Study Melbourne has partnered with Melbourne Writers Festival to bring your stories to life in this year’s storytelling competition: Melbourne Beginnings.

This is the beginning of my story…

Melbourne is Australia’s best student city and a great source of inspiration for many storytellers. It is a melting pot of creativity, cuisines, coffee and cultures. This year, let your imagination run wild with ‘Melbourne Beginnings’.

In partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival, we invite all international students (both onshore and offshore) studying with a Victorian education provider to spin us a story featuring details of your real or fictional life in Melbourne or Victoria, and be sure to include the line ‘this is how my story began…‘.

Your storytelling will be rewarded with gift vouchers for groceries or food delivery, and an opportunity to be published. For those studying remotely overseas, prizes of equivalent value will be organised.

Peer into your mental archives to pick up an idea or an experience. All genres, moods and styles welcome.

Key dates

  • Wed 28 Jul – Competition opens 7pm AEST
  • Mon 20 Sep – Competition closes 7pm AEST
  • Fri 24 Sep – Shortlist announced, voting for People’s Choice opens 10am AEST
  • Fri 8 Oct – Voting closes for People’s Choice 10am AEST
  • TBA – Celebration at the Wheeler Centre, shortlist presented with certificates and winners announced


Each category winner will receive a $300 gift voucher for groceries or food delivery from your choice of local retailers.* Shortlisted students will also each receive a $50 grocery voucher of your own choice. For students studying remotely overseas, prizes of the equivalent value will be organised.

Winning and shortlisted entries will be published by MWF and Study Melbourne after the competition.

*Selected from a list of local retailers suggested by MWF, or by students’ nominations if applicable.


Entrants are invited to write a story between 500–1,000 words, or create a visual work, to share their Melbourne Beginnings. Entrants could write, film, draw, or photograph something that narrates the beginnings of their imagined or real stories.

  • Written – High School (up to 500 words)
  • Written – English Language Training (up to 500 words)
  • Written – Vocational Education & Training (up to 500 words)
  • Written – Higher Education (up to 1,000 words)
  • Visual – Options inlcude: a comic strip (up to two A4 pages); photo story board (minimum three images); video (maximum five minutes); or a single-page illustration.
  • People’s Choice Award  No longer a current student to enter the competition? Vote for your favourite in our People’s Choice Award to win a double pass to MWF21! Friends and families are also welcome to enter. Entrant with the most votes will be the winner of this category.

See Terms & Conditions


Melbourne Beginnings Celebration

Our free celebration event will be held in-person or virtually, pending COVID-19 restrictions.

Date and time TBA.

Ticket holders have been contacted and will be invited to register for the new event date and time.