Minds Shine Bright writing competition – December Update

Remains of the original pillars of Princes Pier, formerly Railway Pier, Port Melbourne.

As we approach the new year, it’s time to reflect on the events of the last twelve months and to reflect on what will be happening in 2023. After our first full calendar year MindsShineBright.com has had eighteen thousand visitors and forty thousand views suggesting a strong level of engagement. I hope this means that we are inspiring writers to write more and discover new interpretations of competition themes. I also hope that more readers will discover Minds Shine Bright anthologies and embrace the anthology form as a way of exploring themes, discovering the joys poetry, flash fiction, screenplays and short stories in curated sets.

Anthologies are a way to discover new, and established writers and their form very much matches the kind of way that we currently view drama. Traditionally the best drama was seen at the movies, on stage and in novels. Now it is both series and movies that together showcase the best of on screen drama. You see this when you view the bios of leading actors. It makes sense with this switch in taste that our reading styles will change as well. A comment I’ve heard a lot is, “anthologies don’t sell”. I’ve heard this both from traditional publishers and some retailers as well. I’m hoping that this will change and that publishers and retailers will champion new forms to the reading public.

Over the past year I’ve seen a strong engagement with both writing, reading and listening to others read in many different forms. The real enjoyment and passion of both readers and writers is a powerful force for bringing communities together both in person and online.

More than 800 writers have entered our first two competitions. We have published our first anthology, held a global online awards night and held an in person launch at Melbourne’s The Wheeler Centre with readings from writers and local actors and an insightful discussion on Finding confidence in the Arts.

The Minds Shine Bright Book Shop

We have set up a Minds Shine Bright bookshop online where you can buy a print or e-pub versions of Confidence Minds Shine Bright Anthology and our other books and anthologies as they are progressively published.

The books that we sell help us to contribute money to our prize pool and in the future, should our overall sales continue to grow, will contribute royalties for our writers and other creative contributors.

We love physical bookstores and are happy for readers to buy print copies from your local bookstores (Ingram is the distributor, so most stores can order our books in)or your favourite online retailer or us. What matters is that every sale helps and every review helps too.

Minds Shine Bright Publisher

We have published our first book Confidence Minds Shine Bright Anthology and placed it on shelves in some wonderful partnering bookshops in Victoria and Tasmania and it is available to order through many online bookstores and platforms.

We feature bookstores that stock print copies of Confidence on our books on bookshelves page. We hope to travel further and add new stores and libraries too as we make new connections. If you find a copy of Confidence Minds Shine Bright Anthology in your favourite bookstore or library please let us know.

MSB Writing Competitions

Last year we awarded more than $8000 in prizes for writers, poets and screenwriters. We ran two competitions Confidence and Storm and we are currently busy judging Storm entries.

What’s ahead for 2023

2022 was an exciting first year for Minds Shine Bright primarily because we discovered amazing writers across all ages, all across Australia and from different countries too. In 2023 we will focus on running our competitions, publishing more anthologies and spreading the word in grassroots ways so that we can connect more readers with our writers and let more writers know about our competitions.

Minds Shine Bright Workshops

It’s been a dream of mine to take Minds Sheen Bright on the road to some of the places where the published writers call home. As a start we are planning some inspirational workshops on writing for competitions and exploring the theme of confidence with writers groups and libraries in Northern Victoria.

Announcing the winners of Storm

Some time in late February 2023 we will announce the winners of Storm writing competition. During early 2023 we will work with winning and commended writers and poets to bring you the Storm anthology.

Confidence 2023 writing competition

The Minds Shine Bright Confidence writing competition is in its second year. We are calling for entries until midnight on 28th February 2023 wherever you are.

We hope to continue studying the theme of confidence over several years – exploring new styles of contemporary fiction and different genres spanning fiction, poetry, stage and screen writing. We welcome writers from all countries. It doesn’t matter what you look like or where you are from; all that matters is your words on the page.

Light and Shadow

Our second competition for 2023 will commence sometime close to the middle of the year. Following on from Storm the theme for 2023 will be light and shadow. We have been humbled by the diversity of entrants to Storm, our first revolving theme competition and we were very excited to see some school groups submitting multiple entrants from students. We look forward to seeing what happens when we open Light and Shadow later in 2023.


One of the key ways that we help to shine a light on the arts is by celebrating our published writers and keeping the conversation flowing. We will plan some new celebrations for 2023 and keep you informed as they evolve.

How can I support Minds Shine Bright?

There are a few ways that you can support Minds Shine Bright. You can ask your favourite bookstore or library to order a/some copies in or you can buy a copy from our online store or any online retailer that sells it. (Distributor: Ingram ISBN 978-0-6455231-0-2).

If you have read Confidence Minds Shine Bright Anthology 2022 you can review it online and let others know about it.

If you are from Melbourne or Tasmania you can visit one or all of the following fabulous bookshops. We love getting lost in bookshops! We hope to build on this more as we travel and make connections to include other places and other countries over time . . .

You can enter our competitions here or you can encourage your friends and family to. (Most people knows someone who loves to write.)

You can discuss Confidence or Storm at your festival, book group, writers group or your school. If you would like to invite us along please drop us a line we would love to hear from you.

We are currently working on video and audio files from our celebrations. We will keep you posted once they are ready to share.

You can subscribe to our monthly updates here.

Mostly just read more and write more, if writing is something you love to do, and tap into all the writing organisations and events in your local communities. Wishing you all inspiration, good health and happiness in 2023.

Amanda Scotney
Founder Minds Shine Bright