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Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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'The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is awarded annually to the best unpublished manuscript written by an Australian or New Zealander for children or young adults.'

Source: Text Publishing. (Sighted: 19/5/2014)


  • The Text Young Adult Prize aims to 'discover more wonderful new books for Young Adult readers, by Australian and New Zealand writers. Both published and unpublished writers of all ages are eligible to enter the prize with works of fiction or non-fiction.

    'The winner will receive a publishing contract with Text and a $10,000 advance against royalties.'


Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner Alice Boyle for 'Dancing Barefoot'.

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon Rainfish Andrew Paterson , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2021 20459211 2021 single work children's fiction children's

'A tender, heartfelt and funny middle-grade novel about a boy grappling with the rather large consequences of a minor misdeed, set against the backdrop of his mum’s new relationship and the lush landscape of tropical north Queensland.

'Aaron lives with his single mother and his bookish older brother Connor in a small town at the edge of a rainforest, home of the legendary rainfish. Wanting to make an impression on an older, cool kid, Aaron reluctantly takes part in a burglary that he immediately regrets. When the theft is reported in the local newspaper, Connor decides to try out some amateur sleuthing and the police begin an investigation.

'Aaron tries to cover his tracks, but when torrential rains and a fast-flowing flood lead to tragedy, Aaron he feels desperate guilt. His attempts to make amends take him on a journey that’s unexpected, humorous and ultimately redemptive.

'Rainfish is a delightfully engaging story that explores big feelings—joy, happiness, regret, guilt and fear— and the importance of knowing when to tell the truth, no matter how hard that might seem.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Loner Georgina Young , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020 19599541 2020 single work novel young adult

'Lona has dropped out of art school and no one is quite sure why, least of all Lona. It’s just that nothing in her life seems to make sense anymore, including art. She spends her days sneaking into the darkroom at her old school to develop photographs and her nights DJ-ing at the local roller disco.

'Her aimlessness terrifies her, but everyone else appears oblivious to her fears: her parents are bewildered by her sudden lack of ambition, her brother is preoccupied with his new girlfriend, and her best friend Tab seems to be drifting away. Even a budding relationship with a bass-playing, cello-shredding med student isn’t enough to shake her existential angst.

'Lona knows it’s up to her to figure out what she wants to do with her life: the problem is, she has absolutely no idea where to start.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon It Sounded Better in My Head Nina Kenwood , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 16746606 2019 single work novel young adult

'When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed and nothing is quite making sense.

'Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

'It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out and finding out what really matters—from an exciting new voice in Australian YA writing.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon The Extremely Weird Thing That Happened in Huggabie Falls Adam Cece , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018 12265751 2018 single work children's fiction children's

'Kipp Kindle always knew his family wasn’t like other families. They were weird, in fact they were probably the weirdest family on Earth. It was just as well they lived in the town of Huggabie Falls, because Huggabie Falls was the weirdest place on Earth.

'Winner of the 2017 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

'KIPP Kindle and his friends Tobias Treachery and Cymphany Camelot live in Huggabie Falls, the weirdest town on Earth. Weird things happen all the time—that’s normal. But when an extremely weird thing happens Kipp and his friends embark on an action-packed, hilarious adventure to find out what is making everything turn normal, and to return the weirdness to Huggabie Falls.

'With evil villain Felonious Dark and fierce mathematics teacher Mrs Turgen to contend with—not to mention killer vampire bats, vegetarian piranhas and a Portuguese-speaking lab rat called Ralph—Kipp Tobias and Cymphany have quite a task ahead of them. And to make things worse, Cymphany has been turned into a baby hippopotamus.

'The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls is the first book in a trilogy of sublimely ridiculous laugh-out-loud stories for middle-grade readers.' (Publication summary)

Works About this Award

The Prize Is Right : Authors on Winning an Unpublished Manuscript Prize Jackie Tang , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Books + Publishing , March vol. 98 no. 1 2019; (p. 8-9)

'How does winning an unpublished manuscript prize affect the careers of debut authors? Jackie Tang talks to two recent winners.'

The New Normal Holly Harper (interviewer), 2018 single work interview
— Appears in: Books + Publishing , April vol. 98 no. 1 2018; (p. 17)

'Adam Cece won the 2017 Text Prize for The Extremely Weird Thing That Happened in Huggabie Falls. Reviewer Holly Harper describes it as ‘a funny read full of hijinks and adventure’ with a narrator reminiscent of Pseudonymous Bosch. She spoke to the author.'  (Introduction)

Author's Folly Finds a Home Rosemary Sorensen , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 14 April 2010; (p. 3)
Finding Dodge City in the Bush Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 29 August 2009; (p. 26)
A column canvassing current literary news including reports on the 40th birthday celebrations of Readings bookshop and Leanne Hall's win in the 2009 Text Young Adult Prize for her novel This Is Shyness.