Bendigo Bank Community Bank Southern Peninsula

Writer in Residence

Sharing stories influenced by the Mornington Peninsula

Writer in Residence Competition

 The annual Bendigo Bank Community Bank Southern Peninsula – Peninsula Writers’ Club Writer in Residence competition provides an opportunity for members of Peninsula Writers’ Club to have their talent recognised, their work compensated, and their professional development supported and valued.

2024 Competition is now closed.


2024 Competition Prizes

Alongside financial compensation, we understand one of the greatest gifts you can give to a writer is space and time, to immerse themselves in their work in a dedicated environment far removed from their everyday responsibilities. 

With thanks to Bendigo Bank Community Bank Southern Peninsula, we are thrilled to once again be able to offer the winner, alongside prize money, a voucher for accommodation at a Mornington Peninsula venue, to tailor their very own writing retreat. 

First prize: $800 cash and $1000 accommodation voucher

Second prize: $250 cash and $50 bookstore voucher

Highly commended: $100 cash and $50 bookstore voucher

The winner will also have the opportunity to submit up to three additional short stories, poems, creative non-fiction, essays or micro fiction to be published on the Peninsula Writers’ Club website and shared across our various social media streams, and member base.  

As our Writer in Residence the winner will have the opportunity to build their portfolio and profile, elevate their confidence, enhance their writer’s resume, and reach a readership, all while adding a respectable string to the bow of their writer biography. 

We thank Bendigo Bank Community Bank Southern Peninsula for their generous sponsorship, which enables us to award our winner, runner up and highly commended entrant prizes totalling $2,250.

Keep scrolling. Our full terms and conditions are below.

Meet our Judges

Cassandra Atherton

Cassandra Atherton is a widely anthologised and award-winning prose poet and scholar of poetry. She was a Harvard Visiting Scholar in English and a Visiting Fellow at Sophia University, Tokyo. She co-authored Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2020) and co-edited the Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (Melbourne University Press, 2020) with Paul Hetherington. She is a commissioning editor for Westerly magazine, series editor at Spineless Wonders, and has her own imprint at MadHat Press (USA). Cassandra is currently working on the monograph Ekphrastic Poetry: An Introduction with Paul Hetherington for Princeton UP. She is Professor of Writing and Literature at Deakin University.

Frances Henke

Fran Henke’s career in print, radio and publishing saw her working in Canberra, London, Sydney, Melbourne, then for local newspapers. She spent four years as a member of the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board, also writing books on gardening, leading to columns for magazines and newspapers. These books and her poetry have been anthologised. 

Working as a media adviser for state and federal MPs, gave her lobbying skills to help raise awareness of the needs of polio survivors. She is vice-chair Polio Network Victoria and convenor Mornington Peninsula Post-Polio Support Group. When unable to work full time, at last she was able to write fiction, further pursue photography, printmaking and painting.

Former publishers weren’t interested in the novels. Flying Pony Press was born, publishing In Yer Face a history of the Bald Archy Prize (to which she had contributed portraits over many years) three books for the polio community, friends’ work and her four novels – The Fair Wind series. Her story was included in Growing Up Disabled, Black Inc. 2021.

Her 24th book, Timmy’s Daughter, was published last year for her 80th birthday, a story of love, loss and new life, to help young people understand dementia in pets and family members. As research she undertook a UniTas short course on dementia. Timmy’s story is illustrated with Fran’s watercolours and iPad drawings.

