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May 1, 2024

2024 ASA/HQ Fiction Prize announces shortlist

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and HQ, a publishing division of HarperCollins, are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2024 ASA/HQ Fiction Prize for unpublished manuscripts:

Shashini Gamage, The Fright of Real Feathers

Kathleen Hastings, Hendrickje, Rembrandt’s Bathsheba

Arianne James, Second Skin

A’Mhara McKey, The Shores Between

Esme Wilmot, Parallel

The winner will receive a publishing contract with HQ, with a $10,000 advance against royalties. The runner-up will receive $500 and a year’s complimentary membership with the ASA.

The shortlist was drawn from a pool of 165 entries and was selected by a panel of judges, including bestselling fiction author Cassie Hamer, bookseller Erica Rist, HQ’s Head of Publishing Jo Mackay, and Publisher Rachael Donovan.

Rachael Donovan, HQ Publisher, said, ‘The ASA continue to be such wonderful partners to work with, connecting us with so many talented new writers. This year, we’ve again been so impressed with the range of ideas and voices Australian writers have entered that it has been incredibly difficult to select only five manuscripts.’

ASA CEO Olivia Lanchester said, ‘Our warm congratulations to the shortlisted authors, whose work is evidence of the strength and diversity of contemporary Australian writing. We’re thrilled to partner with HQ on the Fiction Prize again this year, and thank them for offering this special publishing opportunity.’

The inaugural prize, announced in 2020, not only launched the career of winner Sally Bothroyd, whose book Brunswick Street Blues was published in March 2022, but also two of the shortlisted authors: Kathy George with her genre-bending gothic drama Sargasso, published February 2021, and Stella Quinn with her bestselling contemporary romance The Vet from Snowy River, published June 2021. 

In 2022, the prize was awarded to Ayesha Inoon for her exceptional debut, Untethered, which went on to be published to incredible reviews in June 2023.

Ayesha Inoon commented, ‘Winning the ASA/HQ Fiction Prize was the key to realising my lifelong dream of becoming a published author, and I’m still loving hearing from readers about how much they enjoyed Untethered. I am so excited for everyone on the shortlist as they begin the next stage of their journeys as writers.’

The winner of the ASA/HQ Commercial Fiction Prize will be announced online on 15 May 2024.


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All media queries please contact Lucy Hayward, ASA Marketing and Communications Manager: [email protected] / 02 9211 1004