The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction


The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction (originally known as the Readings New Australian Writing Award) was established in 2014 and recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature. First and second published works of fiction are eligible

Every year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a revolving panel of Readings staff. Once the shortlist has been decided, a guest judge then joins the panel to select a winner. The Prize is awarded to the work of highest literary merit.

Previous winners of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction include Ceridwen Dovey (2014), Stephanie Bishop (2015), Zoë Morrison (2016), Sam Carmody (2017) and Jennifer Down (2018). Find all of their winning books here.

The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2019

Staff judges for this year include Alison Huber (Readings Carlton), Amanda Rayner (Readings Carlton), Sharon Peterson (Readings St Kilda) and Chris Gordon (Readings' Event Manager).

Our 2019 guest judge is Jennifer Down. Down is the author of two critically acclaimed fiction books – the novel Our Magic Hour, and the story collection Pulse Points, which won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction last year.

The 2019 shortlist has been announced. The six shortlisted titles are:

The winning book will be revealed in late October. This year, the winning author will receive prize money of $3000.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2020

  • The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction is open to a work of published fiction that may be a 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.
  • Second or subsequent books in a series will not be considered.
  • 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.
  • Authors who win the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.
  • To be eligible for the 2020 Prize, books must have been first published between 21 July 2019 and 21 July 2020.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2020 Prize round, this period is from 21 July 2019, through to 31 October 2020.

Entry Guidelines for 2020

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 three reading copies of the nominated book for Prize consideration throughout the eligibility period. Further copies may be requested if the book is shortlisted.


Enquiries should be directed to the Prize Manager Bronte Coates at