The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

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

About The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

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.

The Prize is once again open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.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

‘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 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.

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.

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

How Will the Prize be Judged?

The 2018 judging panel includes Vanessa Radnidge, publisher at Hachette Australia; Hannah Richell, bestselling author; Will Dawson, executive director of Emerging Writers’ Festival and Gavin Williams, owner of Adelaide’s Matilda Bookshop.

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. If you can, please also include a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the rest of the book.
  • Tell us how winning the Prize will help you further your writing career.

About the Mentorship with Hachette

The winner will receive a 12-month mentorship with a publisher at Hachette Australia. The format of this will depend on the winning writer but you can expect to receive an assessment of the three chapters that you’ve submitted, feedback on your writing style, a discussion around who your target audience might be and regular phone calls to check in on your writing progress. Your mentor will read your work at regular intervals. While Hachette is not offering a publication deal as part of the Prize we’d love to mentor the winner through to a stage where we both feel comfortable discussing publication opportunities.

Click here to enter

Thank You

Hachette Australia and Hannah Richell would like to thank The Emerging Writers’ Festival and The Guardian Australia for partnering with them to make this Prize a reality.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival would also like to thank Simpsons Solicitors for assisting them financially with the administration of the Prize.

This Prize brings together a group of people who know what a huge supporter of emerging writers Matt Richell was. Without the writers there would be no Prize – so be brave and submit your work.



Winning Entry: $10,000 and a 12-month mentorship with Hachette Australia


Entries must be saved as a single PDF, comprised of the following:

  • the first three chapters of the work with a maximum word length of 20,000 words;
  • A one-page synopsis;
  • A chapter breakdown of the rest of the work, no more than two A4 pages long;

You will also need to write a statement up to 750 words about how winning the prize will further your writing career, to be entered in the online form at the time of submission. Click here to read the submission guidelines.


Opening date for entries: Friday 6 April

Closing date for entries: 11:59pm AEST Monday 9 July

Longlist announced: Monday 3 September

Shortlist announced: Monday 8 October

Winner announced: Wednesday 7 November


Any Australian resident aged 18 or older who has not had their work published by a commercial publishing house. Please read the Terms & Conditions for full eligibility requirements and submission guidelines.

There is a limit of one entry per person. All entries will be judged anonymously, so please do not include your name anywhere in the submitted manuscript file (including the file name) or as a result your entry will be deemed ineligible.

Terms & Conditions