Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition 2019

Competition Details

Competition Details:

Australian stories that celebrate
togetherness in diversity…

Winner $200AU + anthology cover based on the winner’s story
TOP 40 published

(all published entrants receive free copy of anthology)

(Sponsorship Opportunities Available – Contact Carolyn)

Closes 6PM Monday 2nd September 2019 

Maximum 1,000 words 

Theme: Together in Diversity, Australia in 2019

$5AU entry

We’re looking for jolly good tales. Show us the positive. The growth. The light-hearted. The heart-warming. The gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Sadness can feature, but we’re looking for evolution in the mix.

Critical thinking, humour, difference will be highly regarded.  

You might write of, for instance, ethnicities, genders, LGBTQIA, Aboriginal stories, regions, city versus country, being the only one not a minority in a diverse community, the generational divides… Your character might be an Australian living or holidaying in another country. The scope is as broad as your imagination.

Whoever you choose as your main character, they must cross paths with a person or people different from them.

Judges : 

  • C T Mitchell – Bestselling international mystery crime writer.
  • Kylie Kaden – a thrilling voice in Australian Domestic Noir. Her second book Missing You was nominated People’s Choice Awards 2015.
  • Carolyn Martinez – Director, Hawkeye Publishing + Editor + Author.

Prize Pool :

  • Winner: $200AU + Anthology front cover design based on winner’s story.
  • Shortlisted (2nd – 5th placed) names published.
  • Top 40 stories will be published in an anthology – recording in perpetuity community spirit of 2019. Top 40 authors receive a free copy of the anthology.

Shortlisted and Longlisted finalists names published on

Judges can’t wait to read your stories!

Hawkeye Publishing extends a huge thank you to our Gold Sponsors, Tony and Christine Hammond (Sydney Hammond’s son and daughter-in-law), for enabling the winner’s cash prize, the printing of the 40 anthologies for the Top 40, and the cover design for the book!

Hawkeye Publishing extends a big thank you to Lynette Hammond (Sydney Hammond’s daughter) for sponsoring proofreading services!

It’s a family affair to launch the inaugural Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition…

Editing, Page Setting, Distribution & Sales, and Publicity provided by Carolyn Martinez (Sydney Hammond’s daughter) through Hawkeye Publishing.

Who was Sydney?

Who is Sydney (Syd) Hammond?

Syd Hammond appeared to be like any ordinary guy. 

But those who loved him, knew different. 

He was so much more than ordinary.

Syd was born in 1937 and died in 2007, aged 70.

As a teenager he taught himself to play guitar. 

When rock-n-roll first sounded on radio there wasn’t sheet music to follow. 

Syd and his mates crowded into booths at record stores. They listened keenly to identify their instruments. 

He hand-made his first electric guitar. 

He was one of the first Brisbane musicians to play music on TV. 

In 1964, Syd received a bravery award for capturing one of Queensland’s most wanted criminals – Bernard Morrow.

Driving in his patrol car, Syd noticed a drunk driver. 

He pulled him over, and casually suggested the guy come to the station and sleep it off before he went any further. Bernard Morrow complied. 

At the station, with Bernard sleeping it off, Syd sat at a desk and a WANTED poster caught his eye.  Staring back at him were the eyes of the man already locked in the cell.

He orated with glee the story of dumb luck getting him a bravery award.

Syd portrayed a quintessential Aussie spirit of larrikin, ‘give it a go mate’, mateship, and do the best you can for your family.

Syd loved Australia. 

He believed in standing up for what you believe in. 

He believed that music, art, humour and stories are the drumbeats that bring people together.

The Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Award to honour his memory is founded by his family.

Entry Form

Entry Form

Terms & Conditions

Competition Terms & Conditions

Entry Terms and Conditions 2019 – Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Award

By entering a piece in the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Award – a writing competition – you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions.

  1. Entries close 6pm EST Monday 2nd September, 2019
  2. The word limit is 1,000. This includes titles and any sub-headings. There is no minimum.
  3. Entries can be non-fiction, fiction, or fiction inspired by true events.
  4. Winner receives $200AU + Anthology front cover design based on winner’s story. Shortlisted (2nd – 5th placed) names published.
    Top 40 stories will be published in an anthology.  All published entrants receive a free copy of the anthology.
  5. Your story must not include your name or any identifying marks.
  6. Entry is online only.
  7. Entries must be the original work of the applicant and must not be published in any form or currently offered for publication.
  8. If you prefer your story published under a pseudonym, there is an optional field on the entry form.
  9. Entrants are welcome to submit more than one story. There is no limit on number of entries. A separate entry form, and separate entry fee of $5 (incl. GST) must accompany each entry.
  10. You must acknowledge any quotes from other writers that you use.
  11. Staff of Hawkeye Publishing and competition judges and their family members are not eligible to enter the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Award Writing Competition.
  12. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with either the judges, or the staff.
  13. By entering the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition, the author gives permission to Hawkeye Publishing to publish his/her work in the anthology if selected by the judges. The copyright to the work is always retained by the author. As publisher of the anthology, Hawkeye Publishing will have First Publication Rights to all submitted works and may use any title or phrase from any entry for the purpose of promoting the competition and the anthology. Any collection or publication subsequent to the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition that includes the author’s story should acknowledge Hawkeye Publishing.
  14. Prize winners may be required to participate in media-related events associated with the competition.
  15. By supplying your contact details you agree to us sending you opt-out correspondence.
  16. The finalists to be published in the anthology will be announced on this website and across our social media channels early October 2019.