The writing contest is one of a number of activities, ranging from word games to massage, being held at the Southern Cross University booth throughout the festival, which opens on August 3.
The writing contest will be open to any Year 10, 11 and 12 students who visit the University booth. Entrants are required to write a one-page fiction or non-fiction short story (up to 500 words) with Migaloo, the world's only known white humpback whale, as the central character.
The first prize will be a trip on board the University's research vessel Seahorse to see first-hand the work done by the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre. The trip, to be taken during September, will coincide with the southern migration of the humpback whale population.
Three runners-up will each receive a copy of the book A Whale's Song, written by Timothy Goodson Harris.
For those looking for a bit of quiet relief during the festival, Southern Cross University will be providing free massages at its booth. Students from the School of Natural and Complementary Medicine's Natural Medicine Clinic will be offering head and neck massages and wellness checks throughout the festival.
And, while you're there, try your hand at the daily Wordwise and Haiku challenges, with great book prizes offered by Southern Cross University Press up for grabs each day.
Southern Cross University will also host a series of writers-in-residence sessions featuring high calibre authors who teach or are closely associated with the University's writing programs.
Larry Buttrose, a poet, playwright, travel writer, screenwriter and novelist. Larry is a former ABC journalist whose books include Dead Famous Deaths of the famous and famous deaths; Influential People; and Sweet Sentence.
Dr Susan Bradley Smith, a writer, historian and lecturer. Susan's most recent publication, Marmalade Exile, is being launched on Saturday, July 29.
Associate Professor Baden Offord, director of Southern Cross University's Centre for Cultural Diversity and Social Justice. Baden has published widely in the fields of human rights, sexuality, culture and identity. His latest book, Activating Human Rights (co-edited with Elisabeth Porter), will be launched at the festival.
Dr Janie Conway-Herron, a lecturer in creative writing, is a novelist, poet musician, lyricist and scriptwriter. Janie also has a strong musical background is a former member of the rock bank Stiletto.
James Bradley, an historian and writer, came to Australia from the United Kingdom in 2004. He is currently working on a popular history of the Melbourne and Marylebone cricket clubs.
The Southern Cross University booth, to be manned by Student Ambassadors, will be located near the Southern Cross University marquee. Information about the Writers Festival is available at www.byronbaywritersfestival.com
Media contact: Brigid Veale communications manager, 66593006 or 0439 680748.