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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.

‘As a writer myself, I know from personal experience how writing can offer escape and connection during times of disruption, pain and change. My hope is that this Prize might find its way to those of you drawn to explore your creativity and writing craft in this particularly extraordinary year. If you think you have a manuscript inside of you and the commitment and desire to see it through to publication, this is the Prize for you. Let us help you make it happen. Be brave. Submit your work. We can’t wait to read it.’ – 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The Prize is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.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.

The 2020 Winner

'Petrichor' by Aisling Smith

Watch the winner's announcement here.

How do you enter?

Find out how to enter by visiting the Emerging Writers' Festival website.

What are the dates?

Prize Opens: 19 April 2021

Prize Closes: Date extended to 16 July 2021

Longlist Announced: 3 September 2021

Shortlist Announced: 8 October 2021

Winner Announced: 4 November 2021

How is it judged, and by whom?

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:

  • The writing – make sure that you are telling an original story that you have a burning desire to share
  • The synopsis – give us a brief summary of the plot, major characters, themes and settings in the book and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the rest of the book
  • Why you want it – tell us how winning the Prize will help you further your writing career.

Published Winners of The Richell Prize

Published Shortlistees of The Richell Prize

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