HarperCollins Publishers Australia is delighted to announce that entries for the 2020 Banjo Prize are open!

HarperCollins launched The Banjo Prize in 2018 in a quest to find Australia’s next great storyteller. The inaugural winner was Tim Slee, whose poignant, sharply funny and uniquely Australian novel Taking Tom Murray Home was published by HarperCollins in July 2019.  The 2019 winner was Elizabeth Flann’s incredibly tense Australian thriller Beware of Dogs, to be published in September 2020.

Read more about 2018 winner, Tim Slee

Read more about 2019 winner, Elizabeth Flann

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. Two runners-up will each receive a written assessment of their manuscript from HarperCollins.

Applicants are required to submit a full manuscript of adult commercial fiction, a 500-word synopsis and a 200-word biographical statement. Any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter.

HarperCollins Commercial Fiction Publisher Anna Valdinger said, ‘There are many prizes for literary fiction out there, but there aren’t many unpublished manuscript prizes for people who just love to tell a great story. But if you’re inspired by writers like Jane Harper, Kate Morton, Holly Ringland, Dervla McTiernan, Michael Robotham, Liane Moriarty or Jojo Moyes, and you’ve written a novel which is crime, historical fiction, a great family saga, domestic noir, uplit or psychological thriller – then we’d love you to enter the Banjo Prize in 2020! We’re looking for that thing that all readers love – a story we simply can’t put down. So, please, send us your manuscripts!’


Entries open: 9.00am AEDT Monday 23 March 2020

Entries close: 5.00pm AEST Friday 29 May 2020

Shortlist announced: Tuesday 1 September 2020

Winners announced: Tuesday 22 September 2020


Please check the FAQ page if you have questions about entering The Banjo Prize. Click here to view the Terms and Conditions.



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