About The Ampersand Prize
Every two years, the team at Hardie Grant Egmont throws open the doors for the Ampersand Prize and puts out the call for manuscripts by unpublished writers. The Ampersand Prize aims to find brilliant debut novels by writers of young adult and middle-grade fiction. If we fall in love with a manuscript, the writer receives an advance against royalties, a publishing contract, and full editorial development to bring their book to market.
Since its launch in 2012, the Ampersand Prize has become the premier award for debut novelists in Australia and New Zealand. Previous winners include Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space), Erin Gough (The Flywheel), Cally Black (In The Dark Spaces) and Rhiannon Williams (Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt). The most recent winner, Lisa Siberry, published her winning middle-grade novel, The Brilliant Ideas of Lily Green in 2019.
The Ampersand Prize is open to young adult and middle-grade novels across all genres. To be eligible for the Ampersand Prize, writers should not have already published a novel for these audiences with a trade publisher anywhere in the world.
Writers should enter their complete submissions as one combined PDF or Word document via the submission portal.
To be considered eligible, submissions MUST contain these four items in the following order:
1. A cover sheet, with the following information:
- •Author name
- •Author’s postal address
- •Project title
- •Word count
- •Two-sentence pitch of your novel
- •A short author bio
- •If this is the second time submitting the project, a short explanation of how it has changed.
2. A one-page synopsis, that presents a clear indication of all key plot points and character development. And YES, you have to give away the ending!
3. A 100-word overview of why you wrote your manuscript. This can include information such as where your inspiration came from, why you wanted to tell this particular story, whether it’s an own-voice manuscript, and so on.
4. Your full manuscript, formatted as follows:
- •A4 page-size in a 10 to 12-point readable typeface (think Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, etc).
- •Manuscripts should be double-spaced.
- •Include page numbers.
- •Include the title of your manuscript in the header or footer of your document.
Need further info? Check out the submission guidelines.
If you have any questions about the Ampersand Prize, you can email Hardie Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will respond as soon as they can.