The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers awards unforgettable opportunities to Australian secondary school students, across the categories of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction

The prize is judged by John Marsden, Express Media and Hachette Australia.

Fifteen shortlisted writers will be invited to meet John Marsden and participate in an exclusive workshop with a best-selling author.

Prize winners will also receive a cash prize and a book pack of YA titles, courtesy of Hachette Australia, plus publication of their work on the Express Media website and acknowledgement in Australia's premier youth literary journal, Voiceworks.

The prize will be presented in a special event at the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival on Thursday August 31, 2017.

How to Enter

  1. All entries must be received by 9am, Friday June 30, 2017
  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. Your name should not be included anywhere on your submission; it should only be entered in the submission form
  8. 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
  2. Entries must not have previously been published in print or online
  3. The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into about the judgements or the judging process
  4. Only shortlisted entrants will receive feedback on entries
  5. All members currently serving on the Express Media board; and/or all paid, permanent staff of Express Media, are ineligible to enter
  6. Entrants must have permission from a parent/guardian/teacher to enter the prize  
Note: Entrants must acknowledge and agree to these terms upon submission. Parent/guardian/teacher of the entrant must confirm permission for entry upon submission.

Prize Details

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 workshop with best-selling author ********
  • 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
  • A $500 travel reimbursement to attend the winners’ announcement event
  • A book pack of selected works from Hachette Australia’s young adult publications
  • Publication on Express Media's website
  • Acknowledgement in Voiceworks, Australia's premiere youth literary journal

For more information please email education@expressmedia.org.au

What we're looking for

We are looking for longform fiction works between 7,000 and 10,000 words

We are open to self-contained works to be published in a single issue, as well as episodic stories suited to serialised publication across multiple issues. We encourage submissions of various fiction styles, be that ‘literary’, genre (sci-fi, mystery, historical, etc.), and work that blurs the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction. We will, naturally, smile upon funny writing, and work that experiments with style and form.

We are not looking for fanfiction, hard-boiled crime, romance, screenplays, play scripts or children’s literature.

We accept submissions to all areas of the magazine at all times. Those seeking to submit stories shorter than 3000 words, nonfiction, poetry or visual art, please see the separate submission categories. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Lucy Adams here.

Submission guidelines

—We will accept work between 7,000 and 10,000 words.

—We are only able to publish writers who are under the age of 25 (that is, 24 and under) at the time of submission.

—We only accept work by people living in Australia (including international students) or by Australians living overseas.

—We only consider previously unpublished work.

—We will accept work simultaneously submitted to prizes or other publications, so long as you contact us as soon as possible if your work is shortlisted on editor@expressmedia.org.au.

—We will accept no more than two submissions per person.

Deadline

Sunday the 14th of May, 11:59pm

Rates of pay

$300 per published piece.

Editing and feedback

As always, submissions will be read blindly by our editorial committee, and published submissions will go through a rigorous, collaborative editing process. The number we publish, be that a bunch or none, will all depend on the work submitted.

If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can. If you think something has gone wrong, or you haven’t heard back from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback on longform fiction submissions. For those who are unfamiliar with Voiceworks, we provide individualised feedback on all unsuccessful submissions to the quarterly journal. This work is done by a bunch of volunteers, whose evenings and weekends are already filled to the brim with providing support to the hundreds of writers who submit work each issue. If you’re keen to get some feedback on your writing, then you should totally submit (shorter) work to our upcoming issue. Further details can be found on our Contribute page.

Terms of publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media website, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions to all areas of the magazine at all times. Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Lucy Adams here.

We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish Australian writers and artists. However, international students are excepted from this.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. 

If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Nonfiction Guidelines

We recommend that you pitch your nonfiction work before sending it to us. For advice on how to construct your pitch, and write good nonfiction in general, check out our handy nonfiction guide here. Send no more than two nonfiction pieces (including pitches), each no more than 3000 words. If you are submitting two completed nonfiction pieces, please upload them both in this submission (as two separate documents), rather than creating a second completed nonfiction submission.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit nonfiction pitches, fiction, poetry and visual art, please see the separate submission categories. 

