The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers is a developmental award open to Australian secondary school-aged students across the nation.

The prize recognises writing excellence in three categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Entries can include writing for readers of any age.

The Prize is sponsored by Hachette Australia and administered by Express Media, Australia’s peak youth literary organisation. Shortlisted writers get the opportunity to receive mentorship from an established author. In 2022, the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers Mentor is Zana Fraillon!

The Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers gives young writers the opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of some of Australia’s favourite authors. The Prize aims to ignite passion for creative writing and poetry in the minds of Australia’s secondary school students, and to encourage them to pursue writing and publishing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.

On becoming our 2022 Ambassador, Zana says: “I am delighted to be this years ambassador for the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers. I worked for many years in schools before becoming an author, and working with young people to help find their voice is both a treat and honour. There is such a brilliant community of writers in Australia, and welcoming a new generation into that community is an absolute joy. Phillip Pullman famously said  ‘there are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.’ I adore and agree wholeheartedly with this quote, but would go even further, to say that there are some themes, some subjects, too large for adults to write; they can only be dealt with adequately by a young person. I can not wait to see the writing that emerges from the young people submitting their stories to this prize.

The prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $500 courtesy of Hachette Australia
  • publication of their work on the Express Media website
  • their names and an acknowledgement printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal.                                    

All fifteen shortlisted writers will:

  • Be invited to participate in a writing masterclass
  • Attend an exclusive Q&A with Zana Fraillon
  • Receive a book pack of YA Titles courtesy of Hachette Australia

The prize is judged by representatives from Hachette Australia and Express Media.

Submissions are now CLOSED for 2022. Stay tuned for the announcement of our shortlist and winner October 2022

Learn about the 2021 winners and read their work here

Have a question about the prize? Contact Magenta Sheridan, Creative Producer, at



Zana Fraillon | Prize Mentor 2022

Zana Fraillon (she/her) was born in Naarm (Melbourne), but spent her early childhood in San Francisco. Her 2016 novel The Bone Sparrow won the ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children, the Readings Young Adult Book Prize and the Amnesty CILIP Honour. It was also shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Gold Inky and the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her book The Lost Soul Atlas (2020) won the 2020 Aurealis Award for Best Children’s Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2021 Children’s Book Council Award for Book of the Year: Older Readers. She spent a year in China teaching English and now lives in Melbourne with her three children, husband and two dogs. When Zana isn’t reading or writing, she likes to explore the museums and hidden passageways scattered across Melbourne. They provide the same excitement as that moment before opening a new book – preparing to step into the unknown where a whole world of possibilities awaits.

Danielle Binks | Prize Mentor 2021

Danielle Binks is a writer, reviewer, agent and book blogger who lives on the Mornington Peninsula. In 2017, she edited and contributed to Begin, End, Begin, an anthology of new Australian young adult writing inspired by the #LoveOzYA movement, which won the ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children and was shortlisted in the 2018 Gold Inky Awards. The Year the Maps Changed, Danielle’s debut middle-grade novel, was a CBCA Notable Book for Younger Readers 2021, longlisted for the ABIA Book of the Year Award for Younger Children 2021, shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize 2021, shortlisted for the Booksellers Choice Awards Kids’ Reading Guide Book of the Year and longlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2021. The Monster of Her Age will be published by Hachette in August 2021 and is Danielle’s debut YA novel.

Will Kostakis | Prize Mentor 2020

Will Kostakis is a writer of all things, from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers. That said, he’s best known for his award-winning YA novels, including The First Third and The Sidekicks. Most recently, Will has applied his trademark style to the fantasy genre, with Monuments and its sequel, Rebel Gods.


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