The Ampersand Prize for Debut Children’s and Young Adult Novels

Created by Hardie Grant Children's Publishing in 2012, the Ampersand Prize is awarded biennially to an extraordinary debut manuscript for children or young adults. The Ampersand Prize will open again on 1 July 2024 for submissions from unpublished authors in Australia and New Zealand. 

The winning author will receive a publishing contract with an advance against royalties, and rigorous editorial development to bring their book to market.

The Ampersand Prize judging team is passionate about uncovering brilliant debut novels and bringing fresh voices to the world. Over more than a decade, Ampersand has launched the careers of numerous bestselling, multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed authors, many of whom have gone on to publish their books around the world.

The most recent Ampersand Prize winner, Elisa Chenoweth, will publish her debut novel, Maria Pentranelli is Prepared for Anything (Except This), in July 2024.

You can find our full submission guidelines here

Key dates:

  • Submissions open: 1-31 July 2024
  • Shortlist announced: October 2024
  • Winner announced: November 2024

Previous Ampersand Winners

“Maria“IntoTim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick BluesStars Like UsThe brilliant ideas of Lily GreenOttilie Colter and the Narroway HuntIn the Dark SpacesThe Flywheel



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