The Long Way Home 2022 Writing Competition Is Now Open!

Calling all Clarence Valley writers, poets, dreamers and creatives! We want your stories for this year’s book. This is our fifth year, and each year the stories and writing just get better. The theme this year is: Let go.

Let go of your fears, hopes, regrets, bad decisions or bad habits. Let go of the rope, the safety net, the balloon, the leash, the handlebars, the oar, the waterbomb or the plate full of cakes. Let go of your expectations and inhibitions. Surprise us. Let go of the breath you’re holding in!

Stories are due by 1 June. The judges are:

Kathryn Goldie and Claire Aman (open section)

Roweena Shakespeare and Jacqui Hinshaw (high school section)

Ilana Kaplin, Russell Irving, Janelle Brown, Claire Aman (primary school section)

Read the terms and conditions below, then email your story as a word doc to

Looking forward to your stories!

Claire, Kathryn and Ilana – The Long Way Home

Terms and Conditions

The theme for 2022 is ‘Let Go.’ Interpret it any way you like.

Primary students in Year 1- 6 can enter stories of up to 150 words

High school students can enter stories of up to 500 words

Open section stories can be up to 2,500 words

The closing date for entries is 11pm June 1st, 2022. Late entries will not be accepted.

The shortlisted stories from each category will be edited and published in Stories from the Clarence Valley 2022 – Let Go.’

Primary school students: Each story must include the author’s name, story title, word count, school year, school, teacher’s name, and the category (Primary). Home schoolers are welcome. Teachers, please email us stories attached as separate word files.

High school students: Each story must include a cover page with the author’s name, story title, word count, school year, school, teacher’s name, and the category (High School). Home schoolers are welcome. Make sure we have your email contact.  Write the title on each page. Your name is only on the cover page.

Open category: Each story must include a cover page with the author’s name, the title of the story, word count, the category (Open). Write the title on each page. Your name is only on the cover page.

The winner of the open category will receive a $100 cash prize. Winning high school and primary school students will be awarded book vouchers.

The author owns the story. In entering the competition, the author gives permission to The Long Way Home to edit and publish the shortlisted stories in ‘Stories from the Clarence Valley 2022 – Let Go’ under the author’s name.

The Long Way Home does not make enough income to pay authors, but each author will receive free copy of the book.

Stories can be emailed to

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to enter?

If you live in the Clarence Valley, or you have lived here in the past, you can enter. Students need to attend a school in the Clarence Valley, or be of school age and have an address in the Clarence Valley.

Can I enter more than one story?

Yes. But make sure any story you send is the best it can be. Read it at least ten times, keep improving it, make every sentence work. Then send it.

Do I have to pay to enter?

No. Entry is free.

How will I find out if my story will be published?

We’ll contact you by email. The results will also be posted on this website, and on Facebook. We expect judging to be complete by August.

How should I format my entry?

As a Word doc, using a plain, 12 pt font. Use double spaces between the lines. Please number the pages, and include the title on each page. If you need help to format your story, email us.

What are the judges looking for?

We are looking for well crafted, powerful, original stories that move us. We look for authentic voices – with a touchstone of your own culture, your own experience, enlivened by your own imagination.

First Nations writing

The Long Way Home has been proud to publish Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl writers in all our collections. Everyone has a story – leave it up to Aboriginal people to tell their own stories. If your piece is written in the voice of an Aboriginal person, or telling an Aboriginal story, are you Aboriginal? If not, use your own voice to tell your own story. The most powerful writing comes from our own voice and experience and identity. The Long Way Home is committed to supporting First Nations writers and the authentic voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island storytelling. When judging stories we are guided by Australia Council’s Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing.

1. Respect

2. Indigenous control

3. Communication, consultation and consent

4. Interpretation, integrity and authenticity

5. Secrecy and confidentiality

6. Attribution and copyright

7. Proper returns and royalties

8. Continuing cultures

9. Recognition and protection.

For more information visit  

writing-protocols-for-indigeno-5b4bfc67dd037.pdf (