“I learnt to write by writing… I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along”

Neil Gaiman

Congratulations to the overall winners of The Golden Pen Award 2019

Summer Allen from Floreat for Forging Crowns
| Flynn Thompson from Denmark for The Red Scarf

Over 175 entries were received from young writers across Western Australia. The Golden Pen Award  highlights the enormous talent and joy for writing across the State. Each entry represented many hours of work and a willingness to share thoughts, ideas and creativity. We thank everyone who took the time to enter the competition and we also thank our judges; Gillian O’Shaughnessy from ABC Radio Perth, Aisling Lawless of Dymocks Joondalup and Jeremy Lachlan, recent recipient of the Australian Book Industry Award for his YA novel – Jane Doe & The Cradle of All Worlds.

Special commendations go to our shortlisted entrants, listed below. They were each awarded a $100 book voucher from Boffins Books and the overall winners also received $500 in recognition of their fantastic achievements.

The theme for the Golden Pen Award 2020 will be announced in October 2019. Watch this space!

key dates

All six finalists at The Golden Pen writing masterclass with Philip Ardagh

Category 1
{Age 12-14 years}

Summer Allen – Forging Crowns
Lei Mealor – 5 Reasons Why
Alice O’Sullivan – Table Mountain and Me

Category 2
{Age 15-17 years}

Millie Foster – The Elements
Flynn Thompson – The Red Scarf
Xanthe Turner – The Lonely Chair

Theme: Discovery

What do you think when you hear the word, DISCOVERY? Write about it. We want to read your story about DISCOVERY – perhaps you discovered something funny or unusual in your suburb or under your house? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to discover a new country, a new planet or a new language? Have you experienced an internal discovery – a change in the way you think or feel about something?

The Scribblers Festival Golden Pen Awards are open to all Western Australian high school-aged students. There are two age-based categories: 12-14 and 15-17. See the full Terms and Conditions  for more information.


In 3000 words or less, send us your fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, comic, graphic novel about DISCOVERY by Sunday 31 March 2019.

Shortlisted writers will be selected from each category, with one overall winner from each category awarded the prestigious Golden Pen Award. Shortlisted writers will have the opportunity to learn from international and Australian authors in an exclusive masterclass during the Festival as well as attend our Scribblers Festival YA program – The YA Collective on Saturday 11 May. All shortlisted writers will have their work published on the Scribblers Festival website. The overall winners will be announced during a special public event at Scribblers Festival. They will receive a cash prize of AUD $500 (each). All shortlisted and winning entrants will receive a certificate of achievement and a book voucher from the Festival bookshop to the value of AUD $100.

The awards will be judged by a panel of educators, librarians, publishers and guest authors of the 2019 Scribblers Festival. This is a creative competition and entries are judged on the originality of the theme, the development of the story and the quality (not quantity) of the writing. Please note: due to the high number of entries anticipated for this award, individual feedback cannot be provided.


ntries must be emailed to goldenpen@scribblersfestival.com.au. All emailed entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form and entry forms must be signed by a parent/guardian. Please ensure you have read the
Terms and Conditions carefully before uploading your entry. Entries close on Sunday 31 March 2019.

Entry Form [Individual] | Entry Form [Teacher] | Terms and Conditions

By Post
To submit a physical copy of your story, print and attach your completed entry form, and submit via post to: Scribblers Festival, c/o FORM, PO Box 270 Claremont WA 6010. Please ensure you have read the Terms & Conditions carefully before posting your entry. All submissions must be received by Sunday 31 March 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.

Please note: due to the high number of entries anticipated, stories will not be returned. Please keep a copy of your entry.

Stay tuned to our Blog for writing tips to get your creativity flowing.

Download The Golden Pen poster