The Richell Prize shortlist, and The Emerging Writer’s Festival
Literary prizes and festivals help new and emerging, as well as established writers earn money and get publicity and exposure. They allow writers to interact with each other, with readers, with publishers. Festivals across Australia and the world, such as the Emerging Writer’s Festival, The Sydney Writer’s Festival and The Edinburgh International Book Festival all promote a wonderful world of literature that cannot be replaced by anything, and show that people value the written word.
In 2014, Matt Richell, CEO of Hachette, died suddenly, and a literary prize for has been named in his honour. Matt Richell believed in investment and support for new writers, and believed investment in new writers was vital for the future. The prize is in place to encourage and nurture emerging writers in Australia. It is open to unpublished adult fiction and non-fiction. In 2016, Michaela Maguire, the director of The Emerging Writer’s Festival, Hannah Richell, author and reviewer, Karen Ferris, a bookseller at Harry Hartog, Lucy Clark, Senior Editor at The Guardian, Australia and Vanessa Radnidge, a Hachette Australia Publisher, are the judges for the Richell Prize. The five books on the short list for this year’s prize are:
The Illusion of Islands by Andrea Baldwin
Dark Tides by Emma Doolan
The Clinking by Susie Greenhill
The Rabbits by Sophie Overett
Gardens of Stone by Susie Thatcher
The applicants submitted the first three chapters of their work, and a synopsis, and the winner receives $10,000, and a mentorship with a Hachette publisher. Hachette will work with the winning writer to develop their novel and be the first to consider the work for publication. I am eager to see who wins this prize, as it would be a great achievement for them and their career, and also, for Australian literature.
The winner will be announced in an awards ceremony on the 28th of September 2016. I hope to be able to post something on this blog about the recipient and review their book when it comes out.
The Richell Prize is organised by The Emerging Writer’s Festival, Hachette Australia, The Guardian Australia and Simpson Solicitors. Most literary prizes are aimed at already published books, but prizes like this that give encouragement and mentorship to emerging writers are wonderful to have in the literary world.
The Emerging Writer’s Festival is an organisation based on supporting emerging writers in Australia. They nurture new voices and talent and encourage diversity in the stories. In the current climate and uncertainty of the fate of the Australian publishing industry in light of the Productivity Commission, organisations like this, which is non-profit, are beneficial to new and emerging writers.