13 September 2021

Announcing the 2021 Shortlist for The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

participants at the 2019 prize day laughing and smiling
Shortlisted writers at the 2019 prize day. Photo by Connor Tomas O’Brien.

Express Media is delighted to announce the shortlist for The 2021 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers.

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

Express Media and Hachette Australia are thrilled by the number of entries and by the incredible calibre of the writing submitted. Over 550 submissions were received across three categories; fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, with 15 young writers from across Australia making the shortlist.

The shortlist is decided by external judges appointed by Express Media, with the winners in each category selected by the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers mentor, Danielle Binks, and representatives from Hachette Australia.

The 2021 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers shortlist is:


  • Maya Crombie, Leap Year’s Boy, VIC
  • Parvati Dinesh, Orange Peels, WA
  • Faye Chang, Rush hour,  NSW
  • Hannah Pemberton, 298 Days and One Lagoon, WA
  • Kaylee Jesnoewski, Gubba, WA


  • Miranda Guy, Nanna, TAS
  • Ruby Wiggins, Watching the Wheels Spin, VIC
  • Sienna Boorer, Griefs strange walk, VIC
  • Lara Vincent, What Home Is, TAS
  • Isabella Ferris-Green, Personal Mysticism, QLD


  • Faye Chang, X, NSW
  • Vongai Muhle, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E, QLD
  • Jihad Yassine, Box, NSW
  • Tomm Hunt, the colour, ‘hypothermia’, WA

Prize mentor Danielle Binks had this to say of this year’s shortlist:There’s a ferocious desire to understand the real-world in this year’s entries. A fierce dedication to dismantling the everyday; and even those who have flecks of magic in their writing, there’s a realism still tethering them. Clearly the world has looked more inward and young people are too, with sharp observations of how the personal is political, and our local surroundings are worthy of storytelling sagas. These entrants are sharp and wonderful, and reading them has given me hope and joy to think of what’s to come from Australia’s next and emerging generation of writers.”

Our fifteen shortlisted writers will receive a YA book pack courtesy of Hachette Australia, be invited to participate in an exclusive workshop with Express Media tutors and a special Q&A event with Danielle Binks. 

Prize winners will also receive a $500 cash prize, 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 National Young Writers Festival on Saturday 2nd of October, 2021.

Congratulations to all our shortlisted writers!

For all media enquiries, please contact Magenta Sheridan, Creative Producer, Express Media | creativeproducer@expressmedia.org.au


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