Mayor's Creative Writing Program

The Darebin Mayor’s Creative Writing Program is an annual opportunity for writers who live, work or study in the City of Darebin.

Writers 12 years and older are invited to submit new works for the Darebin Mayor’s Creative Writing Program. 

The Darebin Mayor’s Creative Writing Program is Darebin’s new literary program that provides literary writers the opportunity to apply for the chance to win cash prize at the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Awards AND be published in the annual local publication D’Scribe (formerly known as n-SCRIBE) in one easy to manage process.   

Writers who live, work or study in Darebin are encouraged to submit new works of any genre, including fiction, non-fiction, short story or poetry, around the theme ‘Transformation’.  

Literary works by young writers aged 12-17 will be eligible to be recognised at the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award and be published in a pull-out section of this year’s D’Scribe. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Authors must live, work or study in the City of Darebin
  • Darebin Council Employees, including casuals are not eligible for the Darebin Mayors Award, but will be considered for publication into D’Scribe 

Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions must be based around the theme ‘Transformation’ 

  • Writing must be original and not have been published by any publisher including online blogs, journals.  

  • Word limit on submissions is up to 750 words for adult category and up to 500 words for youth category. Short works are encouraged. We have limited space available.  

  • Submissions can be in your own language, however a translation in English must be provided for assessment.    

  • Limit of one submission per person 


Submission Instructions 

  • Please make sure your name is not included in submitted work. We use a blind submission process, to be fair to all. If your uploaded writing appears with your name it will be disqualified.  

  • Your writing must be typed, double-spaced, and submitted online as a Word file. Any font is acceptable. Point size should be pt.11 or pt.12. If you need support accessing a computer or submitting online, Darebin libraries are on hand to assist you to submit your work. 

  • Each page must be numbered and include the title  

  • Please name your file using the following format:  

  • your surname_title of your work.file type  

  • Eg. Woolf_To the Lighthouse.docx  

  • The selection of works to be published is done by the assessment panel; no correspondence will be entered into.  

  • No hard copies or emailed writing will be accepted  

  • No ipad documents, pdf’s or photos accepted  


All works will be assessed by an independent assessment panel.  

All submissions will be entered into the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award and a shortlist will be published in the 2023 D’Scribe (formerly known as n-SCRIBE).  

Submissions open: Wednesday 3 May, 9am

Submissions close: Wednesday 31 May, 5pm

Submit your literary work here

For inquiries about the program, please email

Image credit: Devika Bilimoria

Darebin Mayor's Writing Award

On Thursday 16 June 2022 Darebin Arts and Darebin Mayor Cr Lina Messina awarded Bailey Dihayco as winner of the 2022 Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award, an annual initiative to recognise and celebrate local stories and writers. Dihayco was given $2000 for his original (fiction, non-fiction or poetry), An Abridged Biography of Hermes Butler.

Watch Bailey Dihayco read his winning entry


Catherine Reidy and Nathan Power were also awarded for Highly Commended prizes of $500 each for their pieces, Hold Your Ground and Between Birth and Baboon. The ceremony was held at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre in Northcote.

Watch Catherine Reidy read her highly commended entry.

Watch Nathan Power read his highly commended entry.

“I am delighted to have presented the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Awards,” said Darebin Mayor Cr Lina Messina. “We all have a story to tell, and whether that is through letters on a page or lyrics in a song, they offer us a chance to speak of challenges, celebrate triumphs, and break down barriers. These awards show the importance of the written word and the significant impact they can have on our lives and provides an opportunity for Council to offer financial support to our local artists.

Congratulations to winner Bailey Dihayco and thank you to everyone who entered to make the event such a success, such is the power of our creatives in Darebin.”

A woman wearing glasses and a long sleeve dark coloured dress, and two men: one wearing a balck mask over his mouth and the other wearing a brown golfer's hat, stand side by side in front a beige wall with a literary page structure. All three people are holding green plants in front of them.

This year, 57 entries from local writers of all genres responded to the theme ’surrender’ in 1,200 words or less. Invited independent judges Nicki Greenberg, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen and Claire Gaskin felt Dihayco’s piece cast the theme in an especially strange and original light, while Reidy’s and Power’s entries, both anchored in real world narratives, had powerful messages about the refusal to surrender.

For inquiries about the Darebin Mayors Writing Awards, email

Images by Nicole Cleary

Read about our 2021 Award winners

Read about our 2020 Award winners