Sydney Hammond Short Story Writing Competition 2020


Competition Details


Competition Details:

2020 Theme: If only…

Winner $500AU Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher + anthology cover based on the winner’s story
Short-Listed and Long-Listed announced
TOP 40 published in an anthology – free copy to all published entrants.

(Sponsorship Opportunities Available – Contact Carolyn)

Closes 6PM Monday 1st August 2020

Maximum 1,000 words 

Theme: If only…

$10AU 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.  

The theme of If only…is expansive, allowing for imaginations to run wild. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some prompts to get you started. You may write of, for example, about life choices made by an individual, a group, or a government. Your character might reflect on how choices made by others affected their own life, or how they are gripped with indecision as they face a life altering situation and how they will reflect on their decision in the future. Think  Sliding Doors. The possibilities are endless. These are just a few suggestions and we look forward to reading your stories and seeing where your mind takes you.

Judges are looking for the following:

  • Storytelling ability
  • Adherence to the competition theme
  • Spelling & Grammar
  • Layout confirms to the competition guidelines

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: $500AU Hawkeye Gift Voucher + Anthology front cover design based on winner’s story.
  • Shortlisted (2nd – 4th placed) names published.
  • Top 40 stories will be published in an anthology – recording in perpetuity community spirit of 2020.

Shortlisted (Top 10) and Longlisted (11-40) finalists names published on www.hawkeyebooks.com.au.

Judges can’t wait to read your stories!

Hawkeye Publishing extends a huge thank you to our 2019 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 was a family affair to launch the inaugural Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition in 2019…

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 2020 – Sydney Hammond Short Story Award

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

  1. Entries close 6pm EST Saturday, 1st August, 2020
  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 $500 Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher for professional services + Anthology front cover design based on winner’s story. Shortlisted (2nd – 4th placed) names published.
    Top 40 stories will be published in an 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 $10 (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 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 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 2020.


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