Opportunities for manuscripts

In the ongoing round of Premiers’ Awards, Queensland just announced their winners. Coetzee got the fiction gong for Summertime.

The Qld awards are great for having a big number of categories including short story collection (there can’t be too many of these!) which Karen Hitchcock won for Little White Slips.

They also have an emerging writer manuscript award which is great. Not all emerging writers are under 35 and can go in for the Vogel.

ABC books did run an unpublished novel competition for a number of years but, unfortunately, they stopped publishing fiction.

Recently Text Publishing has established a YA manuscript comp but this is open to both published and unpublished writers, nevertheless they should be given credit for providing a space for getting ms noticed.

(This year’s Text award was won by Jane Higgins for a post-apocalyptic action novel The Bridge and last year’s winner Leanne Hall’s This Is Shyness has just come out to good crits.)

Credit should also be given to CAL and Scribe for their fiction prize “for an unpublished manuscript by an Australian writer over 35, regardless of publication history”. Again emerging writers are up against established authors, and the fact that CAL/Scribe are doing this shows how hard it is for anyone to get literary fiction published in this country.

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