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Chapman wins HGE Ampersand Prize for YA novel ‘What it Takes’

Sydney-based journalist Frances Chapman has won Hardie Grant Egmont’s (HGE) Ampersand Prize for an unpublished manuscript for her ‘vibrant’ YA novel, What it Takes.

Chosen from nearly 200 submissions, What it Takes is an Own Voices LGBTQIA+ novel about 16-year-old Lily, whose band gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it big—sending her on a rollercoaster ride through overnight fame, complicated friendships, and a compelling love triangle.

HGE publishing director Marisa Pintado said: ‘Frances’ novel was an instant favourite among the judging team, and we all loved its exploration of the music world and the push-pull tensions of modern fandom and romantic connection in the age of social media. I can’t wait to share it with readers!’

Chapman said she was ‘honoured and delighted’ to be named the winner. ‘I’ve followed the Ampersand Prize for years, and this is my second time entering. When I started writing the book almost three years ago, I really couldn’t have imagined that this is where we’d end up.’

HGE recently sold German-language rights to former Ampersand Prize winner Rhiannon Williams’ Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt, plus two further books by Williams, to Random House Germany imprint cbj Verlag for an undisclosed ‘record’ sum.

Last year’s winner of the Ampersand Prize was Lisa Siberry for her middle-grade novel Gloop, which will be published in 2019.

HGE will publish What it Takes in 2020.



Category: Awards Junior Local news