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Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family, is honoured to launch The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2018, in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF).  

‘It’s a little mind-bending to think we are launching the fourth annual Richell Prize this year. From its earliest inception, the Prize was created to be unique in its offering – supporting writers at the earliest stage of their creative path and giving them the support and encouragement to take that first bold leap with their work. It fills me with pride to see how Matt’s legacy continues to encourage and inspire emerging writers and I’m excited to help discover even more brilliant voices this year and watch them soar.’ – Hannah Richell, bestselling author of SECRETS OF THE TIDES, THE SHADOW YEAR and the forthcoming THE PEACOCK SUMMER.

The Prize is once again open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.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.

‘Winning the prize was massive for me, not just in terms of the incredible mentorship – any unpublished author's dream – but also probably the greatest confidence boost and motivation to ignore all the uncertainty and keep going that anyone with a work in progress could hope for.’ – Sam Coley, Winner of the 2017 Richell Prize

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.

‘The Richell Prize has been an absolute gift, not just for the wonderful mentoring which is taking my novel to a new level, but for the sweet gratification of having people (proper industry professionals no less!) say Yes, you can write.’ – Michelle Barraclough, Highly Commended in the 2017 Richell Prize

As well as promoting the Prize, The Guardian Australia will publish an extract of the first chapter of the winning work and a profile on the winning writer.

The Prize will also be supported by Simpsons Solicitors and Joy. All details of the award can be found at and

The Prize, which is awarded annually, is in memory of Hachette Australia’s former CEO, Matt Richell, who died suddenly in July 2014. 


ENTRIES OPEN: 6th April, 2018

ENTRIES CLOSE: 9th July, 2018

WINNER ANNOUNCED: 7th November, 2018


Presented in partnership by Hachette Australia, The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival.

  • Closing Down - Sally Abbott

    Conjuring a dark future for Australia, CLOSING DOWN gives us a glimpse into a world fractured by a financial crisis and the effects of global climate change. The inaugural winner of The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.

  • No Way! Okay, Fine - Brodie Lancaster

    No Way, Okay Fine! is a memoir about pop culture, pop music, feminism and feelings. Shortlisted for the 2016 Richell Prize.

Thomas Saras

Thomas Saras

Brand Manager and Head of the Realm at Hachette Australia Books. Mutant power: Aggressive humour. Lifelong Trekkie (I don’t find that offensive) comic book reader and former proud bookseller. Likes: Literary, contemporary and speculative fiction. Dislikes: Haters. Ideal date: My birthday.

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