Deadline

Sunday the 25th of June, 11:59pm

Theme

#109 'Sprawl' (Spring 2017)

sp         spr                    spr                    spra                  spraw                sprawl   sprawllllllllllllllllllll

Welcome to the process of suburbanisation. Join the tour of Outer (Sub)Urban Car-mmunities. When the centre is no longer the centre, watch the rise of multiple, alternate centres: the geographic centre, the second centre, the CBD, the heartland. Leapfrog development—you’ve jumped over this landlock/you’re locked out of that land. The horizon’s been chased and followed and eaten up, pushed to the sidelines, pulled back and shot off into the distance. All you can do is watch on as you move your heart outwards, mismatch your socks, dream of a tube that sprints underneath you. All limbs are akimbo, spreadeagled to catch your fall. Feel the ground push up against every part of your body, the earth pulsing, pulse quickening, fingertips that stretch apart like a boat pushed away from its dock. The reef is dying, its whiteness widening, and soon there’s only rubble seen from space. On public transport they save room for cats, knees spread apart and open backpacks spilling contents across the aisle. The afternoon plods on, minutes refusing to pass.

~Thanks to EdCommers Phoebe Paterson de Heer and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing. Our motto is:

—Themed work: good

—Good work: better

—Good themed work: BEST 

Rates of Pay

$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media website, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions to all areas of the magazine at all times. Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Lucy Adams here.

We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish Australian writers and artists. However, international students are excepted from this.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. 

If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Fiction Guidelines

Send no more than two fiction pieces, each no more than 3000 words. If you are submitting two stories, please upload them both in this submission (as two separate documents), rather than creating a second fiction submission.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit nonfiction, poetry or visual art, please see the separate submission categories. 

Deadline

Sunday the 25th of June, 11:59pm

Theme

#109 'Sprawl' (Spring 2017)

sp         spr                    spr                    spra                  spraw                sprawl   sprawllllllllllllllllllll

Welcome to the process of suburbanisation. Join the tour of Outer (Sub)Urban Car-mmunities. When the centre is no longer the centre, watch the rise of multiple, alternate centres: the geographic centre, the second centre, the CBD, the heartland. Leapfrog development—you’ve jumped over this landlock/you’re locked out of that land. The horizon’s been chased and followed and eaten up, pushed to the sidelines, pulled back and shot off into the distance. All you can do is watch on as you move your heart outwards, mismatch your socks, dream of a tube that sprints underneath you. All limbs are akimbo, spreadeagled to catch your fall. Feel the ground push up against every part of your body, the earth pulsing, pulse quickening, fingertips that stretch apart like a boat pushed away from its dock. The reef is dying, its whiteness widening, and soon there’s only rubble seen from space. On public transport they save room for cats, knees spread apart and open backpacks spilling contents across the aisle. The afternoon plods on, minutes refusing to pass.

~Thanks to EdCommers Phoebe Paterson de Heer and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing. Our motto is:

—Themed work: good

—Good work: better

—Good themed work: BEST 

Rates of Pay

$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media website, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions to all areas of the magazine at all times. Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Lucy Adams here.

We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish Australian writers and artists. However, international students are excepted from this.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. 

If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Pitching to Voiceworks

Before submitting your pitch/es, we strongly recommend reading our nonfiction guide here, which has advice on what we look for in nonfiction submissions and how to write good nonfiction in general. Here's the bit on how to construct your pitch:

The best pitches include detail! Clearly lay out your angle and argument, and provide specific examples of the research and anecdotes you’ll draw upon. Submit a document addressing the questions below, along with a 300-word sample from the start of the piece if you have one.

  • What is your key point or argument?
  • What is your particular angle to take?
  • What is the logical and structural progression of your piece?
  • Why are you the person to write this piece? Personal experience, willingness to research, etc.
  • If you need evidence, where did you get it from? What research have you conducted?
  • Why Voiceworks?
  • How long is the piece going to be?

