Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize

Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2025

Competition Details

The Hawkeye Manuscript Development 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.

Competition closes 6PM AEST
Friday 13 December 2024
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 BlackwoodLamentBreaking Through the Pain BarrierBetween Before and AfterReturning to AdelaideWellworthMagnus NightsThe Ghost Train and the Scarlet Moon, Moontide, and What If You Fly (previously titled Coffee & Peaches), with more still in production, including Road to Freedom.


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.

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  • Manuscripts submitted by applicants must be their own original, unpublished work and should be strong commercial fiction, including but not limited to contemporary women’s fiction, science fiction, romance, crime and YA, or commercial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 and business.

  • The following types of work are not eligible:
  • Poetry
  • Comic Books

  • 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.

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 Sundays 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.

  • The synopsis 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 storytelling, 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 2025.


Meet our 2023 Hawkeye Prize judges!

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 the team 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.

Our 2024 judges are yet to be announced.

Our Sponsors

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.

Author Coaching and Line Editing supplied by Hawkeye Publishing.

Lauren Daniels

Director Brisbane Writers Workshop

BA MFA Creative Writing

Entry 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.

Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize Entry Terms and Conditions 2024

Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2024

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