Cost of submission
The cost of submitting to Stories is $75 per series

Submission dates
Submissions open on April 30th 2020 and close on June 30th 2020 at 11.59pm EST

Stories does not have categories, in 2020 we have an open theme of storytelling

Time restrictions
We have no time restrictions on when a series of work was produced

Who can enter
Anyone who is residing within Australia or who is an Australian citizen living overseas

Location of imagery
Photos can be taken anywhere in the world, just as long as you are an Australian Resident or Citizen

Supply of files
All images submitted into APA must be submitted by the photographer. For best results images should be saved as a high resolution JPEG and should not exceed 4mb. Do not watermark or put any identifying branding on the images

File naming
We don’t require your files to be named a certain way. When you submit an entry, our system generates an associated file name. Photographer information and descriptive text will be added along with the image in the entry process

Number of images per submission
Submitted series should contain 5 – 10 images

Captions and statement
Each submission will need to be titled and a statement provided. Series descriptions are capped at 300 words

Each image within the submission has an optional title and caption. We recommend captions to help the narrative

Community guidelines
If you have feedback, either positive or negative we love to hear from you. Please reach us at [email protected]

We encourage comments, debate and engagement through our social media channels but have no tolerance for abusive behavior. As a policy we don’t delete posts and endeavour to address any concerns publicly. However we do not tolerate abusive language or behaviour that compromises the work of the individuals we feature.

For further information please view our Terms and Conditions.


As always our main priority is to support photographers. Photographers will retain all and unconditional copyright to their imagery. We will only use the photographer’s imagery to promote APA or Stories and to celebrate and feature the photographer’s work. Imagery is always credited and for features we will work with the photographers for selection. If a photographer doesn’t want us to use imagery we will willingly comply.


Photography awards mean different things to different people. They can represent a significant milestone in a professional’s career, a way for independent photographers to engage with the wider photographic community or to have your work recognised by your peers. To enter an award you don’t need to be a well known photographer, you just need to have an interest and passion in photography and a desire to engage with the broader national community.



Harriet Tarbuck and Tom Goldner – Creative Directors

Harriet Tarbuck and Tom Goldner are the Creative Directors behind Australian Photography Awards, Stories and Fox.

Harriet is a photographer and artist working in commercial portraiture and documentary. Living and working across Australia, the UK and Asia, her unique way of seeing the world and capturing daily life drives her personal practice which emphasises family life and the celebration of women. Since completing her photographic studies at Leeds College of Art and Design in the UK, Harriet has spent 12 years fostering community engagement through photography while living in Melbourne.

Tom is an artist, curator and teacher of photography who has had a career spanning commercial, documentary, gallery curation and management. His current practice is focussed on long-form photographic and multimedia arts projects with an emphasis on creating conversations around environmental issues. Tom is currently completing his Masters of Art at Photography Studies College in Melbourne. Through the Fox Gallery Tom has curated and hosted over 20 exhibitions alongside book launches, artist talks and specialty workshops.

Harriet and Tom continue work together to bring all-accessible photographic and arts practices to the public in the way of community spaces, education and award recognition.




Matthew Abbott

Matthew Abbott is a documentary photographer based in Sydney, Australia. He is widely recognised for covering social and political issues that define Australia. He studied International Photojournalism at the Danish School of Journalism and completed a Masters of Studio Arts at Sydney University. He is a current member of the Oculi collective, Australia’s leading cooperative of photographic artists.

Works by Abbott have been selected for The National Portrait Prize in 2012, 2015 and 2016. He won the Sydney Morning Herald Documentary Photographer Award and the Melbourne Leica Photojournalism Award. In 2016, he won the judges commendation award at both the CLIPP landscape prize and IRIS portrait prize at the PCP, and again the IRIS prize in 2017. Abbott’s photographs documenting Australia’s offshore detention centres on Manus Island for Der Spiegel was nominated for and exhibited at the Reporterpreis in Berlin, Germany.

Abbott is continuing his series ‘The Land Where the Crow Flies Backwards’, documenting the impact of global warming and the decline of communities along the Murray Darling basin in Central-Eastern Australia. His two latest projects are due to be published in 2017: ‘When They Sing of Australia They Never Mention the Flies’ follows Australia’s Highway 1, the worlds longest continues road. The second project, ‘In the Rust Belt’, documents the once booming American area, that is now being considered a deciding factor in the rise of Donald Trump.




Alison Stieven-Taylor

Alison Stieven-Taylor is an international photography commentator, journalist and educator. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Weekend Australian, World Press Photo Witness, and the French journal The Eye of Photography. She is also the publisher of the widely-read weekly blog Photojournalism Now.

Alison has been a juror for numerous international photography festivals and awards including FotoEvidence Book Award, ANZ Photobook Awards, the Walkley Awards, Head On Photo Awards and the Indian Photography Festival. She is also the photography advisor to Australian Book Review.

Alison is currently writing her PhD on photography and social change, and is a lecturer in media communications at Monash University (Melbourne). In 2019 Alison curated the exhibition The Female Eye which made its debut at the Pingyao International Photo Festival, China. The exhibition will travel to Auckland Festival of Photography in June 2020 (although Alison won’t thanks to Covid-19!).


Initial Judging

Once entries close, the APA administration will consider all Stories through a scoring system. During scoring the panel is free to discuss anything that may aid in judging the Stories. For example this may include explaining an uncommon technique used or identifying subject matter.

The highest scoring 20 entries will then be shortlisted for the next round of judging. In the event of multiple Stories being tied for the 20th place, the panel may re-score the entries in the tie, and discuss the merits of each of the entries to come to a final decision. Once they have selected the top 20 submissions they will manually review all entries which didn’t make it through to ensure nothing was overlooked. If they feel there are more than 20 submissions which are serious contenders they will bring them in for the next round. 

All finalists will be contacted by email and then an announcement will be made publicly of the first round finalist results.

Final Judging

Following initial judging, a panel of four committee members will discuss and review each of the 20 finalist Stories. The judges are shown all 20 Stories before judging commences to give them an insight into what they will be viewing. Each entry is then scored and deliberated over to determine the final outcome. In the event of multiple entries being tied, the judging committee will discuss the merits of each of the entries to come to a final decision.

We believe this discussion and debate allows the judging committee to work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the entrants and in determining the overall final position of each Story finalist.

Winners Announcements

The three top Stories will be announced through all our social media platforms and through our email database and website. Finalists will also be recognised on these platforms and we will continue to profile, share and feature them through our channels throughout the year.

Other judging considerations

Administrators and employees of APA are not allowed to enter Stories. Neither is the judging committee for Stories aloud to enter Stories. We are committed to ensuring that all entrants are treated equally regardless of their background or notoriety. We ensure our committee is held to the highest standard of ethics and every entry is treated with the same amount of time and respect. When discussing the finalists, if committee members know the image or creator, they will acknowledge this briefly before presenting their ideas and thoughts so that this can be taking into consideration.