The Scribe Nonfiction Prize

Entries are now open for The 2017 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers!

Now in its fifth year, The 2017 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 at Scribe Publications on November 23
  • personalised feedback on their entry from the judges
  • a generous selection of new-release Scribe 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 books tailored to their reading interests.

The shortlist will be selected by Elizabeth Flux (Editor of Voiceworks from 2013 to 2015, writer for Junkee, Metro, The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings), Tim McGuire (Editorial Committee of Voiceworks from 2015 to 2016, writer for The Australian, Big Issue, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging), Julia Carlomagno (Senior Editor, Scribe Publications) and Fiona Dunne (Creative Producer, Express Media). The winner will be selected by Scribe Publications.

Writers will also have the chance to ask their burning question about the prize, and seek advice on what the judges are looking for during a Live Q&A with David Golding and Julia Carlomagno on Thursday August 3 from 6pm. RSVP to stay up to date

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 August 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 10 September.

Read the full submission guidelines and terms and conditions below. 

Ready to submit? 

SUBMIT

The Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers is presented in partnership with Scribe Publications.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Entries open at 9 a.m. Wednesday May 31.
  2. Entries will be accepted in any nonfiction genre, including memoir, journalism, essay, biography, and creative nonfiction.
  3. 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.
  4. The entry must be an original work by the entrant and written in English.
  5. Entrants must be 30 years of age or under as of the closing date, and be residents of Australia.
  6. Both previously unpublished writers and writers who have had a work published with a commercial or not-for-profit publishing house are eligible.
  7. Entries must be neatly typed and double-spaced. Please do not include your name anywhere on the submission.
  8. 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.
  9. There is a maximum of two entries per individual.
  10. Entries must be received by 11.59pm. (AEST) on Sunday 10 September; late entries will not be accepted. Express Media take no responsibility for lost or delayed entries.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The submission guidelines form part of the terms and conditions.
  2. No more than 10 per cent of the entry material may have been previously published (in print or electronic form) on a commercial basis.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 6
  10. 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.
  11. Shortlisted entrants will receive personalised feedback from the competition judges once the winner is announced. This feedback may be written or verbal.
  12. 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 Thursday November 23.
  13. 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.
  14. The judges may decide not to award the prize if they do not believe any of the entries to be of a suitable standard.
  15. 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.