The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction


Sam Carmody wins the 2017 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

The winner of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2017 is The Windy Season by Sam Carmody!

All at once a mystery, a family drama, and an examination of masculinity and violence, as well as a meditation on Australian coastal landscapes, The Windy Season demands attention and a place in our literary cannon.

The book was chosen by a panel of Readings booksellers, along with guest judge award-winning author and screenwriter Christos Tsiolkas.

Tsiolkas says: ‘Carmody has an instinctive grasp of narrative and character – he knows exactly how to tell a story – but what impresses most is the clarity of his voice. The dissection of masculinity, the understanding of the layers of caste and history that dominate outback life, the descriptions of working life at sea – all of this is conveyed with economy and precision and brings the world of the novel alive. Carmody had me hooked from the get-go. And he kept reeling me in. The Windy Season is a very impressive achievement.’

You can read the full judges’ report here.

The Windy Season is Carmody’s first novel, and as this year’s winner, he receives prize money of $3000.

This year’s shortlist was characterised by originality, great voice and beautiful prose. Alongside The Windy Season, it included Australia Day by Melanie Cheng, The Lost Pages by Marija Peričić and From the Wreck by Jane Rawson, Jean Harley Was Here by Heather Taylor Johnson and The Good People by Hannah Kent.

You can read more about this year’s shortlist here.

We’re pleased to offer the entire shortlist in a specially priced bundle for $139.95 (was $169.86).

About 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.

Previous recipients include Zoë Morrison for her debut novel Music and Freedom, Stephanie Bishop for her second novel The Other Side of the World and Ceridwen Dovey for her fiction collection Only the Animals.

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 (Readings Hawthorn), Ellen Cregan (Readings Doncaster), Deborah Crabtree (Readings Carlton) and Jan Lockwood (Human Resources Manager). A guest judge will join the panel to select a winner once the shortlist has been decided.

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.
  • 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