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Article  •  9 November 2021


Submissions open for the 2022 Penguin Literary Prize

We're on the lookout for aspiring authors wanting to tell their story.

Aspiring authors are now invited to enter the 2022 Penguin Literary Prize, a competition to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors.

Since launching in 2017, the prize has offered writers from across the nation the opportunity to become part of the Penguin Random House family. 

Publishing Director Justin Ractliffe said each year it was a pleasure to launch the Penguin Literary Prize and discover brilliant new writers.

'I particularly look forward to working with the judging panel on the at times robust, but always stimulating and rewarding, process of determining a winner,' he said.

'It's an honour to be trusted with the work of these emerging voices and I'm excited to see what this year's submissions bring.'

Since its launch, the Literary Prize has received about 400 submissions each year, exploring an array of themes and genres.

Previous winners include Hitch by Kathryn Hind, published June 2019 and awarded the Betty Trask Award in 2020, The Spill by Imbi Neeme, published June 2020 with rights sold in Germany and Estonia, The Rabbits by Sophie Overett, published July 2021 with rights sold in the UK and Denizen by James McKenzie Watson, to be published in July 2022. 

McKenzie Watson said winning the Literary Prize was 'life changing'. 

'It's so exciting to think that there's an unpublished novelist out here who's going to have their life changed as well in 2022,' the author said. 

'The fact that Penguin Random House is using their flagship Literary Prize to reward bold and daring new voices is something that should excite every unpublished novelist in Australia. Now is the time for brave and authentic storytelling, and this is a competition that will reward that bravery in a profound way.'

Overett said winning the prize was the start of an incredible journey, both personally and professionally.

'Having the opportunity to work with the wonderful team at Penguin Random House Australia has been creatively invigorating in a way I never could have anticipated,' she said. 

'It's been a process of guidance and support, collaboration and championing, and through that, I've not only gotten to see my book on shelves around the country, but feel like I've really grown as a writer. It's the rare opportunity that every aspiring author dreams of.'

Submissions are open to all Australian residents aged 18 and above. Submissions will close at 11.59pm AEDT on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. 

The prize value is $20,000 and the opportunity to publish with Penguin Random House Australia. 

A shortlist will be revealed on Friday, March 11, 2022, with the winner announced on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. 

Entries can be submitted via the Penguin website


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