If your pitch is selected

If we think the work you pitched would be a good fit for Voiceworks, we will (ideally) get in touch around two weeks after the pitch deadline. We’ll provide advice and direction on how to approach the piece, and request a full draft to be submitted around three weeks later. This isn’t very much time! Because of the tight turnaround, we prefer pitches that demonstrate some prior research, preparation and thought, so that you’re not scrambling to research and write an entire piece from scratch in a matter of weeks.

Just to be clear, the full drafts we request are not guaranteed publication, but responding to our suggestions early on gives your piece the best possible chance. 

Nonfiction Guidelines

Send no more than two nonfiction pieces (including pitches and completed pieces). If you are submitting two pitches, please upload them both in this submission, rather than creating a second pitch submission.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit completed nonfiction, fiction, poetry and visual art, please see the separate submission categories. 

Deadline

Sunday the 11th of June, 11:59pm

Theme

#109 'Sprawl' (Spring 2017)

sp         spr                    spr                    spra                  spraw                sprawl   sprawllllllllllllllllllll

Welcome to the process of suburbanisation. Join the tour of Outer (Sub)Urban Car-mmunities. When the centre is no longer the centre, watch the rise of multiple, alternate centres: the geographic centre, the second centre, the CBD, the heartland. Leapfrog development—you’ve jumped over this landlock/you’re locked out of that land. The horizon’s been chased and followed and eaten up, pushed to the sidelines, pulled back and shot off into the distance. All you can do is watch on as you move your heart outwards, mismatch your socks, dream of a tube that sprints underneath you. All limbs are akimbo, spreadeagled to catch your fall. Feel the ground push up against every part of your body, the earth pulsing, pulse quickening, fingertips that stretch apart like a boat pushed away from its dock. The reef is dying, its whiteness widening, and soon there’s only rubble seen from space. On public transport they save room for cats, knees spread apart and open backpacks spilling contents across the aisle. The afternoon plods on, minutes refusing to pass.

~Thanks to EdCommers Phoebe Paterson de Heer and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing. Our motto is:

—Themed work: good

—Good work: better

—Good themed work: BEST 

Rates of Pay

$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media website, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions to all areas of the magazine at all times. Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Lucy Adams here.

We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish Australian writers and artists. However, international students are excepted from this.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. 

If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Poetry Guidelines

Please send no more than three poems, each no more than 100 lines in total, and combine all poems into one document. Check out some tips for strengthening your poetry submission here.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit fiction, nonfiction and visual art, please see the separate submission categories. 

Deadline

Sunday the 25th of June, 11:59pm

Theme

#109 'Sprawl' (Spring 2017)

sp         spr                    spr                    spra                  spraw                sprawl   sprawllllllllllllllllllll

Welcome to the process of suburbanisation. Join the tour of Outer (Sub)Urban Car-mmunities. When the centre is no longer the centre, watch the rise of multiple, alternate centres: the geographic centre, the second centre, the CBD, the heartland. Leapfrog development—you’ve jumped over this landlock/you’re locked out of that land. The horizon’s been chased and followed and eaten up, pushed to the sidelines, pulled back and shot off into the distance. All you can do is watch on as you move your heart outwards, mismatch your socks, dream of a tube that sprints underneath you. All limbs are akimbo, spreadeagled to catch your fall. Feel the ground push up against every part of your body, the earth pulsing, pulse quickening, fingertips that stretch apart like a boat pushed away from its dock. The reef is dying, its whiteness widening, and soon there’s only rubble seen from space. On public transport they save room for cats, knees spread apart and open backpacks spilling contents across the aisle. The afternoon plods on, minutes refusing to pass.

~Thanks to EdCommers Phoebe Paterson de Heer and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing. Our motto is:

—Themed work: good

—Good work: better

—Good themed work: BEST 

Rates of Pay

$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media website, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.