28 July 2017

Announcing the 2017 Shortlist for The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

Express Media is delighted to announce the shortlist for The 2017 John Marsden and Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers.

Now in its eleventh year, The John Marsden and Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers is a unique developmental award that recognises excellence in creative writing from Australian secondary school students.

Express Media and Hachette Australia was thrilled by the number of entries and by the incredible calibre of the writing submitted. Over 630 submissions were received across three categories; fiction, nonfiction and poetry, with 15 young writers from across Australia making the shortlist.

The award is judged by author and Express Media patron, John Marsden, and representatives from Express Media and Hachette Australia.

“A passion for writing was clearly evident in every submission. Our 2017 shortlisted writers explored some truly fascinating and creative ideas, showing a creative maturity well beyond their years,” Rafael Ward, Express Media’s Schools Program Producer, said.

The 2017 John Marsden and Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers shortlist is:


  • Catherine Wang (VIC), The Colour Red
  • Rose Forrest (NSW), A Stretching Summer
  • Lydia Schofield (VIC), Graffiti
  • Lilian Cao (NSW), The Western Dog
  • Leyla Boztas (VIC), Endo/Symbiosis


  • Noa Abrahams (VIC), Embracing Scoliosis
  • Keeley McCaffrey (VIC), ADHD: My Unspoken Secret
  • Angela Chen (VIC), From, From?
  • Leona Ngo (NSW), Two Parts of a Whole
  • Paul Huynh (VIC), I Know


  • Tahlia McConochie (QLD), You find me
  • Freya Cox (TAS), A Pot from Damascus
  • Emily Henby (NSW), Tech-Tonic Wasteland
  • Stella Theocharides (VIC), Saturnalia
  • Maz Howard (SA), victim blaming

Our fifteen shortlisted writers will be invited to a special event to meet John Marsden and also participate in an exclusive creative writing workshop with Mark Brandi, one of Australia’s most exciting debut novelists.

Prize winners will also receive a $500 cash prize and a book pack of YA titles, courtesy of Hachette Australia, publication of their work on the Express Media website plus their names and an acknowledgement printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal.

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

Congratulations to all our shortlisted writers!