The Hope Prize short story competition

The Hope Prize, the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s national short story competition, encourages writers to explore resilience in the face of adversity.

The Hope Prize

Entries are closed for the 2018 competition

The Hope Prize encourages writers to explore people's resilience in the face of poverty and disadvantage, to look beyond all too common stereotypes to depict the strengths that people and communities show in dealing with hardship.

Australia is the proverbial ‘lucky country’, yet amid our remarkable prosperity too many pockets of poverty and disadvantage persist in our cities, regions and remote areas. This narrative deserves to be explored through evocative writing.

The total prize pool for 2018 is $17,500, while two Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships — of $5,000 each — will also be awarded.

Inquiries: Email shortstory(at)

The judges: Cate Blanchett, Quentin Bryce and Kate Grenville

The eminent judges for the first competition are again judging The Hope Prize. They are actor Cate Blanchett, former governor general Quentin Bryce and author Kate Grenville. They are passionate about defeating disadvantage and care deeply about encouraging good writing.

Profile image of Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
Quentin Bryce
Quentin Bryce
Kate Grenville
Kate Grenville


The prizes for the 2018 competition are:

First prize— $10,000

Second prize — $4,000

Third prize — $2,000

Highly commended stories — $250

Award for an emerging writer under 18 years — $500

Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships

Two Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships — of $5,000 each — will be awarded in 2018 to recognise the many additional challenges women face in our community. The patron of the scholarship hopes that the scholarships will give two women a special opportunity to thrive.

What the judges said about the first Hope Prize

Quentin Bryce: "I admire the way the stories reveal the lives of people who so often go unnoticed in our society; stories filled with determination and human spirit about people who overcome the odds with courage and strength."

Cate Blanchett: "The finalists all revealed powerful perspectives on the world at large, and displayed unique, unpretentious and authentic voices."

Kate Grenville, on the story which won the first Hope Prize, 'Better Homes and Gardens' by Catherine Moffat: "The hope here isn’t that good things are going to happen, because they probably won’t. It’s that love is stronger than circumstance, and hope keeps love alive."

See the list of winners.

Hope: an Anthology

Publisher Simon & Schuster published the Hope anthology of the winning short stories from the first Hope Prize. It achieved significant sales and is available at leading book retailer Readings.


The Hope Prize was made possible by the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, and the support of Simon & Schuster and Readings

Simon & Schuster logo
Readings logo

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