The signature words for 2014 are: Drop. Wind. Keep.


You can drop something, take a drop of water, see a raindrop on a leaf, suck on a lemon drop, drop off (fall asleep), drop someone off, drop behind, drop out, notice a drop in interest or prices, have eye, nose or ear drops, drop to the ground, drop from the sky, field at first drop… and so many more – this is just a drop in the ocean. Drop is a very old English word and it is used in so many different ways – go and research and find your way of using drop in your entry.


Is it a cold wind (the noun describing weather) or to wind – the verb? Is it a path that winds around a steep mountain, a clock that needs a wind or a wind instrument? Was your character winded by a football in the stomach? Is there something in the wind? What about a wind-up toy? Can you wind someone round your little finger? What about winding up a class? (This could be a teacher ending a class or the class clown who makes the class go crazy!) You could wind up very angry, or jealous. Or you could wind down after a hard day at school.


Is it a castle’s keep or something your character is putting away? Does your character yell out,‘You’ll keep!’  You can keep time, keep watch, keep something on ice, keep someone happy, keep warm, keep at it, keep back a flood, keep your voice down, keep in with the right gang, play marbles for keeps or keep on singing.

Categories are: Years 3— 4 and Years 5—6

Plays and Scripts: No more than two A4 pages.

Short Stories: Word limit of 750 words. (No, we won't consider anything longer! Editing is a great skill to learn.)

Free choice: This category is for short items such as comedy skits, letters, diary entries, funny ideas. Please no expositions or projects on bees - this is a creative writing competition. We want to see your imagination on paper - not your research. No more than 2 A 4 pages.

Poetry: No more than an A4 page (approximately 25 lines).

A new rule this year is a limit of 3 entries per student per category. We'd like you to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. So if you have written 10 poems, look over them all, read them out aloud, ask advice from teachers and parents and send us your best three.

The best entries will be published in Drop.Wind.Keep: Winning Entries from the 2014 Sydney Youth Writing Competition and launched at the awards night in November. Details on venue and date are to come.

Prizes will be awarded to students in each category and also to teachers for outstanding participation. The prize pool includes: Vouchers for courses at NIDA and ATYP and The Writing Workshop, books from Scholastic and Cambridge University Press, tickets to Opera Australia, Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Symphony, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Riverside Parramatta and Griffin Theatre, book vouchers from Ariel, kites, and more.

Entries will be lodged through the website. An email confirmation to the student, teacher and parent will be sent. It is a condition of entry that you give permission for your entry to be published if chosen.

Thank you for your vigilance regarding plagiarism.  Plagiarism jeopardises the competition, spoils it for other students and is costly. Plagiarised entries will be disqualified.

As a reminder, the Sydney Youth Writing Competition is a not for profit organisation. Entries published in the collection of best entries are selected as excellent examples of writing in their category and genre. We do not charge for students to enter the competition.

We look forward to receiving your  entries and continuing the tradition of the Sydney Youth Writing Competition.

Anna Carmody and Meredith Melville-Jones


Sydney Youth Writing Competition, Inc