Do you want to be the next Telescope winner?

Get the inside tips from one of the 2017 judges

Telescope is an annual writing competition open to writers with a disability.

Telescope provides a platform for writers to have exposure for their work and for readers to indulge in the unique voices of writers with disability.

On the 24th of February, the 2016 winners of the Telescope program were presented with their awards and invited to read selections from their work at the Melbourne City Library. We spoke to one of the judges, Hilary Johnson, to get the inside word as to what makes a winning piece.

Keziah accepting the prestigious Telescope award
Keziah Glenane accepting the prestigious Telescope award

“Judging these awards are both exacting and exciting.” Hilary explained, “I look for an authentic voice that delivers a narrative that both informs and connects.  The breadth and variety of stories makes it difficult to select a winner. Sometimes the really short stories deliver a punch – while longer stories provide greater detail.”

So just how do the judges pick the winning entries?

Hilary provided us with some insight into her criteria:

  1. Have engaging content – write with feeling
  2. Have a strong sense of honesty
  3. Make sure your writing has a beginning, a middle and an end
  4. Use variety! Have a mix of short and long sentences. Make sure your writing is more than just a list of facts about a topic.

If you keep these tips in mind – you’ll be on your way to a winning piece!

Congratulations to all of those who submitted a piece in the 2016 Telescope Writing Competition! To get a better idea about what it takes to be a Telescope winner read last week’s blog featuring 2016 Telescope winner Keziah Glenane.

If you’d like to find out how you can get involved in next year’s Telescope writing workshops and competition, contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre at or 03 9843 2000.