The Readings Young Adult Book Prize


Lisa Fuller wins the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2020

The winner of this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize is Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller. This terrifying and spooky thriller set in country Australia is a cracking read for ages 14 through to adult.

The judging panel commented: “Readers looking for late-night scares will devour Ghost Bird. Fuller’s debut probes the deep tears in Australian culture, in its peoples and lands. In the forbidden depths of the mountain lies something powerful and terrifying, something that – when disrespected – will come out of the darkness to eat you alive. This is a book that will get under your skin, in more ways than one.”

You can read the full judges' report here.

Congratulations again to the five authors who were shortlisted alongside Fuller: Wai Chim (The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling); Holden Sheppard (Invisible Boys); Katy Warner (Everywhere Everything Everyone); Meg Caddy (Devil’s Ballast); and Susan White (Take the Shot).

Fuller is a Wuilli Wuilli woman from Eidsvold, Queensland, and is also descended from Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka peoples. She is the first First Nations writer to win one of Readings’ three book prizes.

About the Readings Young Adult Book Prize

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

Previous winners of the Readings Young Adult Book Prize include Zana Fraillon (2017), Erin Gough (2018) and Eleni Hale (2019).

Eligibility Guidelines for 2021

  • 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.
  • The work must be published or distributed in Australia through an Australian publisher or the Australian publishing wing of an international publisher as recognised by Readings. Please note that these categories of publisher do not include digital or print-on-demand printers or publishers based in Australia.
  • 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 2021 Prize, books must have been first published between 23 April 2020 and 26 April 2021.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2021 Prize round, this period is from Thursday 23 April 2020, through to 26 April 2021.

Entry Guidelines for 2021

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