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This article was originally published on the Emerging Writers' Festival website

There’s only one month left to enter this year’s Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. But never fear, that’s plenty of time to get your first three chapters and synopsis into tip-top shape! We here at EWF know that prize submissions can sometimes be a daunting task, so here’s some resources that you can draw from to ace your entry.

1. Read the Submission Guidelines

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many entries we receive each year that clearly haven’t read the submission guidelines. This is the document that contains all the info you need to make sure you’re eligible, what to submit and how to structure your entry. It’s worth studying this carefully – there’s a lot of information and we’d hate for you to put in all that work on your chapters, only to find you’re ineligible!

Read the submission guidelines and terms and conditions here.

2. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve read the submission guidelines and you’re still not sure about something, never fear – chances are somebody else has had the same question! We’ve put together a fact sheet full of questions we get a lot, including the age-old dilemma of what counts as an unpublished writer (hint: it depends).

See all the A’s to your Q’s here.

3. Listen to the From Prize to Publication episode of our podcast

Those lucky enough to attend the Pitching in Publishing Masterclass at EWF17 were treated to an eye-opening discussion between a previous winner of the Richell Prize, a shortlistee and their publisher. They discussed what makes a good synopsis, how to write a compelling chapter breakdown, and what the prize could do for your career. And best of all, we recorded it and put it on our podcast!

Listen here.

4. Come to the National Writers’ Conference

This year’s Emerging Writers’ Festival is fast approaching, and there are a bunch of great events that will help you to craft the best possible manuscript (but we would say that, wouldn’t we). Of particular note is the National Writers’ Conference, where you can pitch your work directly to publishers – a very handy way of getting feedback on your synopsis! There’s also a session in the conference called #Winning, where you can get some hints and tips for submitting to writing competitions from those who’ve written, judged and published award-winning writing.

Buy tickets to the National Writers’ Conference.

5. Read how a past shortlistee prepared for the Prize

For the first time in 2017, the Richell Prize judges were so impressed with the quality of the shortlist that they didn’t just award a winner, but also a highly commended prize. Sydney-based writer Michelle Barraclough received a 12-month mentorship with a publisher from Hachette Australia for her manuscript As I Am. Michelle is also very active on her blog, and wrote a handy list of tips for how she prepared for the prize. Thanks Michelle!

Read Michelle’s tips here. 

Unlike many literary prizes, to enter the Richell Prize you only need to have written your first three chapters – so there’s no excuse not to enter! Entries close on Monday July 9, 11.59pm AEST: it’s time to get writing. 

Click here to enter the prize.

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