Entries are open for the UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize 2024

11 Apr 2024
An open book on a table

The annual prize encourages talented non-fiction writers employed at UNSW to submit book ideas that challenge readers to think in new ways.

Entries are now open for the UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize. Now in its third year, the prize offers the winner manuscript development with the editorial team at UNSW Press/NewSouth.

The winner will receive mentoring from the publishers, feedback on their proposal and two sample chapters, and possible publication. Up to five highly commended entries will also be acknowledged. 

In 2023, Dr Charmaine O’Brien received the prize for her proposed book, The Devil at Work? Australia’s First Celebrity Cooks. Her proposal asked who Australia’s first cooks were and how their backgrounds, social standing and cultures affected commentary on the food they prepared and our accepted food history.  

The judging panel for the 2024 prize includes 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.

UNSW Press CEO Kathy Bail said the quality and range of ideas and research produced at UNSW is always a source of excitement for UNSW Press.

“There is great potential for these ideas to be turned into valuable and influential books, and we are looking forward to reading the submissions for the 2024 Prize,” she said.

Who can enter?

Submissions are open to general, scholarly and literary non-fiction proposals. Entrants must be current employees of UNSW.

Entries are welcome from all disciplinary backgrounds. We encourage submissions from writers from underrepresented backgrounds, including First Nations writers, writers of colour, LGBTQ+ writers and disabled writers.

UNSW retains first option to publish the winning manuscript and any highly commended entries.

How to enter

Submissions for the 2024 prize must include a proposal or outline for a full-length non-fiction book manuscript as well as two sample chapters. The proposal and sample chapters should not be under consideration by other book publishers when entered for the prize.

Each chapter should be no more than 5,000 words in length.

Read the full terms and conditions of entry.

Entries must be sent by email before 2 September 2024 to submissions@unswpress.com.au with UNSW BOOK IDEA of the YEAR PRIZE clearly marked in the subject line.

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