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Manuscript Prizes & Mentoring Opportunities

There are a number of manuscript prizes and mentoring opportunities on offer in Australia and overseas. This is not an exhaustive list and the PCWC do not endorse any particular prize or opportunity, and our Centre does not receive any financial benefit from promoting these opportunities.

Australian Prizes & Opportunities

Allen & Unwin Crime Fiction Prize & The Australian/Vogle’s Literary Award

Allen & Unwin conduct the Allen & Unwin Crime Fiction Prize and The Australian/Vogle’s Literary Award. The Australian/Vogle’s award is for an unpublished manuscript written by a writer under the age of 35.

Entries open for the 2024 The Australian/Vogle’s Literary Award on 28 January 2023, and close on 31 May 2023. See: https://www.allenandunwin.com/being-a-writer/the-australian-vogel-s-award

Details on the A & U Crime Fiction Prize can be found here: https://www.allenandunwin.com/being-a-writer/the-allen-and-unwin-crime-fiction-prize

Visit: https://www.allenandunwin.com/ 

ASA Writers and Illustrator Mentorship Award:  

Each year the Australian Society of Authors conducts a Writers and Illustrators Mentorship Award with 20 mentorships on offer and a Paths to Publishing Program. Entries are currently open and close on 31 January 2023, 5pm AEDT

Please see the link below on how to apply for this opportunity.

See: https://www.asauthors.org/services/award-mentorships-2

The ASA does also offer a manuscript assessment service with selected mentors but this is a paid service.

For information, see: https://www.asauthors.org/services/mentorships/asa-mentorships

The Fogarty Literary Award & The TAG Hungerford Award (Fremantle Press)

Fremantle Press conducts two major biennial literary prizes: The TAG Hungerford Award and The Fogarty Literary Award. These prizes are run in alternate years. In 2023, The Fogarty Literary Award will open for entries on 15 March 2023 for an unpublished manuscript by a Western Australian author aged between 18 and 35 for a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or young adult fiction. Entries will close at midnight on Tuesday 18 April 2023. The winner receives a cash prize of $20,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

See: https://fremantlepress.wpengine.com/submissions/fogarty-award/

The TAG Hungerford Award will open again for entries in 2024. See:


For general manuscript submissions, see: https://fremantlepress.com.au/submissions/

Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel (Text Publishing)

This prize is conducted by Text Publishing and is an award for writers holding New Zealand citizenship or who are permanent residents of New Zealand.


Penguin Random House Literary Prize

Penguin Random House conducts the annual Penguin Random House Literary Prize. This prize was established in 2017 to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. Entries for the 2023 prize closed in December 2022.

See:  https://www.penguin.com.au/news/3724-penguin-literary-prize-2023

Queensland Writers Centre’s Adaptable Program

This program is to identify writing suitable or with the potential to be adapted for film or TV. Entries for 2023 closed on 17 January 2023.

See: https://queenslandwriters.org.au/adaptable

The Banjo Prize (Harper Collins)

The Banjo Prize is an annual manuscript prize to find the next great Australian storyteller.

See: https://www.harpercollins.com.au/thebanjoprize/

The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award

The annual Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award is open to novellas and short fiction collections up to 30,000 words in length. In 2021, the award included cash prize amounts of $3000 for the winner  and $1000 for two runners-up as well as world-wide digital publication of all three winning entries. The Award did not run in 2022, however Spineless Wonders post other opportunities on their submissions page.

See: https://shortaustralianstories.com.au/submissions/

The Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript (UWAP)

The University of Western Australia Press conducts The Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript on an annual basis. Entries in The Dorothy Hewett Award will open later in 2023.

You can read more about The Dorothy Hewett Award at: https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/pages/dorothy-hewett-award-for-an-unpublished-manuscript

The Matilda Children’s Literature Prize

The Matilda Children’s Literature Prize is an annual competition conducted in conjunction with HarperCollinsChildren’s Books Australia.

See: https://www.harpercollins.com.au/thematildaprize/

The Richell Prize (Hachette Australia)

Hachette Australia, together with the Richell family, established and conduct The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. The Prize is open for 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.

For further information visit: https://www.hachette.com.au/richell-prize/

The Text Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing and the Steph Bowe Mentorship

This prize is awarded annually for the best manuscript written for young readers and is administered by Text Publishing. Entries for the Text Prize and the Steph Bowe Mentorship are open until 4 pm on Monday 20 February 2023.

See: https://www.textpublishing.com.au/text-prize

International Prizes

First Pages Prize:

See: https://www.firstpagesprize.com/

Craft First Chapters Contest

See: https://www.craftliterary.com/

Grindstone Literary Novel Prize

See: https://www.grindstoneliterary.com/novel-prize

The Bath Novel Award

See: https://bathnovelaward.co.uk/2020-2/

The Bath Novella-in-Flash Award – this award has closed for entries for 2023.


The Masters Review Novel Excerpt Award

The Novel Excerpt Competition runs from 1 October to 1 December.


The Masters Review Chapbook Contest

This contest runs from 1 September to 31 December.


Unchartered Novel Excerpt Prize

This prize ran from 1 August to 31 October 2022. It focuses on Horror + Thriller; Crime + Mystery; Sci Fi + Fantasy.