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The Ampersand Project

Since 2011, Hardie Grant Egmont has reserved a special corner of our YA list for publishing debut novels. We call it the Ampersand Project because we love to work collaboratively with writers, and we get really, ridiculously excited about it.


Melissa Keil’s debut novel, Life in Outer Space, is the first book we’ve ever signed up through the Ampersand Project – and we can’t wait to publish lots more. If you’re serious about a career in YA fiction, then we’re serious about you.


The Ampersand Project runs annually, and this coming year, submissions will open on Saturday 1st February 2014, and close at midnight on Friday 28th February 2014. We’re looking for YA manuscripts from unpublished writers across all genres. See below for submission guidelines.


Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates, or check back here. For regular writing tips and great industry links, check out our awesome tumblr. Media queries should go to HGEpublicity@hardiegrant.com.au.


Submission guidelines

The Ampersand Project is open to YA manuscripts across all genres and word-counts. Manuscripts can be any length, though 50–80,000 words is a good fit for the YA market.

To be eligible for the Ampersand Project, writers should not have already published a YA novel under their own name with a mainstream trade publisher.


Writers should send their submissions to ampersand@hardiegrant.com.au. A complete submission must contain the following three items as separate documents:


1. Your cover sheet, with the following information:

  • Author name
  • Project title
  • Genre(s)
  • Word count
  • Two-sentence pitch of your novel
  • A short author bio


2. A one-page synopsis, that gives a clear indication of plot and character development.


3. Your full manuscript, formatted as follows:

  • A4 page-size in a 10 to 12-point readable typeface (think Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, etc.) and double-spacing. No Comic Sans or Monotype Corsiva, please.
  • Include page numbers.
  • Include the title of your manuscript in the header or footer of your document.
  • Do not include your own name anywhere on the manuscript itself, as submissions are read blind.

 Please note:

  • Announcements of signed authors will be made each year during the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne, and a notice will be put in the Weekly Book Newsletter.
  • Eligibility for this collection is at the editors’ discretion.
  • We can only accept one submission per writer.
  • Due to the number of submissions, the Ampersand editors may be unable to give personalised feedback as to why a manuscript isn’t suitable for this collection.
  • Partial manuscripts will not be considered, nor will incomplete submissions.
  • If you are ineligible for the Ampersand Project, you are still welcome to query us via our unsolicited submissions page.

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