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Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family and in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival, is honoured to announce Simone Jordan as the recipient of the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2021.

Simone Jordan is an Australian journalist, writer, host and media consultant.

Simone founded and edited Australia’s most successful hip-hop magazine, Urban Hitz, at just 23 years old. Throughout her career she has held senior positions at Channel 10, The Source Magazine and The Daily Mail, and lived in New York City for a decade, where she was the first Australian host of the SiriusXM Radio show Hip-Hop Nation.

Simone currently works as a media consultant at Higher Ground Consulting Agency, which has a special focus on emerging Australian talent from culturally and linguistically diverse and First Nations backgrounds.

Her work is Tell Her She’s Dreamin’, a powerful story about growing up Arab-Australian, of fighting for recognition and representation, of challenging systemic hierarchies and rising to the top of a fiercely competitive and often overtly sexist industry.

The story of Simone’s migrant upbringing and her love of hip-hop music is heart-warming and inspirational. Her intelligence and determination see her navigate the disadvantages of an outsider as she finds a way to pursue and ultimately find her truth.

In a narrative filled with sharp observations as well as a stinging commentary on the social milieu of her childhood and teen years, this writer has achieved a fine balance between her personal story and how that interweaves with the larger picture of family history, the music industry and an inherently racist society.

Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh, Artistic Director & Co-CEO of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, said: ‘This year, we had 850 entries into the Richell Prize. This is a testament to the important role that the Richell Prize plays in the journey of so many emerging writers, whose work is celebrated through this prize. A huge congratulations to the shortlistees and to our 2021 winner, Simone Jordan. We’re so thrilled and extremely honoured to support Simone’s growth as an author and artist. Thank you to Hachette Australia for facilitating the Richell Prize, and for continuing to discover and nurture amazing artists such as Simone.’

Fiona Hazard, Hachette Australia Group Publishing Director, said: ‘The Richell Prize is building a reputation for discovering brilliant emerging writers and Simone Jordan’s talent is only going to add to this reputation. Simone Jordan has a powerful story to tell - one of growing up “other”, of fighting for recognition and representation, of challenging systemic hierarchies and rising to the top of a fiercely competitive and often overtly sexist industry. Already a skilled journalist, the judges felt Simone’s work was immediately engaging and quick to evoke emotion. Family love and humour were vibrantly portrayed on the page and left all the judges wanting to read more. We are delighted that we can now mentor Simone and help her along the path to finishing Tell Her She’s Dreamin’ so she can connect with a wider readership. Nurturing emerging writers like Simone is what the Richell Prize is all about. I am sure that former Hachette CEO Matt Richell would be pleased that his name is helping do this.’ 

Find out more about The Richell Prize and past winners here.

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