AustLit logo
Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction
or Readings New Australian Fiction Award. ; or The Readings New Australian Writing Award ; or New Australian Fiction Prize
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Founded in 2014, the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction is awarded for an author's first or second book, and recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature.

It is open exclusively to works of fiction.

The inaugural name of the award was 'The Readings New Australian Writing Award'.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Lucky's Andrew Pippos , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2020 19895660 2020 single work novel

'Lucky's is a story of family. A story about migration.

'It is also about a man called Lucky. His restaurant chain. A fire that changed everything. A New Yorker article which might save a career. The mystery of a missing father. An impostor who got the girl. An unthinkable tragedy. A roll of the dice. And a story of love, lost, sought and won again, (at last).' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon Smart Ovens for Lonely People Elizabeth Tan , Sydney : Brio Books , 2020 18436130 2020 selected work short story

'Conspiracies, memes, and therapies of various efficacy underpin this beguiling short-story collection from Elizabeth Tan.

'In the titular story, a cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life. Four girls gather to celebrate their underwear in ‘Happy Smiling Underwear Girls Party’, a hilarious take-down of saccharine advertisements.

'With her trademark wit and slicing social commentary, Elizabeth Tan’s short stories are as funny as they are insightful. This collection cements her role as one of Australia’s most inventive writers.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon The Glad Shout Alice Robinson , South Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2019 15410416 2019 single work novel

'After a catastrophic storm destroys Melbourne, Isobel flees to higher ground with her husband and young daughter. Food and supplies run low, panic sets in and still no help arrives. To protect her daughter, Isobel must take drastic action.

'The Glad Shout is an extraordinary novel of rare depth and texture. Told in a starkly visual and compelling narrative, this is a deeply moving homage to motherhood and the struggles faced by women in difficult times.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Pulse Points : Stories Jennifer Down , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017 11679894 2017 selected work short story

'The characters in Jennifer Down’s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators. 

'In the award-winning ‘Aokigahara’, a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye. In ‘Coarsegold’, a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere. In ‘Dogs’, Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat. In ‘Pressure Okay’ a middle-aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter.' (Publication Summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon The Windy Season Sam Carmody , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2016 9508107 2016 single work novel

'From an impressive new voice in Australian literature, a novel where safe harbour seems always just out of reach.

'Sam Carmody is a real literary talent, with an artist's inquiring mind and a natural feel for the beauty and toughness of language. Charlotte Wood, author of the award-winning The Natural Way of Things

'A young fisherman is missing from the crayfish boats in the harsh West Australian coastal town of Stark. There's no trace at all of Elliot, there hasn't been for some weeks and Paul, his younger brother, is the only one who seems to be active in the search. Taking Elliot's place on the boat skippered by their troubled cousin, Paul soon learns how many opportunities there are to get lost in those many thousands of kilometres of lonely coastline.

'Fierce, evocative and memorable, this is an Australian story set within an often wild and unforgiving sea, where mysterious influences are brought to bear on the inhospitable town and its residents.' (Publication summary)

Works About this Award

y separately published work icon Bonus Episode : The Readings Prize For New Australian Fiction Shortlist 2018 Chris Gordon (interviewer), Melbourne : Readings , 2018 23468132 2018 single work podcast interview

'Events manager Chris Gordon chats about this year's Readings Prize For New Australian Fiction shortlist with Ellen Cregan, chair of the judging panel.'  (Production summary)

y separately published work icon The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction Shortlist 2017 Chris Gordon (interviewer), Melbourne : Readings , 2017 23467006 2017 single work podcast interview

'Events manager Chris Gordon chats about this year's Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist with two of the judges: Marie Matteson and Gabrielle Williams.'  (Production summary)

A Pair of Ragged Claws Stephen Romei , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 1-2 November 2014; (p. 17)
Award for the Australian Books That Fly under the Radar Martin Shaw , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 29 October 2014;
'A Melbourne book chain has established an award for new writers. Martin Shaw explains why the award exists and the novels awarded this year'