Photo credit: Gary Sissons

Competition Guidelines

    1. Works submitted must be previously unpublished works of fiction, written in English. 
    2. Entrants must ensure that entries are their own original work and have not been plagiarised. The use of Artificial Intelligence to create, generate, storyline, draft, or iterate your work is prohibited. Any entries discovered to have been wholly, or in part, the result of Artificial Intelligence will be disqualified.
    3. All entries must be formatted to Times New Roman, 12 font size, 2.5cm margins, and double-line spacing. Send your submission in one of the following file types: docx, doc, rtf.
    4. Ensure your name or any identifying information does not appear on any of the pages. 
    5. While there is no theme for entries, your story must contain some reference to the Mornington Peninsula, whether through setting, mention, dialogue, memory, etc – how you choose to weave in your reference is completely up to you. 
    6. Maximum word length:  2,000 words
    7. Entries with images or illustrations will not be accepted.
    8. One entry permitted per member. 
    9. Entries must be mindful of cultural and inclusivity sensitivities and language use. Peninsula Writers’ Club is a respectful space that embraces and engages diverse community voices. 
    10. Entries open:  8:00 am April 1st, 2024 / Entries Close: 11:59 pm April 30th, 2024
    11. Entries will be judged anonymously by two special guest judges, with the winner advised via email on  June 3rd, 2024.
    12. Only one version of your story should be sent (revised works will not be permitted).
    13. Email entries to In the subject line put:  WIR Submission – (Name of Author) – (Title of Work). The body of your email should remain blank (no cover letter is required), except for the following statement, which is used to confirm your acceptance of these guidelines, the acceptance of the terms and conditions and your eligibility to enter: I have read and accept the Terms and Conditions, and the Competition Guidelines. I declare that my submission is my own original work and has not been plagiarised or contains any content generated by AI.

Terms and Conditions

    1. Entry is open to all current financial members of Peninsula Writers’ Club, regardless of postcode (I.e. You do not have to be a resident of the Mornington Peninsula to enter), including previous Writer in Residence recipients, prior to our 2023 competition. 
    2. Committee members of Peninsula Writers’ Club are ineligible to enter.
    3. To ensure equity and to avoid any unintentional bias, all entries will be judged strictly anonymously against the same criteria.
    4. The decision of the judging panel is final. No feedback will be given on entries, and no discussion will be entered into. 
    5. The first prize winner will be awarded a prize totalling $1,800 comprising $800 cash, and a $1,000 accommodation voucher.
    6. The second prize winner will be awarded a prize totalling $300, comprising $250 cash and a $50 bookstore voucher. 
    7. The highly commended entrant will be awarded a prize totalling $150, comprising $100 cash and a $50 bookstore voucher.
    8. Cash will be awarded by way of direct bank transfer within fourteen days of winner announcement and receipt of the prize winners’ bank details. 
    9. $1,000 accommodation voucher to be sent via email. If the winner’s selected dates exceed $1,000, the winner will be responsible for paying the difference. If the winner’s dates are below $1,000 no refund of the difference is offered. 
    10. Bookstore vouchers will be sent via the postal address associated with the member’s profile, or via email, within fourteen days of winner announcement and receipt of the prize winners’ postal address. 
    11. Throughout the year, until the following year’s Writer in Residence program begins (approximately 10 months), the winner will have the opportunity to submit up to three short stories, poems, creative non-fiction, essays or micro fiction (in addition to their winning piece) to be published on the Peninsula Writers’ Club website. The word count for these additional pieces is flexible, up to 3,000 words per piece. Authors will retain copyright to their work. 
    12. The published pieces will feature the winner’s image and link to their member profile. 
    13. It is advised winners be mindful that by having their work published on Peninsula Writers’ Club website, your work may be deemed ‘published’. As many competitions and/or other journals, anthologies, and magazines are conditional on receiving unpublished work only (although many accept reprints), please exercise due diligence. 
    14. Entries that do not meet the Competition Guidelines will not be accepted.


Entries Open:  April 1, 2024

Entries Close:  April 30, 2024

Winner Announced:  June 3, 2024


I was thrilled to be selected as the winner of the Digital Writer in Residence program because it provides the opportunity to publish and share several stories, not just one.  It’s a joy to be part of such a warm and encouraging club.

Ann Roberts, Writer in Residence winner 2023

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