Congratulations to Frances Chapman winner of the 2018 Ampersand Prize

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We are delighted to announce that AWC graduate Frances Chapman has won the prestigious Hardie Grant Egmont 2018 Ampersand Prize for her ‘vibrant’ debut YA novel, What it Takes.

From the Hardie Grant website:

Selected from nearly two hundred submissions, What It Takes is a beautifully written own-voices LGBTQ novel about 16-year-old Lily, whose band gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it big – sending her on a rollercoaster ride through overnight fame, complicated friendships, and a compelling love triangle between her bandmate, Carter, and the superstar singer, Addie.

‘I am honoured and delighted!’ Chapman said. ‘I’ve followed the Ampersand Prize for years, and this is my second time entering. When I started writing the book almost three years ago, I really couldn’t have imagined that this is where we’d end up, and I want to thank everyone at Hardie Grant Egmont for their kind words and the faith they’ve shown in the manuscript .’

Pitched as Almost Famous meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist with an LGBTQ spin, What it Takes will be published by Hardie Grant Egmont in 2020. ‘I am thrilled to be awarding the Ampersand Prize to such a brilliantly deserving debut author,’ said Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director at Hardie Grant Egmont. ‘Frances’s novel was an instant favourite among the judging team, and we all loved its exploration of the music world and the push-pull tensions of modern fandom and romantic connection in the age of social media. I can’t wait to share it with readers!’

Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director at Hardie Grant Egmont said, “I am thrilled to be awarding the Ampersand Prize to such a brilliantly deserving debut author.

“Frances’s novel was an instant favourite among the judging team, and we all loved its exploration of the music world and the push-pull tensions of modern fandom and romantic connection in the age of social media. I can’t wait to share it with readers!”

Frances is an Australian Writers’ Centre graduate who has completed many courses, including the Write Your Novel: 6-month program.

Congratulations Frances. SO well deserved. 


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