Announcing the 2018 Richell Prize Shortlist

Hachette Australia, the Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) and our media partner Guardian Australia are thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 2018 Richell Prize for emerging writers.

This year’s Richell Prize received over 660 entries. Every entry was read by two readers to determine the longlist, which was announced in September. This year the judging panel, comprised of bestselling author Hannah Richell, Adelaide bookseller Gavin Williams, Emerging Writers’ Festival Executive Director Will Dawson and Hachette publisher Vanessa Radnidge, was presented with a longlist of nineteen writers. After numerous readings and a judges’ meeting to discuss the merits of each work, the judges have selected five writers for the 2018 Richell Prize shortlist.

The Richell Prize 2018 Shortlist:

Mandy Beaumont, She is Bright Light and All Brilliance
Zoe Ghani, Pomegranate & Fig
Ruth McIver, I Shot the Devil
Fiona Murphy, The Shape of Sound
Fiona Robertson, Tempest and Other Stories

In announcing the shortlist the judges had this to say:

‘It is an honour to read so many wonderful submissions and it is always difficult to narrow the entries down, knowing the time, effort and creativity that has gone into each work.  However, the shortlisted writers all sparked our attention and would not be denied: a collection of powerful and uncompromising stories exploring the ideas of femininity; a moving novel about war, displacement and family; a dark and unforgettable literary noir novel; a powerful memoir about a silent secret, shedding fear and gaining disability pride; and a masterful and moving collection of short stories focused on acceptance, forgiveness and hope. It is a remarkable shortlist and the compelling voices, the powerful ideas and the excellence of the writing thrilled us all. Every work illuminates an exciting talent and demonstrates the quality and depth of contemporary Australian writing. To have five very different works by five extremely talented writers on this shortlist is the perfect way to honour the memory of Matt Richell, a man with an eclectic reading taste with one common thread – the quality of the writer.’

Applicants were required to submit the first three chapters and a synopsis of their proposed work of adult fiction or narrative non-fiction, with the winner to receive $10,000 and mentoring from a Hachette publisher to help develop the work to publication. The winner will be announced on November 7th at a ceremony in Sydney.

The Prize, which is awarded annually, is in memory of Hachette Australia’s former CEO, Matt Richell, who died suddenly in July 2014.  Throughout his publishing career, Matt Richell was a passionate advocate for writers, and believed investment in and support for new writers to be vital for the future of great literature. The Richell Prize was established to continue Matt’s work in encouraging emerging writers in Australia and is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction who are serious about their craft and aspire to commence a professional writing career.

The Richell Prize is organised in partnership by The Emerging Writers’ Festival, Hachette Australia, Guardian Australia and Simpsons Solicitors.