Short-List for 2021 Manuscript Prize

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Judges have announced the Short-List in the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize for 2021.

The number of entrants trebled after the success of the 2020 competition, which saw four publishing contracts awarded. Two of those recipients – Khaiah Thomson and Nicole Kelly – this year joined the judging panel to help determine the top three place-getters.

The winner of this year’s competition receives an editing and coaching package valued at $2,500, as well as the possibility of a publishing contract.

Director Hawkeye Publishing, Carolyn Martinez, emphasised the value of being included on short and long-lists.

“A competition long or short-list can be just as valuable to a writer’s career as a win,” Martinez said. “When Hawkeye Publishing is open for unsolicited submissions, a manuscript that has been professionally edited, or won any competition credits, signifies to us that the writing has been vetted and approved, and goes to the top of the reading pile.”

Congratulations to this year’s Short-List Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize:

  • Annerleigh Pappos for Dimitri on the Overpass
  • Barry McErlean for Ghost Train & The Scarlet Moon
  • Fay Patterson for Empathy
  • Gabriella Kelly-Davies for Breaking Through the Pain Barrier
  • Gabrielle Davis for The Road to Freedom
  • Jennifer Grubb for Impact
  • Lindsay Bamfield for The Place Between
  • Timo Bozsolik-Torres for Project Scaevola
  • Troy Henderson for Head Grenade

All the very best luck to each of you for the next round!

Judges now undertake the rewarding task of deciding a winner, second and third place from amongst all nine excellent manuscripts. The winning manuscript will be announced on 16t March 2021.

“Those who’ve missed out will be understandably disappointed. We later provide judges’ comments on individual manuscripts to all entrants, and a writer can take that knowledge and use it to their advantage,” Martinez said.

The potential for authors to develop their manuscripts and improve their standing is evidenced this year by the inclusion of Breaking Through the Pain Barrier in the short-list. Kelly-Davies’ biography of trailblazing Australian pain medicine researcher Dr Michael Cousins AO was long-listed in 2020 and has this year successfully cracked the short-list.

Editor and Judge, Nita Delgardo, noted the varied genres of this year’s short-list. “High-quality writing is not genre dependent,” Delgardo said. “Genres in this year’s short-list span young adult, speculative faction, speculative fiction, sci-fi thriller, biography, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fantasy, and crime thriller.

For those who prefer a shorter writing challenge, Hawkeye is also home to the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition which allows up to 1,000 words per entry. The theme for 2021 is ‘courage’, with entries closing 1 August 2021.

Carolyn Martinez

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