Book Idea of the Year is back for 2023

13 Jun 2023
Image of open book

At UNSW Press we are passionate about books that are unafraid to ask big questions.

This prize, now in its second year, enables UNSW Press to continue to develop relationships with talented non-fiction writers employed at UNSW from all backgrounds and disciplines. It offers an opportunity to drive a distinctive career at UNSW and a path to publication.

Prize terms

The UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize will accept submissions for general, scholarly and literary non-fiction. The prize will offer manuscript development for the winning entry with the editorial team at UNSW Press/NewSouth and potentially, publication. Manuscript development will include mentoring from our publishers as well as feedback on a proposal and two sample chapters. In addition, we will acknowledge up to five ‘highly commended’ entries.

UNSW Press retains first option to publish the winning manuscript, as well as any highly commended entries.

Submissions to the prize will require a proposal or outline for a full-length nonfiction book manuscript as well as two sample chapters. Each chapter should be no more than 5000 words in length. We define a full-length book as a work of more than 50,000 words.

The proposal and sample chapters should not be under consideration by other book publishers when entered for this prize.

We will accept entries from all disciplinary backgrounds. We encourage submissions from writers from underrepresented backgrounds, including First Nations writers, writers of colour, LGBTQ+ writers, and disabled writers.

Judging and promotion 

The judging panel for the prize will include: Fiona Inglis, Managing Director of Curtis Brown Australia and member of the UNSW Press Board; Roanna Gonsalves, award-winning author and Lecturer in Creative Writing at UNSW; Elspeth Menzies, Executive Publisher at UNSW Press; and Harriet McInerney, Publisher at UNSW Press.

The prize opens in May 2023 and entries close on 1 August 2023.

UNSW Press will hold a Q&A session on 21 June 2023 at 12 noon in which our publishing team will discuss how to enter and what we are looking for. If you would like to attend this session, please email with your expression of interest and questions.

The UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize winners will be announced in November 2023.