Named after and supported by international best-selling author John Marsden, sponsored by Hachette Australia and administered by Express Media, The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers is a developmental award open to Australian secondary schools students in the categories of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
The prize is judged by John Marsden, alongside representatives from Hachette Australia and Express Media.
Fifteen shortlisted writers will be invited to meet John Marsden and participate in an exclusive creative writing workshop.
Prize winners will also receive a cash prize and a book pack of YA titles, courtesy of Hachette Australia.
The prize will be announced and presented in a special event at the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival.
How to Enter
1. All entries must be received by 9am, Friday 29 June 2018
2. One entry may be submitted, per category, with a maximum of 2 entries across the 3 categories
3. Each entry must be submitted via the submissions portal, with one entry per submission form. DO NOT put multiple submissions in one word or PDF document
4. Submissions of fiction or nonfiction may be up to 3,000 words in length
5. Submissions of poetry may be up to 100 lines in length
6. All entries must be typed and double-spaced
7. Submittable accounts must be created in the entrant’s own name and list the entrant's contact details
Conditions of Entry
1. Entries must be original works, written entirely by the entrant, and must not infringe upon anyone else’s copyright or intellectual property rights
2. Entries must not, either wholly or partly, have previously been published in print or online (with the exception of an entrant’s personal blog or website)
3. The name of the entrant should not be included anywhere on the submission; it should only be entered in the submission form
4. All members currently serving on the Express Media board; and/or all paid, permanent staff of Express Media, are ineligible to enter
5. Entrants under 18 years of age must have permission from a parent/guardian/teacher to enter the prize
Express Media and Hachette Australia each reserve the right not to consider a submission if the conditions of entry above are not complied with.
Note: Entrants must acknowledge and agree to these terms upon submission. Parent/guardian/teacher of the entrant must confirm permission for entry upon submission.
Consideration of Submissions
1. The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into about the judgements or the judging process
2. Only shortlisted entrants will receive feedback on entries
Shortlisted writers from each prize category receive:
● Feedback on their writing from Hachette Australia and Express Media judges
● An invitation to meet John Marsden over lunch hosted by Hachette Australia and Express Media
● An invitation to take part in an exclusive writing masterclass
● An invitation to attend a premiere event as a guest of the Melbourne Writers Festival
The first place winner of each prize category receives the above, plus:
● A $500 cash prize
● Up to $500 travel reimbursement to attend the winners’ announcement event
● A book pack of selected works from Hachette Australia’s young adult publications
● Publication on the Express Media website
● Winner names and an acknowledgement will be printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal
For more information please email Rafael at email@example.com
Now in its sixth year, The 2018 Scribe Nonfiction Prize is a unique development award to foster talented writers aged 30 and under writing longform work. Entries between 5,000 and 10,000 words are welcome across all nonfiction genres, including memoir, journalism, essay, and creative nonfiction.
Shortlisted writers will receive:
- an invitation to an exclusive craft development masterclass with some of Australia’s best nonfiction writers
- personalised feedback on their entry from the judges
- a generous selection of new-release Scribe Publication books tailored to their reading interests
The winner receives:
- a cash prize of $3000
- an editorial mentorship to develop their work
- a generous selection of new-release Scribe Publication books tailored to their reading interests.
The shortlist will be selected by Inez Trambas (Editorial committee of Voiceworks), Shu-Ling Chua (Editorial committee of Voiceworks 2016 - 2017, Writer for Feminartsy, Peril Magazine and Meanjin), Bethany Atkinson-Quinton (Creative Producer, Express Media), and Myfanwy Jones (Project Manager, Scribe Publications and author of Parlour Games for Modern Famalies and LEAP). Submissions will be judged against the following criteria: originality and creativity, voice, readership and commercial potential, literary merit, and content and structure. The winner will then be selected by Scribe Publications.
Writers will also have the chance to ask their burning questions about the prize, and seek advice on what the judges are looking for during a live Q&A, with date to be announced.
Past winners and shortlisted writers have gone onto sign their debut works as a direct result of the prize: Briohny Doyle (Adult Fantasy, May 2017), Oliver Mol (Lion Attack!, May 2015), Patrick Mullins (A Liberal View, forthcoming 2018), Drew Rooke (The Final Spin, forthcoming May 2018), and Lech Blaine (Car Crash forthcoming late 2018). The 2014 winner, Robbie Arnott, has received critical acclaim for his work, and was awarded The 2015 Tasmanian Young Writers Fellowship.
