Enter the 2020 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

Calling all unpublished writers: the $10,000 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers, which can be awarded to both fiction and creative non-fiction writers, is open for 2020. The winner will also get a year’s mentorship from a Hachette Australia publisher. Entries close on July 10, 2020. 

From the Emerging Writers’ Festival website:

Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family, is honoured to launch the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2020, in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival.

The Prize is once again open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction. Writers do not need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission, though they must intend to complete one. The Prize will be judged on the first three chapters of the submitted work, along with a synopsis outlining the direction of the proposed work and detail about how the author’s writing career would benefit from winning the Prize.

‘As a writer myself, I know from personal experience how writing can offer escape and connection during times of disruption, pain and change. My hope is that this Prize might find its way to those of you drawn to explore your creativity and writing craft in this particularly extraordinary year. If you think you have a manuscript inside of you and the commitment and desire to see it through to publication, this is the Prize for you. Let us help you make it happen. Be brave. Submit your work. We can’t wait to read it.’ – Hannah Richell, bestselling author of Secrets of the Tides and The River Home.

The winner will receive $10,000 in prize money, to be donated by Hachette Australia, and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers. Hachette Australia will work with the winning writer to develop their manuscript with first option to consider the finished work, and the shortlisted entries, for publication.

As well as promoting the Prize, The Guardian Australia will publish an extract of the first chapter of the winning work on its website. The prize will also be supported by Simpson Solicitors and Joy.

The Richell Prize was established in memory of Hachette Australia’s CEO, Matt Richell, who died suddenly in 2014.

How will the prize be judged?

The 2020 judging panel includes Vanessa Radnidge, Hachette Australia publisher; Hannah Richell, bestselling author; Jon Page, bookseller at Dymocks Sydney and Galina Marinov, Member Services Development Manager at the Australian Booksellers Association.

The applications will be judged on three main criteria:

  • The writing – make sure that you are telling an original story that you have a burning desire to share.
  • The synopsis – give us a brief summary of the plot, major characters, themes and settings in the book and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the rest of the book.
  • Tell us how winning the Prize will help you further your writing career.

About the Mentorship with Hachette

The winner will receive a 12-month mentorship with a publisher at Hachette Australia. The format of this will depend on the winning writer but you can expect to receive an assessment of the three chapters that you’ve submitted, feedback on your writing style, a discussion around who your target audience might be and regular phone calls to check in on your writing progress. Your mentor will read your work at regular intervals. While Hachette is not offering a publication deal as part of the Prize, we’d love to mentor the winner through to a stage where we both feel comfortable discussing publication opportunities.

This Prize brings together a group of people who know what a huge supporter of emerging writers Matt Richell was. Without the writers there would be no Prize – so be brave and submit your work.

For more details, including how to submit – visit the Emerging Writers’ Festival website.


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