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Winners of the ABIA award, named in honour of our late CEO, talk about what winning means to them.

In 2015 the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year was introduced to the Australian Book Industry Awards to honour the late CEO of Hachette Australia, Matt Richell. Matt was a passionate advocate for writers and believed investment in and support for new writers to be vital for the future of great literature. The award is a fitting way to venerate his memory and to acknowledge outstanding Australian debut writers.

Since 2015 three brilliant authors have won the award. Here is what they have to say about the experience:


Brooke Davis for Lost & Found (Hachette Australia)

'Matt Richell had a huge impact on my life in a very short space of time. Every interaction I had with him revealed him to be thoughtful, inclusive, highly intelligent, ambitious, funny, fun. His belief in Australian writing and willingness to take chances on fresh voices in a fearful publishing environment was beyond inspiring.

Matt achieved so much in his short time on this earth. He is not only deeply, sorely missed by many individual people, but also by the nation's publishing industry, and having his name to support the ABIA for New Writer of the Year couldn't be more fitting. I was lucky enough to win that award in 2015, and it has, for me, become representative of his belief in me as a writer. It's a feeling that continues to sustain me, and I hope to honour his belief for as long as I can write.'


Lucy Treloar for Salt Creek (Pan Macmillan)

'It was an incredible thrill and honour to receive the Matt Richell Award for New Writer in 2016. Having this connection to Matt Richell’s wonderful legacy of support of new and emerging Australian writers was, and remains, at once humbling, affirming, and empowering. In many ways, it continues to give me the courage to write. I will always be grateful.’


Clementine Ford for Fight Like a Girl (Allen & Unwin)

'Matt was a champion of visionary ideas and passionate writing, and I am immensely humbled to be honoured by such an important legacy. I pay my deep respects to his family and to his colleagues at Hachette, and hope to embody the values bestowed by this award for as long as I'm lucky enough to be working in this fine industry.'

For more visit

  • Lost and Found - Brooke Davis

    LOST AND FOUND, the bestselling Australian fiction debut of 2014, now an international sensation, will have you laughing, crying and, by the end, feeling just a little wiser . . . A stunning first novel from one of Australia's most exciting young authors.

  • Salt Creek - Lucy Treloar

    Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

  • Fight Like A Girl - Clementine Ford

    Personal and fearless - a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.

Justin Ractliffe

Justin Ractliffe

Joint Managing Director Hachette Australia.

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