Entries close 11.59pm Sunday September 9.
The Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers is presented in partnership with Scribe Publications and Word For Word National Non-Fiction Festival.
- Entries open at 5pm Monday April 30.
- Entries will be accepted in any nonfiction genre, including memoir, journalism, essay, biography, and creative nonfiction.
- Entries must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. They may be excerpted from a longer work but should preferably also function as stand-alone pieces.
- The entry must be an original work by the entrant and written in English.
- Entrants must be 30 years of age or under as of the closing date, and be residents of Australia.
- Both previously unpublished writers and writers who have had a work published with a commercial or not-for-profit publishing house are eligible.
- Entries must be neatly typed and double-spaced. Please do not include your name anywhere on the submission.
- Entrants must submit their entries by using the online entry form. Complete one form per entry. Entries submitted without the completed entry form will not be processed.
- There is a maximum of two entries per individual.
- Entries must be received by 11.59pm. (AEST) on Sunday September 9; late entries will not be accepted. Express Media take no responsibility for lost or delayed entries.
Terms and Conditions
- The submission guidelines form part of the terms and conditions.
- No more than 10 per cent of the entry material may have been previously published (in print or electronic form) on a commercial basis.
- While previously published authors are eligible, the entry material must not be under consideration with any other publisher (excluding prizes in which a publisher is co-sponsor). Entrants must notify Express Media immediately if their entry ceases to be eligible.
- While the entrant may submit the work in other prizes, the entry material must not have previously been awarded first place in any other prize. If, during the judging process of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, the entry material wins another prize, the entrant must notify Express Media, as their entry ceases to be eligible.
- Scribe Publications has the first option to publish the entry and/or enter into a commercial arrangement with the prize winner, and the prize money may form part of any commercial arrangement. Within six months of the completion of the awarded editorial time, Scribe Publications will let the prize winner know whether it wants to publish the entry and/or enter into a commercial arrangement with the winner for a project based on the material. Should Scribe wish to publish the winning entry or offer the winning writer a contract to develop the work into a longer project, the writer agrees to negotiate in good faith with Scribe Publications to publish the work on reasonable commercial terms, and not to offer the material to another publisher unless or until such good-faith negotiations have taken place. In the event that Scribe Publications decides not to enter into a commercial arrangement with the prize winner, the winner will be free of commitment to Scribe Publications.
- Scribe Publications has the first option to publish the shortlisted entries and/or enter into a commercial arrangement with the shortlisted writers. Within three months of the announcement of the winner, Scribe Publications will let the shortlisted writer know if it wants to publish an entry and/or enter into a commercial arrangement with the shortlisted writer for a project based on the material. Should Scribe wish to publish a shortlisted entry or offer a shortlisted writer a contract to develop the work into a longer project, the writer agrees to negotiate in good faith with Scribe Publications to publish the work on reasonable commercial terms, and not to offer the material to another publisher until such good-faith negotiations have taken place. In the event that Scribe Publications decides not to enter into a commercial arrangement with the shortlisted writer, he or she will be free of commitment to Scribe Publications.
- Entrants warrant that their submission is their own original work; that they are the sole author and owner of the copyright in the entry; that the material has not been previously licensed for exclusive use in any form in any territory; that the material does not infringe any existing copyright or licence or any other third-party rights; that the material does not contain any material in breach of official secrets, confidentiality obligations or any other laws; and that all statements in the entry purporting to be facts are true.
- All members currently serving on the Express Media Management Committee and all paid, permanent staff of Express Media or Scribe Publications are ineligible to enter.
- An announcement of shortlisted entries will be made on the Express Media and Scribe websites and in associated media, and shortlisted entrants will be notified, by 5pm by Friday October 5
- Shortlisted entrants agree to take part in events and media activities to promote the Prize. If your entry is shortlisted, you grant Express Media and Scribe Publications permission to use part of your entry for the purpose of promoting you as a shortlisted entrant.
- Shortlisted entrants will receive personalised feedback from the competition judges once the winner is announced. This feedback may be written or verbal.
- The winner may be notified in strict confidence during October, but must agree to keep this news confidential until the announcement of the winning entry on Friday November 16.
