Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2024

Competition Details

Writing Competition Details

This will be the fifth Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize. The annual prize has proven fertile ground for uncovering new and emerging talent, with eight titles from previous Hawkeye Prizes published, and five more soon to be released.

The Hawkeye Prize Winner’s Package is valued at $3,500. Additionally, all manuscripts longlisted and shortlisted are announced on our website and in our enews, and all entrants in the Hawkeye Prize receive judges’ comments!

The Hawkeye Prize Winner receives Author Coaching, a Structural Edit and a Line Edit with the structural edit kindly sponsored by Brisbane Writers Workshop, and line editing and author coaching sponsored by Hawkeye Publishing.

Competition closes 6PM Friday 15 December 2023
Maximum 80,000 words.

$45AU Entry Fee

*The entry fee is required to administer the lengthy assessment process. Entrants will receive judges’ feedback on their submission.

Hawkeye Publishing may offer the winner a publishing contract. (Note: this is not a guarantee of publication, but the possibility of). Previous winners and short-listed entrants who are published by Hawkeye include Welcome to Blackwood, Lament, and  Breaking Through the Pain Barrier, Between Before and After, Returning to Adelaide, Wellworth, Magnus Nights, The Ghost Train and the Scarlet Moon, and What If You Fly (previously titled Coffee & Peaches), with more still in production, including Moontide, and The Road to Freedom.

Read Long-List Announcement for last year’s manuscript competition.

Read last year’s short list announcement.

Read last year’s winner’s announcement.

(Sponsorship Opportunities Available – Contact Carolyn)

Hawkeye Publishing extends a huge thank you to our Sponsor, Brisbane Writers Workshop, for provision of the winner’s Structural Assessment.

Brisbane Writer’s Workshop has over 100 published titles to their portfolio of edited works.

Brisbane Writers Workshop Lauren Daniels
BA MFA Creative Writing

Author Coaching and Line Editing supplied by Hawkeye Publishing.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Authors of commercial Adult and Young Adult fiction and non-fiction written in English can apply.
  • Manuscripts submitted by applicants must be their own original, unpublished work and should be strong commercial fiction, including but not limited to contemporary women’s fiction, science fiction, romance, crime and YA, or commercial non-fiction, including but not limited to memoir, biography, history, self-help, business.
  • The following types of work are not eligible:
    • Poetry and plays.
    • Works intended for the academic  market.
    • Cookery manuscripts.
    • Travel diaries (Note: travel memoirs written creatively for a commercial market are eligible).
  • Manuscripts for adult fiction and non-fiction must be a maximum of 80,000 words in length.
  • Emerging and established writers are invited to apply.
  • Entry to the program is open to applicants world-wide who write for an English-speaking audience.

Applicants must be aged 18 years or older.

Competition Process

Entry and Assessment Process

  • Applicants must submit a 300-word synopsis (include genre and full manuscript word-count), the first 30 pages of their manuscript, and a one-page plan demonstrating to judges that the applicant understands their audience, knows how to reach them, and can successfully market their book.
  • Manuscripts must be formatted as per industry standard – 12-point Times New Roman font. The first line of each paragraph should be indented, the text should be 1.5 line spaced with at least 3cm margins, and aligned left.
  • Applicants must provide one PDF that has been saved as the name of the novel and contains in this order, the 1-page synopsis, then the 1-page marketing plan, then the first 30 pages of the novel. E.g.: If the book is called Sunday’s at Grandma’s, then the PDF submitted should be saved as SundaysAtGrandmas.pdf
  • Your manuscript and synopsis must not include your name or any identifying marks to enable the ‘blind’ judging process.
  • Synopses should be 1.5 line spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman. Please see Queensland Writers Centre’s Writing a Synopsis resources for tips.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a completed application form and the entry fee.
  • Applicants may enter more than one manuscript; however, each submission must be accompanied by its own application form and entry fee.
  • Judges are looking for exceptional writing and story telling, originality, and viability of your book in the marketplace.
  • Applicants must submit a full-length draft of their manuscripts within 72 hours of being notified they are a finalist.
  • The winner will be announced in April 2024.


Meesha Whittam is a recent writing graduate and publicist from Adelaide. Her obsession with books started at an early age and she has since pursued a career in the industry. She has been part of Hawkeye for two years and loves working with them to elevate emerging authors and their wonderful books. 

Gabrielle Davis is an author and sometimes-lawyer from Brisbane. Her debut novel, Road to Freedom, was shortlisted in the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Competition in 2020 and 2021. She has since signed on with Hawkeye and is working on the following two books in the series. While she writes in the young adult fantasy genre, Gabrielle enjoys reading every type of genre from every country.

Camile Booker is an author, teacher, and PhD student. She has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and is currently pursuing her PhD, also in creative writing. Her debut novel, What If You Fly?, was longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize in 2019, was runner up in the Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize in 2020, and was published with Hawkeye in 2021. Her second novel, The Woman In The Waves, was shortlisted for the 2023 Varuna/Affirm Press Mentorship Award, runner up in the 2023 CYA Conference Competition, won the Grand Prize of the Mystery/Thriller category of the 2022 Book Pipeline Unpublished Competition and the 2023 Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize, and will be published with Hawkeye in 2024. In 2022 she completed the exclusive Curtis Brown Creative Six Month Online Novel Writing Course and she now teaches creative writing at the University of Wollongong.

Entry Form

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions

By entering a manuscript in the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize – a writing competition – you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions.

  1. Entries close 6PM Friday 15 December 2023.
  2. The maximum word limit is 80,000 words.
  3. Entries can be non-fiction, fiction, or fiction inspired by true events.
  4. The winner receives Author Coaching, Structural Edit & Line Edit on submitted manuscript. 
  5. Entry is online only. Attach your entry as a .pdf file via the entry form (left). Please provide 1 PDF that’s titled with the name of your manuscript and contains the following in this order:  SYNOPSIS, MARKETING PLAN, and the FIRST 30 PAGES OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT.
  6. Entries must be the original work of the applicant and must not be published in any form or currently offered for publication.
  7. If you prefer your book published under a pseudonym, there is an optional field on the entry form.
  8. Entrants are welcome to submit more than one manuscript. There is no limit on number of entries. A separate entry form, and separate entry fee of $45AU (incl. GST) must accompany each entry.
  9. You must acknowledge any quotes from other writers that you use.
  10. Staff of Hawkeye Publishing and the nominated judges and their family members are not eligible to enter the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize.
  11. Entrants must be aged 18 years and over.
  12. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with either the judges, or the staff as to the winning decision.
  13. The winning author may be offered a publishing contract with Hawkeye Publishing, but this is not guaranteed.
  14. The winner will be required to participate in media-related events associated with the competition.
  15. By supplying your contact details you agree to us sending you opt-out correspondence.
  16. Hawkeye Publishing will make all reasonable attempt to fulfil the Prize Package by 31 December 2024.
  17. The author agrees to work productively, openly and efficiently with the Structural Editor, and Editor to achieve a quality manuscript. The author acknowledges that the prize package includes industry professionals in their respective fields.