The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers 2017

The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

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

Please note, due to an glitch with the submissions form the Richell Prize has been extended to 11.59pm AEST Tuesday 4 July, 2017. 

About The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

The Richell Prize was established in 2014 by Hachette Australia in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers Festival to assist emerging writers who are looking to take the next step in their career. Offered annually, the Prize is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.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 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 details about how the author’s writing career would benefit from winning the Prize.

The winner will receive $10,000 in prize money, to be donated by Hachette Australia, along with a 12-month mentorship 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 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 on its website.

The Prize has also been made possible through the support of Simpsons Solicitors and Joy. The Emerging Writers’ Festival involvement in this Prize has been sponsored by Simpsons Solicitors.

The Richell Prize was established in memory of Hachette Australia’s CEO, Matt Richell, who died suddenly in 2014.

How Will the Prize be Judged?

Our line-up of judges will include:

Izzy Roberts-Orr, Emerging Writers’ Festival
Hannah Richell, bestselling author
Amelia Lush, bookseller
Robert Watkins, Publisher, Hachette Australia

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.

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


Izzy Roberts-Orr, Emerging Writers’ Festival
Hannah Richell, bestselling author
Amelia Lush, bookseller
Robert Watkins, Publisher, Hachette Australia


A two-page synopsis (including chapter breakdown) and the first three chapters (with a maximum word length of 20,000 words), in a single PDF.


Opening date for entries: Monday 27 March 2017

Closing date for entries: 11:59p AEST Tuesday 4 July 2017

Shortlist announced: Monday 2 October 2017

Winner announced: Wednesday 1 November 2017


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. Please ensure that your name does not appear anywhere on your entry or it will be deemed ineligible.