2023 RD Walshe Memorial Writing Competition with $600 cash prizes

RD Walshe Memorial Writing Competition with $600 cash prizes

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Through the R D Walshe Memorial Writing Competition for the Environment, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre continues to value the role and place of the art of writing in bringing about change – in issues of social justice and environment.

RD Walshe Memorial Writing Competition 2023 Details

Sutherland Shire Environment Centre holds an annual, national Writing for the Environment prize in honour of our founder, Bob Walshe, who passed away in March 2018.

Writing offers a chance to reflect on these problems and their causes, as well as on the solutions and their causes. A good piece of writing can shift minds and hearts; it can move hands.

A good piece of writing can shift minds and hearts; it can move hands. The intention of this competition is to attract quality writing that can inspire or inform and incite change.

The writing Competition Theme

Future, what future? The 2023 Writing for the Environment Prize theme

Five hundred years ago, Shakespeare’s Macbeth uttered these pitiful words… 

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,  To the last syllable of recorded time;  And all our yesterdays have lighted fools  The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! 

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,  That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,  Signifying nothing.

A bleak outlook on life and the future. 

Sixty years ago, Kurt Vonnegut gave us a brilliant short story, Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, about overpopulation in New York because of an anti-ageing drug developed in the future from dandelion and mud.

Like Vonnegut, countless science fiction writers have described countless types of futures based mostly on the extrapolation of current and immediate trends. 

Every day in the media, there are cautions and warnings and predictions about the future of humanity in a rapidly changing world with an increasingly degraded environment.  

When we talk about future, we can consider these types:  possible futures, preferable futures, plausible futures, and probable futures. What is your vision?  

The 2023 national RD Walshe Writing for the Environment competition asks you to consider the future and write a piece of fiction that puts yourself in it. A piece of writing that personalises the future. The writing must, of course, consider elements related to the environment and broader sustainability concepts.  


There were three age categories for the 2023 competition:

  1. Under 19 years
  2. 19-26 years
  3. Over 60

Note: The submission form asks for your birthdate. Your age on the closing day of the competition is the age that counts.


For the 2023 Writing for the Environment competition, the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre will accept writing that is:

  • A piece of fictional prose that is no more than 800 words in length (pieces that are over this number will not be considered)
  • Fiction
  • Prose
  • Original and on topic
  • Creative, powerful (it makes an impact on the reader) and quirky
  • Clear in purpose
  • This national competition is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents only.  
  • Amateurs only. This is not a competition for professional writers.

Who can enter the competition?

This writing competition is open to Australian citizens only.

Competition Entry fee

The writing competition is free to enter.

RD Walshe Memorial Writing Competition 2023 Prizes

As a result of a generous donation by a member of the Sutherland Shire community, we are able to offer an additional prize this year for the under 19 and the 19-26 categories: 

  • Winner $500
  • Second place $250
  • Third place $100

The Sutherland Shire Writers Group will continue to offer a $100 prize to a young and inspiring writer. This is the Pat Strong Writing Award, and the winner will be drawn from the under 19 category. Pat was a member of the original writing group that Bob Walshe set up over 50 years ago!

For the Over 60 category:

  • Winner: $500 
  • Runner-up: $100 

Competition Application Guide

You can submit entries online via this link RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize 2023 Submission

If you have any questions you can email Phil Smith phil@ssec.org.au

Application Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 5pm AEST on Friday, 30 June 2023.

Winners will be announced on the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre website in August 2023.

Competition Website

You can check the competition website following this link.

Check other prizes and contests following International Competitions category