5 October 2023

Announcing the 2023 winners of The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

Express Media and Hachette Australia are excited to announce the winners of the 2023 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers – Grace Sweet, Abhinav Ravi, and Fig Russon Jorgenson!

In the seventeenth year of this prize, we received an incredibly high calibre of entries from talented young writers across Australia. The fifteen shortlisted pieces each spoke to a unique and honed approach to form and practice, and the three winning pieces will be published on the Express Media website within the coming week.

FICTION: ‘Paper Plates’ by Grace Sweet (QLD)

NONFICTION: ‘Fragmented Reflections: South Asian-Australian Identity‘ by Abhinav Ravi (NSW)

POETRY: ‘girlfish’ by Fig Russon Jorgenson (VIC)

Ambassador and prize mentor Pip Harry says about the winning entries:

‘The winner in the Fiction category is ‘Paper Plates’ by Grace Sweet. This was an unforgettable portrait of an Australian town devastated by years of severe drought. Written with restraint and a lack of sentimentality. Tense, taut and full of haunting sentences capturing the heat, dust and desperation of the farmers forced to kill their stock due to unrelenting climate change. A twist ending is lined with hope and humanity.  

The winner in the Non-fiction category is ‘Fragmented Reflections: South Asian-Australian Identity’ by Abhinav Ravi. The judges were absolutely captivated by this wonderfully honest and brave personal essay that examines sexuality, identity, self-acceptance and belonging. It was thoughtful, moving writing that blended the personal and the universal. 

Lastly, the winner in the Poetry category is ‘girlfish’ by Fig Russon-Jorgenson. The judges loved the clear, precise imagery in this poem which examined themes of re-birth and our connection to the sea with beautiful and unexpected language choices. Well done and congratulations to all the winners!’ 

Each winner receives $500 courtesy of Hachette Australia, publication of their work on the Express Media website, a book pack of YA titles courtesy of Hachette Australia, as well as their names and an acknowledgement printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal. 

Honourable mentions were also awarded in each category, recognising the breadth of high quality work submitted to this year’s prize:

FICTION: ‘Senseless’ by Iluka de Visser (QLD)

NONFICTION: ‘Aftermath of Dear Mum and Dad’ by Micah Santos (NSW)

POETRY: ‘The Prologue of My Childhood’ by Jasmine Cullen (WA)

The prize was announced and presented at the National Young Writers Festival and the announcement showcase will soon be available on their YouTube Page.

For all media enquiries, please contact August Moulang | info@expressmedia.org.au