The Richell Prize


Hachette Australia has announced a new Prize for emerging writers, set up in memory of my husband and their former CEO, Matt Richell. Established in partnership with The Guardian and The Emerging Writers’ Festival, The Richell Prize is an exciting new initiative designed to offer financial and practical support to some of the very best unpublished writers working in Australia. It is a fitting legacy for a man who found such joy in nurturing writers and whose untimely death last July devastated so many of us in the book industry. Our hope is that through this annual Prize, many exciting new voices and authors’ careers will be launched and, as Matt’s family, our gratitude to the people involved is boundless.

Writing requires great courage, a leap of faith, intense dedication to the craft and the support and encouragement of others. If you feel you are ready for this support, please take that leap and submit your work to The Richell Prize. You could win $10,000 prize money to assist you with your writing, as well as a one-to-one 12-month mentorship programme with a Publisher at Hachette Australia, to help you shape your manuscript. The Prize also includes the opportunity to have a portion of your work published in The Guardian and attendance at their Guardian Masterclass series.

All the details on how to submit to The Richell Prize can be found here. So please, be brave. The Richell Prize is actively looking for new writing talent and this could be the start of your exciting new career.

You can also read more about The Richell Prize on The Guardian here.

** I would like to personally thank Hachette Australia, The Guardian, The Emerging Writers’ Festival and Razor/Joy for making this Prize possible. I am also immensely grateful to Simpsons Solicitors for assisting The Emerging Writers’ Festival with the administration of the Prize.

21 thoughts on “The Richell Prize

  1. Erica Tonkin says:

    Such a wonderful way to honour your husband, who was passionate about getting new Australian authors published. HIs memory will live on forever and this tribute shows just how important he was in the book industry.

  2. Richard M Kennedy says:

    Such a lovely commemoration of a man who I think championed writing as an art and writers as artists. He surely knew firsthand that authors, particularly young ones, often struggle for their art. Fittingly, in ‘The Richell Prize’ their is recognition of man who stood up for those that might otherwise have gone unseen. I know your family will find great pride and I hope a measure of joy in this beautiful remembrance.

  3. PM Hansen says:

    Hi Hannah – I have a question in relation to the eligibility to apply for this award. I’ve been writing for a couple of years now. Trying to break into the market is really really difficult as an unknown voice. So as of late last year I went down the self-publishing path, and have now self- published (as e-books only) the first two novels in an epic historical fiction/heroic fantasy series I’m writing based on Greek Mythology (

    The competition here looks awesome – and I’m really interested in giving it a go (I wish it was up and running earlier).

    I’ve had a look at the terms of the competition and points 3 and 5 state as follows:

    3. You must be an unpublished writer (publication in the form of anthologies, blogs, short story
    collections or literary journals do not exclude you from entering).

    5. Writers who have had a full-length work published by a commercial publishing house cannot
    be considered.

    However, the issue of self-publishing (in the form of e-books) is not specifically mentioned/covered. It seems to fall into the crack between you can have published but not by a commercial publishing house.

    Could you advise if being a self-published would still allow me to enter?

    Many thanks
    PM Hansen

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi there – thanks for your interest in the Prize. You can email: info @ (no spaces before or after the @ sign – just done here to avoid spamming them). They will be able to confirm your eligibility. Good luck!

      • Hannah Richell says:

        ‘Yes’ you can enter a self-published work. I’ve just spoken with the Publishing Director at Hachette. The eligibility guidelines will be altered to state this. I’m sorry you had a bit of a run around to get the information. Good luck with your entry. H.

      • PM Hansen says:

        Hi Hannah – thanks for your response again. However, I’m now a bit confused. I finally got a response from the Emerging Writers Festival this morning, and their response is different than yours:

        In response to your query, only authors who have had a full-length work published by a commercial publisher are ineligible for the Richell Prize. Self-published writers are still eligible, however, the work submitted for consideration to the prize must be previously unpublished.

        So you as a self-published writer can still enter but please do not send work that has already been self-published.

        Hope this clarifies things!
        Best of luck,

        Any thoughts?


      • Hannah Richell says:

        Sorry PM Hansen, I’ve just checked again with Hachette. What EWF has told you is correct. You can enter, but you will need to submit an unpublished work (yes, that rules out your self-published work) because the Prize is about mentoring someone and helping them with a work in progress. Sorry for my confusion.

  4. JoyceSanders says:

    Help. I am desperate to get help to send in a Richell Prize entry by 1 June but I can’t find any contact for anyone who can help me. Even the entry form is a riddle: you are required to put your name on it, but it tells you you are not allowed to put your name on it!!!! Help!

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Joyce, do you have an email address? If you can share this with me I will ask someone at Hachette to contact you to clarify. In the meantime, my understanding is that you enter your name and contact details on the online entry form, but the pdf you upload alongside this (containing your three chapters and synopsis etc) should not contain your name, so that the reading of your writing can be done blind. Best, Hannah

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