x Commended certificates

Novice Prize#: $50 prize (for writers who have not won or been recognised in a competition before)

Julian Cowan Youth Award (12-18 yrs)#: $100 kindly sponsored by Ms Diana Cowan

# Amendment (2 March 2021): the winning stories will be published in the PCWC e-Magazine.

Entry Fees (no refunds given): 

Open/Novice: First entry – $10 + $0.76 Eventbrite* processing fee, Two entries – $18 + $$0.94* processing fee, Three entries: $25 + $1.09* processing fee

Youth:  $5 + $0.65* Eventbrite* processing fee (limit of one entry only)

*Eventbrite retains the processing fees

Eventbrite Payments

Please read all competition rules before making your payment. No refunds will be given. Please complete all required fields in Eventbrite (marked with a red *) when making your payment. Eventbrite accepts Credit/Debit cards from most major banks or you can pay via Paypal. You will receive a confirmation e-mail from Eventbrite if your payment has been successful.

Pay your entry fee/s on Eventbrite HEREDetailed instructions are provided below for writers unfamiliar with the payment platform.

  1. Once you are in Eventbrite, click on the green tickets tab on the right hand side of the screen.
  2. At the next screen, choose the tab you want to pay by clicking on the down arrow and changing the 0 to a 1. For example, one entry, or two entries, or three entries for the Open/Novice categories, or one entry for the Youth category. Then click on the RED checkout button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. At the next screen, complete all fields marked with a red *, for e.g. your first name and surname, e-mail address (twice), then click to choose whether you are paying by card or Paypal and enter the relevant card/Paypal details.  You will then need to enter your name and email address again, and click on the Place Order button down the bottom of the page.
  4. If you payment is successful, a message will flash up on the screen confirming your payment with your Order/Receipt No. Eventbrite will also send you an email to confirm your payment and this will contain your Order/Receipt No. for your competition entry form. PCWC also receive an email notification from Eventbrite regarding your payment.

Formatting your Story/Stories:

1. Make sure you DO NOT include your own/real name on your story/stories as it is a ‘blind’ judging.
2. Give each story a different PEN NAME (the pretend name you will use just for this story)
3. Use 12 point font (Arial, Times Roman, Helvetica)
4. Use double line spacing
5. Indent the first line of each paragraph
6. On the first page of your story, please include your PEN NAME, the story TITLE and the WORD COUNT.
7. Save your story as a Word document or pdf. Please save each story as a separate Word document or PDF.

Entry Forms:

Please see the downloadable entry form.  Complete the entry form with your real name and your contact details. Your pen name and the story title for each of your entries  goes into the entry form in the Story 1, Story 2, Story 3 fields of the form.

To download the Word document entry form as a Word.doc, please click  Entry form.doc, or to download as a Word.docx, please click Entry Form.docx

Submitting you entries:

  1. Pay your Eventbrite entry fees. Please complete all fields marked with an * when making your payment. Save the Order/Receipt No. You can pay your entry fee/s on Eventbrite HERE using a credit/debit card or Paypal. Eventbrite will send a confirmation e-mail to confirm successful payment.
  2. Complete the Entry Form including your Eventbrite Receipt No./Order No. and using a pen name for each story.
  3. E-mail your entry form and your story/stories (each story must be a separate Word document or PDF) to: PeterCowanWritersCentre@outlook.com with the Subject: PC600SS Competition
  4. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm on Friday, 16 April 2021 (AWST).


If you have any problems completing your Eventbrite transaction, or have any queries, please contact the Centre at e: PeterCowanWritersCentre@outlook.com with the nature of your query.

Results: The results of the competition will be announced on our website. The Judge’s report will also be uploaded onto the website and sent to entrants in the competition.

We wish all entrants ‘Good Luck’!