5 Competitions to enter your unpublished manuscript in 2018 (Australia)

Getting a handle on plot points-2

Another year, and many more opportunities to get noticed as a writer. I have an unpublished manuscript (well, a few actually) and I’ve been looking into what competitions are available this year (in Australia) for unpublished authors. Here’s what I found:

  1. KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award: Entries now open and will close on March 31st, 2018. Hosted by Kill Your Darlings Magazine, the winner of this award wins not only a $5000 cash prize, but also a mentorship with Hannah Kent (OMG!) if you’re a fiction writer or Rebecca Starford if you write non-fiction.
  2. The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers: This award has become hugely popular as the winner receives $10,000 in prize money and a 12 month mentorship with a Hachette publisher. Entries should open around March.
  3. The Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award: One of the most prestigious awards for an unpublished manuscript for writers under thirty-five years of age as it comes with a publication deal with Allen & Unwin. Entries currently open and will close 31st May 2018.
  4. The Ampersand Prize: Will open to submissions on 2nd July and close on the 20th July 2018. The award is hosted by the publisher Hardie Grant Egmon for writers of young adult and/ or middle-grade fiction. A publishing contract and advance against royalties is up for grabs with this award.
  5. The Premier’s Award in various states: Unfortunately the NSW Premier’s Award seems to only accept published manuscripts but VictoriaQueensland, and South Australia host similar awards and some of these awards are open to unpublished manuscripts. In WA there’s the biennial T.A.G Hungerford Award and the annual Dorothy Hewett Award (by UWA Publishing).

Best of luck to any aspiring authors who intend to enter any of these competitions this year. I entered the Richell and the Vogel last year and was unsuccessful but it was a really good experience to practice my pitch and the submissions process and it was a good feeling to know i’d put my manuscript out there. Fingers crossed for this year!



    • Hi Sanch, you’re welcome 🙂
      I haven’t used an editor before but i have just booked one to do a structural (developmental) edit for my manuscript for the first time. I’m hoping it will help me polish it up to a publishable standard. I don’t think a copy edit is necessary, particularly for a competition. I tend to get my critique partner look over the first couple of chapters first, just to make sure I haven’t missed any obvious mistakes before i submit to a competition.


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