The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

About the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

Established in 2014, The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction (originally known as the Readings New Australian Writing Award) supports published Australian authors working in fiction, and recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature. The Prize aims to increase the promotion and commercial success of books by Australian authors, earning them greater recognition from the wider community. First or second published works of fiction are eligible, and in 2016 the winner will receive prize money of $4000.

Previous recipients include Ceridwen Dovey for her fiction collection, Only the Animals, which the judges described as, ‘one of the boldest Australian short-story collections in recent years’, and Stephanie Bishop for her novel, The Other Side of the World, which the judges described as, ‘a significant and exciting contribution to the Australian literary canon’.

The Prize in 2016

Each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a revolving panel of Readings staff. 2016 judges include Alison Huber (Head Book Buyer), Nina Kenwood (Marketing Manager), Chris Gordon (Event Manager), Tom Hoskins (Shop Manager of Readings at the State Library Victoria) and Simon McLean (Buyer at Readings Hawthorn). Managing Director Mark Rubbo will join the panel to select a winner once the shortlist has been decided, along with this year’s guest judge Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean heritage. She is the author of two poetry books, as well as an award-winning collection of fiction, Foreign Soil. Her memoir The Hate Race, and her first children’s picture book The Patchwork Bike, will both be released later this year. Prize Manager Bronte Coates says, ‘We’re absolutely delighted that Maxine has agreed to be our guest judge. Her advocacy for new and exciting writing in Australia, as well as her passion for supporting emerging and early-career writers makes her a natural match for our Prize.’

The 2016 shortlist will be announced at midday on Tuesday 23 August.


Eligibility Guidelines for 2016

  • The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction is open to a work of published fiction that may be a novel, a verse novel or a collection of short stories by a single author.
  • The author must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency at the time of entry.
  • The book must be the author’s first or second published work of fiction only.
  • Books published only in e-book form are not eligible to be entered.
  • Self-published works are not eligible to be entered.
  • Entries must be published in English.
  • Authors must be living at the date of publication.
  • To be eligible for the 2016 Prize, books must have been first published between 23 July 2015 and 22 July 2016.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2016 Prize round, this period is from Thursday 23 July 2015, through to Friday 28 October 2016.
  • Authors who win the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2016

There is no process for entering the Prize. The judging panel, comprised of experienced Readings’ staff, will decide on eligible titles and invite respective publishers to submit no more than seven reading copies of the nominated book for Prize consideration throughout the eligibility period.


Enquiries should be directed to the Prize Manager Bronte Coates at