- Who is eligible to enter?
- What age division do I belong in?
- What kinds of entries will be accepted?
- How long or short should my entry be?
- What should I write about?
- Can I submit more than one entry?
- Can my entry be revised or changed after I submit it?
- What formats can an entry be in?
- Are group submissions allowed?
- Will I get my entry back?
- What happens to my entry after I submit it?
- When will winners be announced?
- What are the prizes for winners?
- Why does my parent or guardian need to sign my entry form?
All youth ages 8–18 who live, work or study in the Australian Capital Territory are eligible to enter. This includes those engaged in work experience, diversion programs, etc. If you’re in the ACT most days of the week, you’re invited to enter, even if you live across the border.
The age divisions are Primary (8–11 years), Junior (12–14 years) and Senior (15–18 years). You should select your age division based on your age as at 1 January 2018. For example, if you turn 15 on 1 January, then you are in the Senior division. This is true regardless of when you submit your entry.
The following are the only acceptable kinds of entries: essay, short story, poem, script, comic, song lyrics. Song lyrics do not include music.
There is no minimum length for entries. Maximum length depends on which age division you are in. Primary is 500 words, Junior is 750 words and Senior is 1,000 words. Some categories of written work, such as poem or song lyrics, can be very effective with very few words. You will be judged on the content of what you write, not on how many words you use. If your entry is too long, however, it will not be judged.
Successful entries will demonstrate an insightful appreciation of one or more aspects of your cultural heritage. Do some research. Talk to your family. Think about what your family’s history and culture mean to you. Then share your insights. If what you write means something to you, it will be interesting to us!
Only one entry per person is allowed. You may not, for example, submit an essay and a comic. So pick your favourite and go with that.
Once work has been submitted, there will be no opportunity to revise or change it. Please make sure that you are happy with your entry before you submit.
Paper entries may be posted. If you wish to submit via email, please make sure that your entry is in Microsoft Word format (.doc or docx) or PDF format (.pdf). Because comics include images with words, they may be submitted in JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg). We apologise that we are not able to accept any other formats.
Group submissions are not allowed. Your entry should be the work of one person: you. It is fine to get input or assistance from others, but your entry should not be excessively corrected or improved by another person.
Unfortunately, we are unable to return entries. It is recommended that you keep a copy of your original work for this reason.
If your submission meets the Terms and Conditions on the entry form, it will be given to appointed panel judges for assessment. Winning and other selected entries will be published on the Back to Your Roots website, and parts of your work may be used in advertisements, educational materials and so forth. In every case, your name, age and school (if applicable) will be included so that people will be able to identify the work as yours.
Winners will be announced on 23 February 2018.
The winner in each age division will receive five movie tickets – so take your family, four friends or anyone else you want!
Because the Back to Your Roots 2017–18 writing competition is for youth and because your work may appear on our website or in other formats, it is necessary for us to have the permission of an adult. This is true even if you’re already 18.