Why Australia Is My Home Essay Contest

Oh, man.

Don’t tell my boss, but I’m pretty sure I’m only working a half day today.

I’ve got something way more important to write about than free pizza.

That’s because an amazing contest is going on right now, and one lucky winner will get to stay on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for a night — totally free.

And I do mean on the reef: If you win the trip, your accommodation will actually float.

Win a Free Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Airbnb is offering this once-in-a-lifetime trip to a lucky family of four, just in time for the release of Pixar’s much-anticipated “Finding Dory,” which takes place on the Great Barrier Reef.

If you win, you’ll be sleeping right above Dory herself in a beautiful floating apartment for one unforgettable night (July 13).

You’ll also get to scuba dive the famous reef with a marine biologist and your host, Pascal, as well as nosh on a private beach lunch, featuring local ingredients cooked by celebrity chef Neil Perry.

Even better? All your transportation is free: You’ll fly into and out of Cairns, Australia, where you’ll stay in another Airbnb accommodation on the evenings of July 12 and 14.

The prize is valued at about $30,000 — to say nothing of the value of the experience.

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a baffling number of species of fish, whales, sharks, coral and molluscs, and considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

Just make sure you follow the house rules, which stipulate you must “speak like a whale,” “protect the anemones” and “try to find the giant clam.”

Oh, and “no clownfish jokes.” Obviously.

How to Enter This Incredible Contest

Already reaching for your suitcase and swim goggles?

Here’s the fun part: It’s an essay contest. And it’s incredibly simple to enter.

Just log into AirBnB, navigate to the listing, click “Enter to Win” and answer the following question: “Tell us a little about yourself and why you and 3 guests belong on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Seems like it’d be hard not to write about, am I right? Talk about daydreaming.

But keep your wits about you — the winner will be chosen based on this essay. The listing specifies the following criteria for a winning piece:

  • Originality and creativity of the submitted story. Does it surprise and delight us?
  • Spirit of the submission. How does your submission answer the question about why you and 3 guests belong on the Great Barrier Reef?

Plus, you only have 500 characters to make your case — or 300 if you’re writing in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. And despite our high school complaints about word counts, brevity is way harder than it seems.

So, yeah, that’s probably what I’m working on today. Sorry, team!

A panel of judges will choose the winner on July 4, who will be notified via phone and email within 24 hours. If you’re chosen, be sure to pick up the phone: Winners forfeit the prize if they don’t respond within 24 hours of notification.

You also need to be 21 years old to enter.

Keep in mind the prize doesn’t include visa fees, meals (other than the one included in the prize) or any other expenses. Check out the listing for the full rules — and, of course, to submit your essay. Or just to drool over the pictures of the apartment.

The contest runs June 9-30, so you have plenty of time to craft a perfect pitch. So if you want to compete with me, get cracking. But be warned — I am a professional. 🙂

Your Turn: Will you enter to win this insane Airbnb trip?

Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her writing has also been featured at DMQ Review, Hinchas de Poesia and elsewhere. Feel free to reach out to her on Twitter: @jamiecattanach

Australian Help is proud to announce that our Writing Competition is officially open! If you think you’re an excellent essay writer, or simply want to give it a try, then this could be an amazing opportunity. Not only will your work be appraised by professionals, but our winners will also be featured on our social media pages and our blog – which is amazing recognition for any aspiring writer. Arguably the best part of all is the fact that you could win a cash prize!

Closing Date

We are accepting essays from November 1st 2016 until August 15th 2017. The winners have been announced on September 4th 2017.

 Rules And Requirements

  • Your submission must be written in English
  • The essay should be no more than 800 words, and no less than 1200 words. We ask that the essays are double spaced.
  • By sending an essay, you are confirming that the work is original and belongs to you. We cannot accept work that contains plagiarism, or has been previously published.
  • Your submission should be submitted in PDF or word format (.doc, .docx, .rtf)
  • While there is no entry fee, we only accept one essay per participant.

Your submission should be about one of the following five topics:


What Are The Opportunities For Success Without A College Degree?

Developing a Literary Voice through Essay Writing

How Can Students’ Creativity Be Boosted by EdTech?

What Reforms Are Urgently Needed By Modern Education?

The Importance of Learning Storytelling in College


Three cash prizes will be awarded, for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

For 1st place, a prize of $700

For 2nd place, a prize of $500

For 3rd place, a prize of $250

How To Submit Your Work

Participating in this contest is very simple, simply email your work to contest[at]australianhelp.com, with the subject line ‘Australian Writing Contest’. You can attach your work, named after the topic you have chosen, and the body of the email should include your full name, your date of birth, the country you currently live in, and the name of college/university, if applicable.

Any questions can also be referred to contest[at]australianhelp.com, or left in the comments section below.

Best of luck – ready, steady, write!

And The Winners Are

It's been a great pleasure reading all the essay applications, some were really disturbing and some had a big "wow" effect on us. Here are the authors and essays that we picked as the winners of our writing contest:

The 1st place: Amber Unger from Australia with "What Are The Opportunities For Success Without A College Degree?" essay.
The 2nd place: Marta Kubátová from Czech Republic with "The Importance of Learning Storytelling in College" essay.
The 3rd place: Beaufort Labelle from France with "What Reforms Are Urgently Needed By Modern Education?" essay.

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