The Readings Young Adult Book Prize


Erin Gough wins the 2018 Readings Young Adult Book Prize

The winner of this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize is Erin Gough for her second young adult novel, Amelia Westlake.

This wonderful novel about two girls who devise an elaborate hoax to bring down a sexist teacher is both an entertaining rom-com, and a timely exploration of feminism, privilege and power for readers 12 and up.

Guest Judge and author Melissa Keil says: ‘ Amelia Westlake struck a chord with this reader, not solely because of its biting social commentary and blisteringly relevant, timely themes, but because of its delightful execution. Erin Gough’s writing is steeped in humour, wit and warmth, and deftness of touch that allows her characters to navigate the ups and downs of a romantic comedy narrative, while at the same time finding their way through the complex, thorny issues that the novel raises.’

You can read the full judges’ report here.

Congratulations again to the five authors who were shortlisted alongside Gough: Clare Atkins, Claire Christian, Sarah Epstein, Kate O’Donnell and Emily Suvada. You can read individual judges' comments for each of the shortlisted titles here.

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize in 2019

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize was established in 2016 and celebrates exciting emerging voices in Australian young adult literature. First and second published works of young adult fiction and memoir are eligible, and the Prize is awarded to the best new contribution to Australian young adult literature.

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 panel will also take feedback from the Readings Teen Advisory Board into consideration. In 2019, the winning author will receive prize money of $3000.

2019 judges include Dani Solomon (Readings Kids), Georgia Phelan (Readings Doncaster), Carrie Croft (Readings Doncaster) and Kate O’Mara (Readings Hawthorn).

Eligibility Guidelines for 2019

  • The Readings Young Adult Book Prize is open to published works of young adult memoir and fiction.
  • Young adult fiction may a novel, a novella, a verse novel or a collection of short stories by a single author.
  • Young adult memoir may be original, or a young reader’s edition of an adult memoir.
  • 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 young adult fiction only. The author may have published books in other areas.
  • Second or subsequent books in a series will not be considered.
  • Co-authored works will only be considered if all contributing authors fit our guidelines.
  • 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 Young Adult Fiction will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.
  • To be eligible for the 2019 Prize, books must have been first published between Thursday 26 April 2018 and Wednesday 24 April 2019.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2019 Prize round, this period is from Thursday 26 April 2018, through to Friday 26 July 2019.

Entry Guidelines for 2019

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