The Richell Prize FAQ

The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2018 is once again open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.

Everything you need to know (about being in the running to win $10,000 and a 12-month mentorship with Hachette Australia) is answered below.

Am I eligible to enter if I have previously published a book?

That depends! The Richell Prize is for unpublished writers, but there are a few exceptions. To determine whether you are eligible, ask yourself the following questions:

 1. Is the book self-published?
a) Yes – then you are still eligible to enter, however, your entry must be a new, unpublished work.
b) No – see next question

2. Is the book published with a commercial publishing house? N.B. For the purposes of the prize, this includes small press and independent publishers.
a) Yes – unfortunately you are not eligible to enter unless your answer is yes to questions 3 or 4.
b) No – see next question

3. Is the book a children’s picture book? (Not a chapter book or YA)
a) Yes – then you can still enter the Richell Prize
b) No – see next question

4. Is the book a scholarly reference book or textbook e.g. a practical non-fiction book published with a medical publisher?
a) Yes – you are still eligible to enter
b) No – if you’re still not sure, you can email and ask.

Am I eligible to enter if I am an Australian citizen or resident currently residing overseas?

No. To be eligible, you must reside in Australia in order to participate in the 12-month mentorship that forms an essential (and we think particularly exciting!) part of the prize.

This includes Australian citizens, permanent residents, and those on long-term visas including study or work.

Can I enter my Young Adult (YA) Fiction manuscript into the prize?

Works for children are not eligible for the prize, but as YA has such a large cross-over readership we generally accept submissions of YA for this prize. However, we’d encourage you to consider which age bracket your intended readership is – if you think the manuscript falls into the upper age range for YA and could have that cross-over adult audience then we would encourage you to submit.

Can I enter my collection of essays or short stories into the prize?

Yes! In fact, one of the shortlisted entries in 2015 was later published with Hachette – Brodie Lancaster’s collection of essays No Way! Ok, Fine.

How do I format my submission?

As outlined in the Terms and Conditions, entries must be submitted as PDFs, set up as an A4 double-spaced document in 12pt Roman font (e.g. Garamond or Times New Roman) with 3 cm margins and page numbers on each page. Please ensure you submit your sample chapters and synopsis as one single file, with the manuscript title as the file name. Don’t put your name anywhere on the manuscript or in the file name – otherwise it will immediately be deemed ineligible.

If you’re worried about space, the synopsis and chapter breakdown pages can be single spaced, as long as your sample chapters are double spaced.

My book has an introduction or prologue. Should I treat that as a chapter when submitting the first three chapters?

You may include your introduction or prologue in addition to the first three chapters, as long as the total word count does not exceed 20,000 words in length.

What if my first three chapters are really short?

The aim of the sample chapters is to give the judges a sense of your writing style and voice, so if you feel you need to submit more than the first three chapters to do this that is completely fine, as long as the whole submission is under 20,000 words. Don’t feel you have to submit that much though – sometimes less can be more!


Opening date for entries: Friday 6 April

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

Shortlist announced: Monday 8 October

Winner announced: Wednesday 7 November

The Richell Prize is proudly presented by EWF, Hachette Australia and Guardian Australia. Please read the Terms & Conditions for full eligibility requirements and submission guidelines before entering.

More info