The Mayor of Wellington 2020 Annual Story Competition

Mayor Andy Foster invites young aspiring writers to use their creativity to celebrate the Council’s 150th Anniversary by entering the 150 Years Story Competition.

Wellington harbour.

Theme: 150 Years 

150 years back Wellington City Council held its first ever meeting. In the exciting, turbulent and triumphant years since, New Zealand’s capital city has continued to grow and thrive, and is now home to nearly 213,000 proud Wellingtonians.

Mayor Andy Foster invites young aspiring writers to use their creativity to celebrate the Council’s 150th Anniversary by entering the 150 Story Competition. The competition is a collaboration between the Office of the Mayor, Wellington City Libraries and Wellington City Archives.

The story writing competition is open for young writers in the Wellington region and has two categories. Category one is open to young people aged between 9–12 years, and Category two is for 13–18 year olds.

New Zealand author to judge the 150

Wellington author Lauren Keenan has been announced as judge of the 150 Story Competition. Lauren’s creative story is one of craft and determination and, she is a great role model for aspiring authors.

Lauren has just published her first full- length book, 'The 52 Week Project' and follows winning in 2017 the Pikihuia Best Short Story award, and last year being named as a finalist in the Pikihuia Best Emerging Writer category. 

Lauren is the writer of creative non-fiction, novels, short stories and popular psychology and has a keen interest in history.

Competition brief

Writers in either age group are invited to write a fiction or non-fiction story based around a person or event which happened during the past 150 years of Wellington’s history. This is between 1870 and today.

Deadline: 11.59pm, Thursday 7 January 2021
How to enter: Register to enter
Winners announced: Monday 22 January 2021


The winning fiction and non-fiction stories in each category will receive: 

  • 1:1 writers’ clinic
  • A certificate
  • An invitation for lunch with the Mayor
  • A “Keys to the City” prize pack.

Things you need to know

Before you begin 

Writers planning to enter must register on this website by Monday 7 January 2021.

Register now

By submitting you consent to the Council publishing your story on and sharing through any Council channels in the event you are a winner this competition. 

How to enter

Entries can only be submitted through this website.

Submit your story

Only one story per entrant is allowed.

Your story must have a unique title.  

If your entry has not been acknowledged within three working days of submission, please request a Receipt of Submission.

The judges' decision is final. 

150 Story Competition reserves the right to extend the competition deadline or cancel the competition.

How to format your entry

We will accept entries in Te Reo Māori or English.

Maximum word counts

  • Category one for 9-12 year old writers: 1500 words
  • Category two for 13-18 year olds writers: 3000 words

Entries must be double spaced in Garamond, Arial or Times New Roman fonts, size 12. 

All pages to be numbered and include a footnote with the title of your story.

Paragraphs separated by a paragraph space.


The competition for all categories closes at 11.59pm 7 January 2021. 

How will winners be notified? 

Winners will be notified via email with an announcement made on this website.

Winning stories will be published on this website and possibly shared through Council communications channels on Friday 22 January 2021.

For more information or questions 

Please email with “150 Story Competition Enquiry” in the subject line. You can also use our online form, below.

Make an enquiry