The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction


The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist 2016

We’ve announced this year’s shortlist for The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction!

The six books shortlisted for this year’s Reading Prize tell stories of complicated families, of relationships good and bad, of desire and ambition, humour and heartbreak, identity and loss. The shortlist includes two short-story collections and four novels, and their settings range from South Australia in 1835 to Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2008, with an extraordinary diversity of places and people in between.

The six shortlisted books are…

Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh
The High Places by Fiona McFarlane
Music and Freedom by Zoë Morrison
Wood Green by Sean Rabin
Ruins by Rajith Savanadasa
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

You can find our judges' comments on the six shortlisted books here. You can learn more about our six shortlisted authors here, and you can also meet four of them at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival – as part of our New Australian Fiction series.

We’re also offering a specially priced pack of the entire shortlist for $139.95 (was $170.86).

The Readings staff judges for this year’s Prize – Tom Hoskins, State Library Victoria shop manager; Christine Gordon, events manager; Alison Huber, book division manager; Nina Kenwood, marketing manager; and Simon McLean, Hawthorn book buyer – felt that the quality of the eligible books was extremely high, which is testament to the depth of emerging talent in Australian literature.

The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction winner 2016

Managing director Mark Rubbo and celebrated author Maxine Beneba Clarke will join this judging panel to select the winner from the six shortlisted books. 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 winning author will be announced at a special event on Tuesday 18 October, be featured in the November issue of the Readings Monthly, and will receive prize money of $4000.

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’.

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