The quest for the next great Australian storyteller continues as HaperCollins releases the shortlist for The Banjo Prize.
The Banjo Prize is a new literary prize open to Australian writers of commercial fiction. The prize was established with the goal of uncovering exciting new Australian voices telling the kind of stories people love to read. Unforgettable stories – addictive page-turners that are impossible to put down. Think sweeping epics, historical dramas, family sagas, heart-stopping romances, compelling mysteries and dark psychological thrillers.
Authors submitting manuscripts for The Banjo Prize must be over 18 and have a finished original manuscript. The hope is that the winner may be the next Colleen McCullough, Bryce Courtenay, Judy Nunn, Di Morrissey, Jane Harper, Kate Morton, Graeme Simsion, Liane Moriarty or Matthew Reilly.
Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction at Harper Collins, commented on the breadth of talent displayed in the shortlist.
‘It has been so wonderful to have received just so many entries to our inaugural Banjo Prize – big thanks to everyone who entered! It was exciting to feel like we were tapping into a reservoir of undiscovered writing talent out there in Australia. With such a wealth of entries, it’s been difficult to narrow it down to the top five manuscripts, but we’re thrilled with this shortlist. These five writers have so much potential, and each of their manuscripts – a gritty outback crime story, a pacy mystery, a comic bushranger caper, a gripping police procedural and a compelling country tale – offer something intriguing, different and appealing.’ – Catherine Milne
320 manuscripts were submitted and from these the following five titles were selected for the shortlist:
Bordertown by Gregory James
Nothing Gold by Ruth McIver
Burn by Tim Slee
When Secrets Come to Light by Sonya Spreen Bates
Bail Up by Monissa Whitely
One of these shortlisted titles will be win the first ever Banjo Prize, which means the author will receive a publishing contract as well as an advance of $15,000.
The winner will be announced on the 31st of August.
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Category Manager for Children's and Young Adult Books. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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