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Voices of Women annual writing competition: Embellishment

Date: Tue November 1 2022 9:00 am to Sat February 18 2023 5:00 pm

Welcome to the Fifth Voices of Women annual writing competition! 

What binds us together? What tears us apart? Be brave! What’s your story?

We are committed to presenting new diverse stories and tales from all women of all writing abilities, in particular we welcome First Nations stories, stories from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, from women living with disability and from LGBTQI+ communities.

Let’s make some noise and create some magic!

We invite all unpublished short monologues and narratives written in the first person by Australian and United States writers.

What does Embellishment mean?

Embellishment expresses the moments when beauty is revealed, when the truth is hidden. It is about the layers in our life  – mind, body, language, ritual and emotion. When is embellishment a great and beautiful thing? When does it hide the truth? When does it bring communities together? Embellish your story with rich language, with some of your own language, with culture, with emotion, with imagination. Be brave.

What are we looking for?

We love monologues. Watch the trailer for Entanglement for some inspiration!

Monologues are short stories written or spoken in the first person, or “I”.

Talk about a moment that stands out for you. Create a character that captures what you want to say about the world, your life, other people. Be brave! Embellish it with rich and imaginative language. Use English mostly – but we love to hear you speak in your own culture’s language as well. Unleash your pen and let it do the work. But keep it short. 3-4 minutes out loud.

Talk to yourself, your hairdresser, your dog, your computer, your best friend, lover, teacher, a tree, the night sky!

Keep it short: 800 words maximum, 3-4 minutes out loud. 

All genres are welcome. For example: First Nations stories on country, realism, minimalism, collage, magical, magical realism, poetic narrative, adventure, diary, letter, identity story, historical reflection, futuristic, natural universe. Just keep it short! You don’t have to include the word ’embellishment’ in the story or make it the title of your story. 

What topics are acceptable? Any! Write about issues, events, people, past, present. We are looking for stories that are moving, funny, powerful, dramatic, curious, quirky, beautiful, uplifting, devastating. We love stories that show you have been brave! 

Need any help? We run writing workshops to support you develop your story. If you would like to attend a writing workshop for individuals or groups, live or online, please contact us. We want to make sure everyone is included. If the entry fee is a barrier to you taking part, please get in touch via our website and we can waiver the fee.

What do you get if your story is selected?

  • Each selected writer will receive $100 (AUS).
  • Selected writer’s stories will be performed on the Voices of Women podcast by a professional actor, or in some cases, by the writer, subject to the Artistic Director’s discretion.
  • Selected writer’s stories will be performed in live shows in Australia and internationally with our partners in the USA.
  • Selected writer’s stories will be part of the Embellishment Feature Film with future distribution subject to new agreements. 
  • Selected stories will be published on the Voices of Women website. 

Find out out more about Voices of Women here.  

Find our more and enter the Voices of Women annual competition here.

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