The Banjo, a new prize for Australian fiction writers, has been announced by HarperCollins Publishers Australia.
HarperCollins are looking for exciting new Australian voices telling the sorts of stories that we all love to read – from sweeping family sagas and lush romances, to dark and gritty crime, twisty psychological thrillers, rich historical dramas and contemporary romantic comedies. They are looking for stories that make you laugh and make you cry. Stories that keep you reading late into the night. Stories that make your pulse race. Stories that just can’t be put down.
The Banjo is named after Banjo Paterson, Australia’s first bestselling author. His first collection of poems, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, was published by Angus & Robertson in October 1895 and was an instant success. The first edition sold out in the week of publication and went on to sell over 7000 copies in just a few months.
The Banjo will be offered annually and will be open to all Australian writers of commercial fiction, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, and including an advance of $15,000. Writers need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission. Applications mus also include a synopsis of approximately 500 words and a 200-word biographical statement. Any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter. In partnership with News Regional Media, two runners-up will each receive a written assessment of their manuscript from HarperCollins.
Entries open on Friday 23 March 2018 and close on Friday 25 May 2018.
The Shortlist will be announced on Thursday 26 July 2018 and the winners announced on Monday 13 August 2018.