The Voiceless Writing Prize

sponsored by Australian Ethical Investment

Please note that entries for 2012 have now closed.

Australian writers are invited to give voice to the most vulnerable amongst us in a new writing prize established by Voiceless, the animal protection institute.

The Voiceless Writing Prize sponsored by Australian Ethical Investment is one of the most lucrative short story and non-fiction competitions in Australia, awarding a total prize pool of over $20,000.

The Prize is designed to advance public understanding of animal sentience, human – animal relationships and the ethical treatment of animals.

Open to Australian citizens and permanent residents 18 and over, the Prize invites fiction and non-fiction pieces of 5-10,000 words, published or unpublished. Entries must focus on animals produced for food or found in the Australian environment.

A collection of the best pieces will be published by Australia's leading independent publisher, Allen & Unwin, as a book and an e-book in 2012. Voiceless is very grateful to have Allen & Unwin as Publishing Partner on this innovative Prize.

"There is a rich world literature which takes animals - their feelings, wishes and desires - seriously. As of this year, Voiceless will be awarding a prize to recognise the best Australian short fiction and non-fiction that has at its heart the place of animals in the world we have made."  

J. M. Coetzee

J. M. Coetzee, 2003 Nobel Laureate and twice winner of the Man Booker Prize, will chair the judging panel and serve as Patron of the Prize. Joining him on the judging panel are: Voiceless co-founder and Managing Director, Ondine Sherman; Literary Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Susan Wyndham; and immediate past Director of the Sydney Writers Festival, Dr Wendy Were.

The winner chosen by the judging panel will receive $15,000, while the public will vote for the People’s Choice to receive $5,000. Voiceless Councillor Deborah Debnam together with Peter Debnam have generously sponsored the People’s Choice for 2012, 2013, and 2014. All writers published in the collection will receive $500.

Voiceless thanks The Sydney Morning Herald for its support as Media Partner on the Prize.

We also thank our principal financial sponsor on the Prize, leading ethical fund manager Australian Ethical Investment. 

Entries close 16 March 2012.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the growing public conversation on our sentient others, make your literary mark, and win a significant cash prize.

make your submission here


The Voiceless Writing Prize sponsored by


                          Publishing Partner: 

                  Media Partner: 



 People's Choice sponsored by Deborah and Peter Debnam