The Banjo Prize Shortlist is here!

HarperCollins Publishers Australia is thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 2018 Banjo Prize.

In its inaugural year, The Banjo Prize received over 320 entries from around Australia. Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction at HarperCollins, 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.’

HarperCollins Australia launched The Banjo Prize for Australian fiction writers this year in a quest to find Australia’s next great storyteller. The Banjo is open to all Australian writers of commercial fiction, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000. In partnership with News Regional Media, two runners-up will each receive a written assessment of their manuscript from HarperCollins.

Applicants were required to submit a full manuscript of adult commercial fiction, a 500-word synopsis and a

200-word biographical statement.


Without further ado, here is 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



The winner of the 2018 Banjo Prize will be announced on 31 August.




Posted on August 13, 2018 by

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"The Banjo Prize Shortlist is here!"2 thoughts on
    Laura-Jane Musgrove says:

    Congratulations guy. Good luck.

    Kylie Lamey says:

    Congratulations to Gregory James for making the shortlist. Your family and friends have told you all along what a talented writer you are, now hopefully you will believe it. Your book already has a waiting list once published so take heed and finish writing your second one. You are already a winner. Good Luck!!

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