Williams wins HGE Ampersand Prize with middle-grade fantasy manuscript
Sydney writer Rhiannon Williams has won Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Prize for an unpublished manuscript for her middle-grade novel ‘Little Ott Colter’.
It’s the first time a middle-grade manuscript has won the award, which is also open to YA titles. Williams’ work was selected from over 160 entries, and a shortlist of five that was announced in December. HGE said this year’s shortlist was ‘very strong’, but ‘with its masterful storytelling and highly visual world-building, “Little Ott Colter” was a firm favourite throughout the judging process’.
‘Little Ott Colter’ is the first book in a planned fantasy trilogy, which ‘follows the journey of twelve-year-old Ottilie, who must disguise herself as a boy to rescue her brother from a secret organisation of monster hunters’.
HGE publisher Marisa Pintado said ‘I knew from the first page that we had an incredibly special debut on our hands’. ‘Rhiannon has threaded a heartbreaking sibling separation into an exciting adventure with terrifying monsters—and done it utterly beautifully. I can’t wait for readers to be kept awake all night by this story like I was!’
HGE will publish ‘Little Ott Colter’ in 2018.