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. The Prize 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. The Prize is awarded to the work of highest literary merit.

Previous recipients include Sam Carmody for his evocative and stirring debut novel, The Windy Season (2017), Zoë Morrison for her powerful tale of one woman’s live, Music and Freedom (2016), Stephanie Bishop for her stunning second novel, The Other Side of the World (2015), and Ceridwen Dovey for her utterly original fiction collection, Only the Animals (2014).

The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2018

Each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a revolving panel of Readings staff. 2018 judges include Mark Luffman (Hawthorn), Ellen Cregan (Doncaster), Deborah Crabtree (Carlton) and Jan Lockwood (Human Resources Manager). Once the shortlist has been decided, Tony Birch will join the panel to select a winner.

Birch is a renowned academic, author and educator of Aboriginal, West Indian and Irish descent. Widely loved by readers and critically acclaimed, last year he became the first indigenous writer to win the Patrick White Award. His latest book is Common People.

The 2018 shortlist will be announced in late August, with the winner to be decided by late October. The 2018 winner will receive prize money of $3,000.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2018

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To be eligible for the 2018 Prize, books must have been first published between 23 July 2017 and 22 July 2018.
  • 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 2017, through to Friday 28 October 2018.
  • Authors who win the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2018

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