- The judges have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider to be of equal merit, should the situation arise. In this instance, Scribe Publications will provide an editorial mentorship to both winners. The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into.
- The judges may decide not to award the prize if they do not believe any of the entries to be of a suitable standard.
- The 10 hours of editorial time must be completed within 12 months of the awarding of the prize. The meeting with the editor or publisher may occur at the Scribe offices in Brunswick, Victoria, or via phone or Skype, depending on the winner’s preference and location. If the meeting is at the Scribe offices, the winner will be responsible for any associated travel costs.
What is poetry? What makes it different from other forms of art and writing? How do I write and publish my own poems?
Express Media and Australian Poetry present Toolkits: Poetry, an online course in the forms, functions, histories and uses of poetry, combining theoretical approaches, practical exercises, group workshops, and one-on-one mentorship to guide young writers through the development of new work.
Over a 12-week intensive, participants will explore the histories, language and the changing face of poetry, and be challenged to engage with the art form in unique and different ways. The program also covers writing poetry in the digital age, experimental poetry, poetry as a tool to rewrite histories of misrepresentation, writing the self, and how to edit your work for publication.
Toolkits is first and foremost a practical initiative and young writers will be encouraged to write, workshop and edit their writing throughout the course.
In 2018, Toolkits: Poetry will be facilitated by Melody Paloma, an established poet, editor and critic living in Naarm (Melbourne), and author of In Some Ways Dingo (Rabbit). Melody will facilitate the programs online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship and individualised feedback to each young writer.
Participants also have the chance to learn from some of Australia’s best poets, with guest artists Amelia Dale, Jeanine Leane, and Magan Magan presenting live and online sessions for the next generation across the country.
Tuesday August 7 | Week 1: What Is Poetry?
What does poetry actually look like? We’ll focus on the vast and differing forms poetry can take, push pre-conceived notions of what defines poetry and learn to identify what makes an individual poem tick. In our introductory week we get participants excited about the immense scope of this unruly form!
Tuesday August 21 | Week 2: Experimental Book Objects with Amelia Dale
Poetry books aren’t always just paper and text. This week we explore the expansive nature of poetry as object, push the boundaries of the expectations of form and ponder the ways in which we can amplify and make strange of our reading and writing praxis.
Tuesday September 4 | Week 3: Language and Poetry
How does poetry harness language differently than other forms of creative writing? What makes a poem a poem? Why do we write poetry? We’ll discuss varied approaches to reading poetry and why it’s important to be able to identify techniques that make a poem work (and what techniques might make a poem fail) – how being good readers makes us better poets.
Tuesday September 18 | Week 4: Retelling Places, Rewriting Histories with Jeanine Leane
Many Aboriginal writers use poetry as a tool to rewrite histories of misrepresentation, invasive state archives and government reports, the settler media and to 'fill in gaps' and reimagine stolen histories. This week will look at how poetry can be used to tell a story, truth, event or point of view that history has missed out on. In particular, Jeanine Leane will focus on the capacity to give voice to otherwise silenced and/or marginalised voices and unspoken or forgotten histories, secrets or causes.
Tuesday October 2 | Week 5: Writing The Self with Magan Magan
Poetry can be a powerful tool in articulating the self, our histories, traumas and experiences. However, this can often be confronting territory to navigate. How can we use poetry as catharsis while making sure we are still producing good writing? How do we separate the poetic self from the self that holds our stories?
Tuesday October 16 | Week 6: Editing and Publishing Poetry
Learning how to edit your own poetry is an integral part of being a poet, and knowing how to get your work out into the world is essential. We focus on the nitty gritty of how to edit and publish your work as well as practical business like how to get paid. From DIY chapbooks, blogs and zines, sending off that precious manuscript, to the 101 of poetry journals, festivals, readings and getting involved with your community – our final week is all about taking your poetry from your desk to the people. We’ll also be saying a final farewell with an online poetry salon – an opportunity for participants to read and share all their hard work in the comfort of Google Hangouts.
You must be a joint member of Express Media and Australian Poetry to apply for Toolkits: Poetry. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up here.
Express Media is committed to access, so if you would like to sign up and are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to be awarded one of our sponsored memberships.
Have a question? Need help with your application? Send an email to Bethany Atkinson-Quinton, Express Media’s Creative Producer at email@example.com.
Applications are now open and close 11:59pm AEST Sunday 1st July, 2018.