PRIZE REVIEW: Write Around the Murray Albury City Short Story Award

Author writing in a notebook with a ballpoint pen
Photo by Jardul from Getty Images Pro on Canva

This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the Write Around the Murray Albury City Short Story Award. Entries are open to all writers across Australia. Read the terms and conditions of this competition here.  

The deadline for this competition is 25 July 2024

What is the rating? 

A graphic of 4.5 out of 5 gold stars

Arts Law has awarded the competition 4.5 stars out of 5. Read on to find out more detail. 

How did Arts Law help?  

Arts Law was thrilled with the eagerness of the event organisers to engage with our suggestions about improving the terms. Through one phone call we were able to discuss the issues with the (previously) existing terms. The organisers wanted to address the problems and were willing to change the terms and conditions. This lifted the star rating from a 1 out of 5 to a 4.5 out of 5. 

How artist-friendly is this competition?  

The competition is very artist friendly. It asks for a reasonable copyright licence (of 15 months), from winners in exchange for prizes. The terms also commit the organisers to respecting creators’ moral rights. 

How do the copyright terms stack up?  

What is copyright?  Copyright is a bundle of rights that protect literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works (as well as films and sound recordings). These rights allow the owner of copyright to control the ways that a work is used. If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Copyright here 

This competition has very artist-friendly copyright terms. 

Writers retain their copyright in their work. Only finalists are required to give permission (a licence) for the organisers to publish their story on their website for fifteen months. The licence is non-exclusive, which means the writers are able to enter into other licences for their submitted stories during the competition licence period. 

Does the competition respect moral rights?  

What are moral rights?  Creators have moral rights when their work is used (i) to attribution, (ii) against false attribution, and (iii) to integrity, which means not having their work treated in a derogatory way. For more information, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Moral Rights here.    

We are thrilled that the terms say they will respect moral rights. They will attribute the story to the rightful entrant and will not make any changes without permission. 

What about Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property? 

What is ICIP?   ICIP is a broad term that covers all of the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture (including writing, music, performances, paintings, languages, sacred sites, stories passed down orally, and other records of heritage). If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on ICIP here.    

We are pleased that Write Around the Murray has included a term addressing ICIP. The new terms state that a writer should notify them if there is any ICIP in their work. That is a great step forward and something that could be developed, to identify the positive steps they will take where work includes ICIP and to include positive obligations on artists using ICIP in their work to ensure they’re obtaining the necessary permissions from community. 

What could they have done better?  

We were so happy that the organisers were willing to make the changes we suggested. For next year we would love to see a more active consideration of ICIP. 

The terms could be even better if the prize money and judges were included in the terms. 

You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.  

What is Write Around the Murray Albury City Short Story Award about?  

Write Around the Murray Albury City Short Story Award is an annual writing competition for short stories up to 3000. There is no set theme. 

Entries are open to writers around Australia. 

What prizes are on offer in Write Around the Murray Albury City Short Story Award?  

Entry is $10 and the winning story will win a $1,000 prize and book vouchers for second and third place. 


Arts Law regularly reviews the terms and conditions of competitions and rates them out of five stars. Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights, and consider this in light of the prize.  Entrants should always take into account the possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner.  

By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.  

For more information, see our free information sheet on competition conditions. Artists are welcome to contact Arts Law for legal advice on the terms of a competition. We also invite competition organisers to contact Arts Law for best practice assistance to make their terms and conditions fairer for artists. 

Please note: Prior to February 2018, Arts Law’s rated out of five stars only the terms of a competition which dealt with copyright and moral rights. Arts Law’s competition reviews are now more holistic, such that our rating out of five stars now reflects a broad review of all the terms and conditions of the competition. For more information see our website. 

Further Information 

Please email us at [email protected] to tell us about any competitions or prizes you think we should check.  

See more about Arts Law’s campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.