Hachette Australia, together with the Richell family, established The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF). The Prize was launched in 2015 in memory of Hachette Australia’s CEO, Matt Richell, who died suddenly in July 2014.
‘I’m so proud of the Richell Prize, the legacy it’s created in my late husband’s name, and all that it’s achieved in the nine years since its launch. Taking the first steps as an emerging writer can be a confusing and daunting process. The Richell Prize has been designed to help guide new talent towards publication, with financial and mentoring support. Unlike some prizes, we don’t ask for a completed manuscript. We simply ask for the first three chapters, a clear vision and your commitment to finishing your project. The talent we’ve already unearthed has dazzled and excited us, and we can’t wait to make a new discovery this year. If you’re thinking of entering, please take the leap. We’re ready to help you take flight.’ – Hannah Richell, bestselling author of SECRETS OF THE TIDES and THE RIVER HOME.
The Prize is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.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 winner receives $10,000 in prize money, donated by Hachette Australia, and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers. The Emerging Writers’ Festival’s involvement in this Prize is sponsored by Simpsons Solicitors.
Our 2023 Winner
Special mention for this year goes to Luisa Mitchell for Blood Gum Weeping, which was awarded a Highly Commended by the judges.
Rat Daniels by Alex Sawyer.
When Trees Fall Without Warning by Susannah Begbie.
Tell Her She's Dreamin' by Simone Jordan
After the Rain by Aisling Smith
I Shot the Devil by Ruth McIver
State Highway One by Sam Coley
Closing Down by Sally Abbott
The Richell Prize is judged on the strength of the writing in the first three chapters of the work, a synopsis, a chapter breakdown of the rest of the book, and a statement about how winning the Prize will further your writing career. The prize is judged by a panel of industry experts including a Hachette Australia publisher, bestselling author Hannah Richell, and two booksellers.
The applications will be judged on three main criteria: