Winners: Hawkeye Manuscript Prize

Hawkeye Publishing is thrilled to announce the winner and place-getters in the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2021. Thank you to all who entered – we appreciated and enjoyed that there was a diverse range of stories submitted across genres. We can now attest that there are tremendously interesting storylines percolating in creative minds across our country, with writers at varying stages of learning the technical aspects of their craft. We encourage all who entered to continue storytelling.

In fourth place, congratulations to Gabrielle Davis from West End in Queensland for her historical fantasy – The Road to Freedom.

Third place honours to Gabriella Kelly-Davies from Mosman in NSW for Breaking Through the Pain Barrier, the biography of a trailblazing Australian pain medicine researcher and clinician who pioneered novel pain treatments.

Second place goes to the well-deserved Barry McErlean from Ferny Grove in Queensland for Ghost Train and the Scarlett Moon, a coming-of-age speculative faction set in Brisbane.

And unanimously voted first place, congratulations to Fay Patterson from Norwood in South Australia for her riveting science fiction manuscript – Empathy.

Photo of Fay Patterson, author or Empathy, and winner of the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2021.
Fay Patterson winner of the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2021.

Empathy is a science fiction story written for women, that the author said she had to write despite being repeatedly told that women don’t read science fiction.

“For years I had the opening scene and closing scene in my head,” Fay said. “When I turned 40 I decided I had to write the book to find out what happens in between.”

While celebrating the long list in this prize, then the short list, Fay heard her PhD was approved. “I just can’t wipe the grin off my face right now,” she said when Director of Hawkeye Publishing, Carolyn Martinez, called with the news of her first place.

Fay, pen name Fay Lee, wins $2,500 of structural editing, line editing and author coaching, and will be considered for a publishing contract with Hawkeye.

First cab off the rank, Fay will meet with Lauren Daniels, the Director of Brisbane Writers Workshop, who sponsors the structural report. Lauren has over 90 published books credited with her exceptional editing skills. The structural report that Fay will receive about Empathy will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Empathy as it stands, offering guidance on finessing the manuscript ready to be considered for a traditional publishing contract.

Fay, and Empathy, are then handed over to the Director of Hawkeye Publishing, Carolyn Martinez, who will assess Empathy’s readiness for publication, conduct a line edit, and plan with Fay the best pathway to publication, guiding her each step of the way.

An exceptional opportunity for an emerging author.

“In the narrowed local marketplace brought on by Amazon’s domination, it’s difficult for emerging authors to be noticed by traditional publishers,” Carolyn Martinez said. “It gives a real sense of community and purpose here at Hawkeye to be able to offer this opportunity to writers.”

Lauren Daniels agrees. “When Hawkeye’s Manuscript Development Prize publishes the long and short lists and asks previous winners to contribute to the judging of the current prize, we see a whole community of Australian authors step forward,” she said. “I’m thrilled to sponsor such an inclusive endeavour and gladly offer my skills to help shape the winning work for the market.”

“It’s not only the winner we look at for publishing contracts,” Carolyn Martinez said. “As we speak, our submissions editor is reading through all of the manuscripts rated in the top 25% of the judges’ scores.”

In coming weeks, all entrants can expect to receive short feedback on judges’ comments to their manuscript, something rarely offered in competitions. Please be patient, the number of entrants makes this a considerable task.

Hawkeye Publishing extends a special thank you to guest judges Khaiah Thomson, author of Welcome to Blackwood, Nicole Kelly, author of Lament, Nita Delgardo, Hawkeye’s submissions editor, and Ned Hudswell, QUT Creative Industries Intern.

The Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize is an annual competition.

Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize 2022

Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition 2021

Short-List for 2021 Manuscript Prize

Long-List for 2021 Manuscript Prize

Recommended writing resource for all writers: Winning Short Story Competitions, Essential Tools for the Serious Writer by Lauren Daniels and Cate Sawyer.

20 comments to “Winners: Hawkeye Manuscript Prize”

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  1. Peter Long - March 16, 2021 Reply

    Congratulations place-getters and Fay on your win in the Hawkeye Manuscript Prize. What an achievement! Congratulations, also, to the Hawkeye Team and judges for your marvelous contribution to Australian Literature. I look forward to reading the outcome.
    Pete Long

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 16, 2021 Reply

      Thanks Pete. We had a wonderful phone conversation with Fay. A lovely lady, who’s humbled and excited to have won. I’m looking forward to working with her on her manuscript. Everyone who short- and long-listed should be proud of themselves and their manuscripts. Many wonderful stories. Cheers, Carolyn

  2. Hazel Barker - March 16, 2021 Reply

    Hi Carolyn, When do non-winners get feedback on their work submitted? I understood that it was part of the agreement.

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 16, 2021 Reply

      Hi Hazel – Yes, now that the winners are announced we will commence emailing all who entered. But please bear with us. It’s a lengthy process to email all entrants and does take us some weeks to get to everyone. Kind regards, Carolyn

  3. Lillian - March 17, 2021 Reply

    Congrats! A great competition and opportunity for the writers involved. Fay’s manuscript definitely sounds well deserved, absolutely looking forward to reading it one day.

  4. Cherie - March 24, 2021 Reply

    Hi Carolyn, Thanks very much for sending the judges’ feedback. It will certainly help me in attempting to improve this story.
    I’d like to let you know how much I appreciate you and Hawkeye for offering new writers this competition. I’m sure everyone who entered felt they wanted to tell a story and then, like me, wondered what to do with it. Your competition, and the feedback provided, is inspiring.
    Kind regards, Cherie

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 24, 2021 Reply

      Thanks so much for your kind words Cherie.

  5. Ross - March 24, 2021 Reply

    Many thanks for constructive criticism and also for your support of writing in Australia! Best wishes, Ross

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 24, 2021 Reply

      We appreciate your kind message Ross. All the best with your manuscript. Cheers, Carolyn

  6. Timo - March 25, 2021 Reply

    Thanks so much for the feedback, that’s very helpful (also general kudos that you’re handing this out to participants, from all I’ve heard that’s a rare thing)! I’m definitely taking this into account.
    I’ve talked to publishers before and, as a new author, always felt that I couldn’t really get their attention. Getting on the shortlist really opened a door for me, and I guess that was only possible because you give all manuscripts an equal chance, no matter where they come from. So thanks a ton for running this competition!

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 25, 2021 Reply

      Thanks Timo. I’m sure it won’t be long before we see your name on a cover. A short-list in this field is a significant achievement. Cheers, Carolyn

  7. Christine - March 25, 2021 Reply

    Many thanks for sending me feedback. It is much appreciated and I will certainly be going through my manuscript with the advice received. Christine

    • Carolyn Martinez - March 26, 2021 Reply

      Good luck with your review Christine. And thank you for sharing your very interesting work-in-progress with us. Cheers, Carolyn

  8. Adam - April 6, 2021 Reply

    Hi Carolyn thank you for the feedback and to be honest i actually was quite thrilled with the score I got especially for my first attempt and never receiving any formal training. Do you know of any writers groups? A lot of people I have shown aren’t writers themselves. It was difficult trying to get constructive criticism. Thankyou

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 6, 2021 Reply

      Hi Adam, This is a resource that I highly recommend to you. Whilst it’s a writing guide for short stories, the content and examples are applicable to all good writing, and it has excellent content on giving and receiving critiques, and networking within writing groups to position for mutually beneficial critiques.

      In terms of finding the right writing groups, my suggestion is to talk to your local library, and state writing centre, to find contacts for all the ones local to you, and try them out. You’ll find some won’t gel for you, but you’ll find one that does. It’s incredibly beneficial to develop those beta reader connections – not everyone can afford structural editors, and developing networks with writing peers for critiquing is free. Critiquing, when done well, is an integral part of a writer’s process. Kind regards Carolyn

  9. Lillian - April 6, 2021 Reply

    Hi Carolyn, Thanks so much for your email. In entering the competition, I didn’t expect to place at all and being long listed was incredibly rewarding in itself. I’d like to thank you as well for sharing the judges feedback, and for letting me know you’ve also enjoyed what you have read of my manuscript. I would love the opportunity to review Brunswick Street with the judges feedback in mind, and will send through the reviewed manuscript when I’m confident it is up to standard. All the best.

  10. Jane - April 6, 2021 Reply

    Dear Carolyn, Thank you for sending this feedback, I appreciate it. Also, thank you to Hawkeye for providing opportunities for publication. I was disappointed but I will keep at it. All the best.

  11. Lisa - April 8, 2021 Reply

    Hello Carolyn, Congratulations on a successful competition. I will watch out for the winners’ work! And thank you and the judges for the short feedback. It is indeed rare to receive that in a competition yet could make all the difference for the writers. I am delighted to be above the midway mark and will take a fresh eye to my characterisation. Good pick up! All the best

  12. Anne - April 8, 2021 Reply

    Hello Carolyn, Thank you for your email, and for your insight and kind encouragement.
    I am indeed celebrating with alternating rounds of high-fiving and pinching myself!
    My imposter syndrome may be vanquished yet! Thanks again for taking the time to consider my work and provide feedback. I’ve been working in the dark and you’ve flicked on the light!

  13. Nicole Taylor - April 21, 2021 Reply

    Hi Carolyn, Thank you to both you and the judges for the positive feedback. It is wonderful to know my manuscript is on the right track.

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