Schools Program

Capricorn Coast Writers Festival (CCWF) is excited to launch our Schools Program for Livingstone Shire students. We want to share our love of all things reading and writing and give students the chance to develop and indulge their love of creativity. This year students will get the chance to rub shoulders with published authors at live appearances, take part in interesting workshops and discover inspiration to feed their curiosity and help them create great stories. To feed that passion we’re launching the Student Short Story Competition.

Student Short Story Competition

Students, crank up your creativity, pull out your pen, fire up your laptop. We’re running a short story competition exclusively for you, and the theme is ‘the coast’. It’s open to all primary and secondary students within the Livingstone Shire and we want to read your stories!

The 2021 CCWF Student Short Story Competition is open to all school students enrolled in schools in the Livingstone Shire Council. The competition has categories for primary, junior and middle secondary (years 7-10), and senior secondary school students.

There are three age categories:

  • Primary school student – 100 – 300 words
  • Junior or middle secondary school student – 300 – 800 words
  • Senior secondary school student – 800 – 1200 words

  • The 2021 Theme for all students is the coast.

    Entries for the CCWF 2021 Short Story competition close Monday 17 May 2021. Winners will be announced Saturday, 12 June 2021 during the Capricorn Coast Writers Festival opening session.
    Please read the competition guidelines for more information HERE


    Thanks to the generosity of Rotary Club Yeppoon, the winner of each category will receive a signed certificate by the official judges, a copy of an age-appropriate published book and their story will be published in the Capricorn Coast Student Writers’ Anthology 2021. The winners will also receive a copy of the Capricorn Coast Student Writers’ Anthology 2021.

    All runners-up (up to 5 per age group) will receive a signed certificate by the official judges and their short story will be published in the Capricorn Coast Student Writers’ Anthology 2021.

    The Capricorn Coast Student Writers’ Anthology 2021 will be compiled and published after the festival concludes and made available as soon as possible.

    How to submit your entry

    Complete an entry form and send it to us along with your short story submission (Word document) to by Monday 17 May 2021.

    Please email if you have any questions about your entry. We can’t wait to read your stories!

    Not sure where to start?

    As Livingstone Shire students, with the coast right by tour side, the inspiration for a ‘coast’ themed story is all around you. We’re spoilt to have the Southern Great Barrier Reef and its 13 islands just a boat ride away. We have 17 beaches right on our doorstep and many secret and not so secret snorkelling spots all around us. On dry land, there are amazing coastal walks, lookouts, fishing spots and amazing adventures to be enjoyed. Including our theme might include the feelings the coast stirs in you, the physical surroundings of the coast. There are so many ways you can include this broad theme.

    10 Story Writing Tips

    1. The theme for 2021 is the coast - What does the coast mean to you? Think of ways the theme can be incorporated into your story through the character, setting or plot.

    2.Tell a story -A story always has a beginning middle and end. In a good story, something changes to keep people reading to the end. This is called conflict–a problem that needs to be resolved.

    3. Remember it’s a short story - Be careful not to introduce too many characters, settings or time periods or your story will be a plot summary without any meaningful connection to character, setting or time.

    4. Focus on what’s important - Your story has important details that need to be shared with the reader. Make sure all of your sentences are necessary to the story.

    5. Show don’t tell - Instead of writing that the character is happy, describe their smile. Allow readers to create their own image through your description.

    6. Choose a starting point - Begin your story just before, at the crucial moment or just after the main plot point happens. In a short story, you don’t have much time to delve into past or future incidents.

    7. Orientate the reader - A reader wants to know where and when everything is happening. A setting is important and so is the time of day or night.

    8. Gaps are needed - You don’t have to tell your reader everything. When describing characters, setting or events, allow for the reader to include their own thoughts (see tip 4).

    9. Weave description into the story - Avoid lengthy blocks of description by describing settings and characters as the story progresses.

    10.Write until your end - You can always edit later. Finish your story first and then review everything.

    Request a school visit

    If you would lIke us to visit your school and share tips on how to write a great short story incorporating the theme “the coast,” please contact our Schools Program Coordinator James Manning by emailing:

    Yeppoon Rotary Club generously support the Schools Program

    Conditions of Entry – please read carefully

    1. You must be a current student of a school in the Livingstone Shire.
    2. The story must be fictional.
    3. Your story must incorporate the theme, the coast.
    4. The story must be typed in Times New Roman 12pt font and double-spaced using Microsoft Word.
    5. Stories that exceed the word limit will be deemed ineligible
    6. The story must use single speech marks (quotation marks) for dialogue.
    7. Writers may only submit one entry each.
    8. Identifying names of the student or school should only appear on the entry form, not on the work itself.
    9. All work must be that of the individual author, as it may be checked for plagiarism.
    10. The finished story must be emailed to by 10:00 PM Monday 17 May 2021.
    11. The decision of the judges is final.
    12. Entries that fail to comply with all the conditions will not be considered. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
    13. Winners and runners-up will have their stories published in the Capricorn Coast Student Writers’ Anthology 2021 and on the CCWF website.
    14. Winners and runners-up may be required to participate in media opportunities.
    15. Judges are not required to provide feedback. Any concerns should be directed via email to
    Note: To protect the privacy of students, their first name and the first initial of their last name will identify the displayed or published work of students, unless otherwise directed by their entry form.