Fair Australia Prize

The 2017 Fair Australia Prize

Opens 1 May 2018.

About the prize

The Fair Australia Prize is five $4000 prizes:

  • one for fiction (up to 3000 words)
  • one for essay (up to 3000 words)
  • one for poetry (up to 88 lines)
  • one for cartoon or graphic (180 mm wide by 255 mm high), and
  • one for the best entry by a NUW, NTEU or MEAA member (in any category)

The prize encourages artists and writers of fiction, poetry and essays to be part of setting a new agenda for our future; questioning our collective common future and how we might get there together. How might we change our collective future? How could we achieve a more sustainable planet? What would fairer work practices look like?

Entry to the Fair Australia Prize is free. Enter via one of the category links at the bottom of the page.

*Members of the NUW, NTEU or MEAA kindly note: there is no separate category for union member entries. Instead, simply tick the box that asks if you are a member on the entry form for your category (whether that is cartoon/graphic, fiction, poetry or essay)


Ideas and starting points

For ideas and inspiration, you can check out last year’s reading list. Or read the previous winning pieces from the Fair Australia Prize:


‘Chalcedony South’


‘Burned fingers’
Three strikes
100 days


‘On setting yourself on fire’
‘Lessons in class and casualisation’
‘The most fucking intense, crazy, rock n’roll thing you could be writing about’


‘Imagine a better future’
‘Casual wear’


How the prize will be judged

In each category, submissions will be read blind by a panel of judges. Winners will be selected on the basis of their aesthetic excellence, and their engagement with the theme of Fair Australia.

Entrants are encouraged to respond creatively and imaginatively – the competition seeks to foster innovative thinking and expression rather than dogma or didacticism.




About the NUW

The prize is supported and funded by the National Union of Workers, a large union that is made up of workers in a diverse number of industries including warehousing, cold storage, poultry, pharmaceutical, dairy and market research. Increasingly, NUW members are dealing with insecure and precarious work.

The NUW stands for jobs that all workers can count on, whether permanent, casual, contract or labour hire. NUW workers and community members collaborate and organise to build a fair Australia inside and outside the workplace.

The NUW believes that a union must be part of a broad social movement to create democratic change, equality and sustainable jobs.

MEAA logo


Overland-NUW joint membership-subscription


Both Overland magazine and the National Union of Workers depend on the support of members (industrial and community) and subscribers to continue the important work both organisations do. Which is why we offer a special membership-subscription that includes a discounted 12-month subscription to Overland (four print issues and the daily online magazine), and a one-year community membership with the National Union of Workers. Read more about community memberships, or take out a joint membership-subscription.



Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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