Thank you for your interest in entering the Jamie Cullens Writing Competition (JCWC), however, entries for the 2022 competition have now closed. 

The additional material from the 2022 competition below will be maintained for reference purposes and to provide an idea of what may be required for the 2023 competition. 


The JCWC encouraged written submissions across five categories:

  • Essays
  • Persuasive articles and Opinion Pieces
  • Short Stories
  • Poems
  • Graphic Novels


Authors are not to hold academic qualifications higher than a Masters degree nor should they have previously published any work more substantial than a paper (i.e. not a monograph or a book). Submissions should be new work (not previously published nor submitted as part of coursework) however they may incorporate ideas synthesised from previous papers with appropriate references.


Contributing authors may write on a topic of their choice related to leadership, ethics, character and culture in Defence, or for 2022 write on one of the following topics:

  • Defence has recently been heavily engaged in support to the Australian Community with Bushfire Assist, flood relief and COVID-19 pandemic support. Discuss the impact of this involvement from leadership, ethics, character or cross-cultural capability in Defence.
  • In November 2020 Defence released the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry Report. At the release of the report Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell said, “the Australian Defence Force is rightly held to account for allegations of grave misconduct.” What is the impact of this on the ADF from the perspective of leadership, ethics, character or cross-cultural capability?
  • Technological advances affecting cybersecurity and the use of drones, hypersonic vehicles, space-based platforms, and automated weapons systems are likely to have a significant impact on ADF operations in the years to come. Consider any of these developments from either a leadership, ethical, character or cultural perspective.
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine has allegedly seen the targeting of civilians and non-military buildings and facilities. Consider what obligation applies to individual members of the military forces involved in the conflict to ensure that the orders they are carrying out do not result in illegal and unacceptable outcomes, particularly in the way of civilian casualties. Consider the broader ethical, leadership, character or cross-cultural issues that protagonists must consider in a conflict of this nature.

Please note that you are not required to use the above prompts. There will be neither an advantage nor a disadvantage applied to those who do not choose to use the above writing prompts. They are provided simply as examples of the themes and topics that you might consider.

Submission Length

Submissions are to meet the following criteria:


Category Requirements


3,000 words (+/- 10%)

Persuasive articles and Opinion Pieces

1,500 to 2,000 words  (+/- 10%)

Short Stories

1,500 to 3,000 words  (+/- 10%)


any length

Graphic Novels

any length



Submission Format

Please submit contributions using an unprotected Microsoft Word document. Submissions are to be in English.

Ensure that you acknowledge all sources with full references and use quotation marks when transcribing material. Please refer to the Forge Style Guide (based on the Defence Writing Manual) for formatting citations.


The Forge is an unclassified site, and you should be mindful of any sensitivities in your contribution. If you identify any sensitivities, the onus is on you to obtain appropriate approval before submission and to highlight those sensitivities to The Forge with your submission.


Contributing authors must submit a completed and signed declaration with the entry.  The Declaration is available through the Submit your Entry Now button at the top of this page.


First Prize

Second Prize

Third Prize




All prizes are in the form of a Book Gift Card

Book gift cards will be awarded for first ($200), second ($100) and third ($50) in each category.

Commander Australian Defence College reserves the right to not award a prize in any category for whatever reason.

Winning works will be published on The Forge or in hard copy at the discretion of the Australian Defence College. The Forge reserves the right to edit and adapt content as necessary for accuracy, comprehensiveness and audience experience. This may include adding or editing images, the title, headline and blurb to promote the content.