John Marsden prize renamed Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers
Hachette and Express Media have confirmed YA author Will Kostakis will take over from John Marsden as mentor of the 2020 John Marsden/Hachette Australia Prize for Young Australian Writers, which is now known as the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers.
‘We are delighted to announce the prize is to be renamed as the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers to represent the renewed and increased investment from its principal sponsor to discover and grow the next generation of authors,’ Express Media general manager Lucy Hamilton told Books+Publishing.
In 2014 Hachette Australia came on board as the partner and sponsor of the developmental prize, which recognises writing excellence from secondary school–aged students across fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Previously, the prize had been funded by children’s author and teacher Marsden since 2005. In mid-2019 Marsden received criticism following a radio interview during which he made controversial comments about bullying.
‘John Marsden continues to champion Express Media and we and the many young writers who have benefitted from his writing knowledge and workshops over the last sixteen years thank him for this support,’ said Hamilton.
The 15 writers shortlisted for the prize receive the opportunity to be mentored by Kostakis and to attend a Q&A with the author. The winners in each category will receive $500, publication of their work on the Express Media website, and will have their names and an acknowledgement printed in Express Media’s literary journal Voiceworks.
Kostakis and Hachette head of children’s publishing Jeanmarie Morosin will also be on the judging panel for this year’s prize, for which entries are now open. For more information see the Express Media website.