Australian writing competitions

Disha shares her winner’s trophy

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Our 2016 winner Disha Raval received her trophy this week and this is what she had to say about it:

When I cut the packet open, I was absolutely stunned! I took a long look at it and the first thing that I said was, “WOW!” I felt, for a second, that I was dreaming! I felt (and I still am) extremely elated and quite thrilled to finally have my trophy!

I would like to thank ‘ Sunrise Rotary Club Bundaberg for sponsoring this amazing Project and Ms. Cathy Booth of Umoja Orphanage for doing such a wonderful thing for a wonderful cause.

I would also like to thank my Mum and Dad for supporting me through anything and everything that I do and lastly, I would like to thank all my teachers and everyone else that has supported me through anything I do.

I hope to continue writing as a passion and one day inspire someone else.

Thanks a Million.

Disha Raval winner of Umoja Writing Competition 2016

Disha with her trophy for winning Umoja Writing Competition 2016.

If you would like more information about the Umoja Orphanage Project Kenya please click on this link.


First Children have arrived at Umoja

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Umoja Orphanage Kenya, Rotary
Newsletter – We did it! 5 years to the day.

We have to share the most exciting news that the first children have arrived at Umoja Orphanage Kenya. It’s five years to the day that Cathy Booth founded the project. Fundraising ventures like this writing competition contribute to the orphanage. Without these and all the wonderful volunteers the orphanage would not be available to these gorgeous kids who need a home desperately. It’s wonderful to see Cathy’s dream come to life. If you’d like to be a part of it you can encourage your friends to enter this competition. Every little bit helps. I’d like to thank those writers who have already entered, some have even entered twice and donated extra (above the small entry fee) and that is just fantastic. Time is running out so encourage your writing friends and hurry up and enter.

To read the full newsletter about the progress at Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project click on this link NEWSLETTER.

This competition is a small stone in the ocean compared to the other ways you can help the project. You can sponsor a child or equipment for the project, you can even volunteer to travel to Africa to help build the orphanage. So many options to help out. If you don’t want to enter this but want to help just go to Umoja Home to get the full story. The main reason I started this competition was to fund raise for the project but ultimately raising awareness for the project and the bigger things people can do to help is what matters, so I don’t care if you don’t enter as long as you do support the project in some way.

However, if you do love writing – why not enter?

You have the fun of testing your writing skills with the wonderful theme of ‘peace’ and you’ll feel great knowing that you’ve donated to a very worthy, wonderful cause.

I’d like to congratulate Cathy and her team for everything they’ve achieved so far. There’s so much more to do but I know they’ll do it.

And a big welcome to the Umoja children. We all hope you enjoy your new safe home (pictures of them are in the newsletter).


Are you writing anything?

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Are you writing anything?

Anything at all? It could be a letter to a friend (probably not snail mail these days), but at least a long message on Messenger or via email. It could be a report for work. It could be a blog post. It could even be your entry for Umoja Writing Competition 2016.

Get great writing ideas from Australian Writers Center Instagram.
Get great writing ideas from Australian Writers Center Instagram.

If you’re not writing, why not? You are a part of this writing community of over 500 followers if you’re reading this. You are a writer aren’t you? Writers need to write.

I try to write every day, be it at work or at home. If I’ve done a lot of marketing and social media at work I’ll take a break at home and perhaps read a good book instead, but I am writing every day in some form (or writing these and other blog posts).

Writing every day hones your skills as a writer. Here’s some tricky ideas to get more writing into your day:

  • Get up earlier. You can even go for a walk first to clear the head (exercise is known to boost creativity). That way you’ll have time to write before you head off to work or get the kids to school.
  • Get a job involving writing (journalism, web editing, marketing – just some).
  • Start a blog. You can write about the things you are passionate about.
  • Join a writers group. Like-minded souls encouraging each other in their passion for writing.
  • Doodle a poem on your desk pad while you’re waiting for someone.
  • If you’ve read a book that had an ambiguous ending write your own.
  • Write letters to your loved ones and leave them around the house so they can find them and enjoy them.
  • Write a thank you note to someone who has done something kind to you.
  • Volunteer at your local club to be the newsletter editor.
  • Enter this competition.

Now all you have to do is choose one and get writing. We’ll give you more writing tips next week and if you have any great ideas to get people writing please COMMENT below.

If you chose to enter this competition. Get your entry form at ENTRY FORM.


Where does my Umoja Writing Comp entry fee go?

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Where does your Umoja Writing Competition Entry Fee go?

If you haven’t read more about it yet  you can read the latest Rotary Newletter and even subscribe to it if you like.

The biggest highlights from the latest on the Umoja Orphanage Kenya are:

  • 2016 will be the year we open the doors to the first children’s home (need $10,00 more to achieve this).
  • Education of our social worker, Kevin (sponsored through university and the first person in his village to attain a university degree). How cool is that!
  • Training our first house mamma (who will look after our orphans beautifully).
  • Completion of our chicken shed (will house 300 chickens but we need to fill it).
  • 40ft container of donated goods arrived on site (full of bedding and clothing ready for the orphans).
  • Three-level water tower to hold 50,000 litres of water (thanks to a grant from Australian Aid).
  • Kitchen with traditional Lamu ceilings.
  • Cathy did some guest speaking at Rotary Clubs in NSW.
  • Thank you to all the kind helpers, especially 90 year old Rene who is in a nursing home in Bundaberg and knits for the children.
Traditional construction of Umoja Orphanage children's home.
Traditional construction of Umoja Orphanage children’s home.
The progress is going well in Kenya.
The progress is going well in Kenya.
Traditional Lamu ceiling.
Traditional Lamu ceiling.

So you can see that just $10 will go a long way (but if you can give more when you enter that would be gratefully appreciated too). Let’s all make this the best fundraiser for Umoja Orphanage yet. Tell all your writing friends. Tell all your non-writing friends. We welcome essayists, poets, travel writers and creative writers, so even novices can give it a go. Have fun and remember that writing can be a gateway to anywhere.

Enter today: Entry Form

Winner Receives $150 and Trophy

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Umoja Orphanage Writing Competition 2015

Proceeds to Umoja Orphanage Kenya (Reg. Charity CH2110) Orphanage Kenya project (a Project of RAWCS) a project sponsored by Sunrise Rotary Club Bundaberg.

Umoja Writing Competition Logo 2015 copy

Closing date: 6th August 2015

Short fiction, essay or travel article up to 1,000 words on the theme: Child

Winner receives $150, trophy, certificate and publication on Umoja Writing Comp website Umoja Home website and Warm Witty Words blog (websites). 2nd place receives $50 and certificate and publication on the websites. 3rd place receives certificate and publication on the websites.

Enter Now

Writing Quote for the day – originality

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Writing quote for the day is part of an interview by Jonathan Aldridge from The Writer February 2015 magazine. I’m always interested in how other writers write, particularly successful ones. Hopefully some of that advice rubs off to make aspiring writers successful.


Non-Australians would like to enter

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Hi Followers,

Just putting it out there but I’ve noticed many of you are from overseas, particularly Africa and the USA. Please let me know if you would like to enter the competition by commenting below. I can add a new clause to the entry form and a PayPal option. When we started the competition it seemed easier to just run as Australian but with so much international interest it seems only fair that anyone can join in and help raise funds for Umoja Orphanage Kenya.

What do you think?

Please comment.