The Penguin Literary Prize, launched in 2017, was established to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. Penguin Random House is proud to count more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors as part of the Penguin Random House family – this prize offers aspiring authors from across the nation the opportunity become part of that family, and to have their work discovered and brought to booksellers and readers everywhere.
Justin Ractliffe, Publishing Director of Penguin Random House Australia & New Zealand, launched the opening of submissions by saying, “It’s always a pleasure to launch the Penguin Literary Prize each year and to discover brilliant new writers. I particularly look forward to working with the judging panel on the at times robust, but always stimulating and rewarding, process of determining the winner. It’s an honour to be trusted with the work of these emerging voices and I’m excited to see what this year’s submissions bring.”
Since its launch the Literary Prize has received an incredible number of submissions, approximately 400 each year, exploring an array of themes and genres. Previous winners include Hitch by Kathryn Hind, published June 2019 and awarded the Betty Trask Award in 2020, The Spill by Imbi Neeme, published June 2020 with rights sold in Germany and Estonia, The Rabbits by Sophie Overett, published July 2021 with rights sold in the UK and Denizen by James McKenzie Watson, to be published in July 2022.
On winning the award, Mckenzie Watson said, “I know it’s a cliché, but winning the Penguin Literary Prize has been life changing, and it’s so exciting to think that there’s an unpublished novelist out there who’s going to have their life changed as well in 2022. The fact that Penguin Random House is using their flagship literary prize to reward bold and daring new voices is something that should excite every unpublished novelist in Australia. Now is the time for brave and authentic storytelling, and this is a competition that will reward that bravery in a profound way.”
Of the publishing process, Overett stated, “‘Winning the Penguin Literary Prize was the start of an incredible journey for me, both professionally and personally, and having the opportunity to work with the wonderful team at Penguin Random House Australia has been creatively invigorating in a way I never could have anticipated. It’s been a process of guidance and support, collaboration and championing, and through that, I’ve not only gotten to see my book on shelves around the country, but feel like I’ve really grown as a writer. It’s the rare opportunity that every aspiring author dreams of.”
The Glass Community is full of amazing writers and we strongly encourage all students to apply! Submissions are now open to all Australian residents aged 18 and above.
Submissions will close at 11:59 pm AEDT on Tuesday 14 December 2021. Entries can be submitted via the Penguin website – https://www.penguin.com.au/literaryprize
The Prize value is $20,000 and the opportunity to publish with Penguin Random House Australia.
A shortlist will be revealed on Friday 11 March 2022, with the winner announced on Wednesday 15 June 2022.