Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family, is honoured to launch the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2022, in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.


This is the eighth year of the prestigious Richell Prize and once again entries are open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.

To date, Hachette Australia has published or contracted nine authors who have been discovered through this annual prize, including Sally Abbott (2015 winner), Brodie Lancaster (2015 shortlist), Sam Coley (2017 winner), Julie Keys (2017 shortlist), Ruth McIver (2018 winner), Mandy Beaumont (2018 shortlist), Zaheda Ghani (2018 shortlist) Allee Richards (2019 shortlist) and Aisling Smith (2020 winner).

‘The last couple of years have been gruelling for so many, and yet we know creativity doesn’t cease in difficult times. Sometimes it can flourish. If you have been writing in the shadows and feel you are ready for the next step, please do consider submitting your work to the Richell Prize. We are here to help you on your path to publication, with funding, mentorship and advice. Good luck. We can’t wait to read your work.’ – Hannah Richell, bestselling author of Secrets of the Tides, The Shadow Year, The Peacock Summer and The River Home

‘Since 2015, EWF has had the privilege of administering the Richell Prize with Hachette Australia and we are thrilled to be part of this wonderful prize for another year. The Richell Prize does incredible work of unearthing literary talent – along with the winners, long and shortlisted writers have gone on to shape incredible careers as published authors. We are so pleased to be part of that process and to be entrusted with the work of so many talented writers. We look forward to receiving and reading your entries and can’t wait to see what gems this year’s prize will present us with.’ – Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh, Artistic Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival

Writers do not need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission, though they must intend to complete one.

The winner will receive $10,000 in prize money from Hachette Australia, and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers.

Hachette Australia will work with the winning writer to develop their manuscript, and has first option to consider the finished work, and the shortlisted entries, for publication.

‘To see the talent unearthed from this prize makes me very proud and is the perfect way to honour our former CEO, Matt Richell. Our aim when we established the award was to give an opportunity for emerging writers to connect with a publisher and progress their work, and the growing list of authors who have achieved publication is testament to the importance of the Richell Prize. I encourage writers to be brave and submit their work.’ – Fiona Hazard, Hachette Australia Group Publishing Director

‘Prior to entering, I had self-sabotaged my writing due to a severe lack of time and resources, with an all-pervading fear of failing. Not only has the Richell Prize allowed me to finally feel seen, but Hachette Australia’s invaluable mentorship is supporting me on the path to becoming a fresh voice in Australian literature. Entering the Richell Prize means no more holding back. You can do it!’ – Simone Amelia Jordan, 2021 Richell Prize-winning author of Tell Her She’s Dreamin’

How will the Prize be judged?

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 and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the rest of the book
  • Why you want it – tell us how winning the Prize will help you further your writing career
  • Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully to make sure your work is eligible

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 and eventually see the winning work on bookshelves under the Hachette Australia imprint.

Hachette Australia and Hannah Richell would like to thank the Emerging Writers’ Festival for partnering with them to make this Prize a reality and thank the Pedestrian Group for their support of the Prize.

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 the huge amount of support that Matt Richell dedicated to emerging writers. Without the writers, there would be no Prize – so be brave and submit your work.

Prize opens: 21 April 2022
Prize closes: 8 July 2022
Longlist announced: 5 September 2022
Shortlist announced: 11 October 2022
Winner announced: 3 November 2022

Enter the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers 2022 here.