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HarperCollins Publishers announces shortlist for the inaugural Banjo Prize

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

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

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.

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

For more information please visit:

About HarperCollins
HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With nearly two hundred years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in over 30 languages, and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Miles Franklin Award, the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize.


August 14, 2018


HarperCollins Publishers announces shortlist for the inaugural Banjo Prize