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About the competition

The Landfall Young Writers' Essay Competition is an annual award open to writers aged 16 to 25.

  • Essays should not exceed 1500 words.
  • The competition is judged by the editor of Landfall.
  • The winner will be announced and published in each May issue of Landfall.
  • The winner receives $500 and a year's subscription to Landfall.
  • The 2024 competition is now open and entries close on 31 March 2024.

Conditions of entry

  1. Essays will be fully developed, independent works and will be no more than 1500 words long.
  2. Essays will be on a topic of the author's choosing.
  3. Essays will not have been published elsewhere.
  4. Writers will be New Zealand citizens or New Zealand permanent residents aged between 16 and 25 years old in the year of competition. Entries must be accompanied by proof of age.
  5. One entry per person will be accepted.
  6. The judge will assess the merits of the essays and reserve the right not to award a prize. No correspondence with the judge will be entered into.
  7. Landfall reserves the right to publish the winning entry, and other shortlisted entries, at the editor's discretion.
  8. It is a condition of the competition that the winning writer's name and photograph may be used by Landfall for publicity purposes.

How to enter

  • Please email your entry as a Word document to with 'Landfall Young Writers' Essay Competition' in the subject line.
  • Your name should NOT appear on the essay itself. Please include your name, address and telephone number, proof of age and a 30-word bio in your email.
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