Spark Prize 2020 | Narrative Non-Fiction Writing Prize | Hardie Grant Books | RMIT

21 Aug 2020 | Hardie Grant Books

The winner of the 2020 Spark Prize is Youjia Song and her book proposal, The Pursuit of Impossible Dreams.

Read the full details on the winner and shortlist here.

Introducing the inaugural Spark Prize – an exciting new opportunity for writers of narrative non-fiction!   

The Spark Prize is your chance to develop a narrative non-fiction project from a budding idea to a publishable book with the guidance of Hardie Grant’s professional editorial team. This biennial, joint venture between Hardie Grant Books and RMIT Writing and Publishing aims to foster talent in the narrative non-fiction genre, providing the successful applicant with the essential tools they’ll need to drive their book proposal to publication.

Narrative non-fiction is non-fiction that tells a fact-based, compelling story. Not to be confused with non-fiction on its own, narrative non-fiction includes (but is not limited to) memoir, hybrid memoir, biography, history, current affairs, popular science, journalism, creative non-fiction, cultural studies and humour. We’re looking for book ideas that will captivate and intrigue a wide audience. 

To find out more about narrative non-fiction, book proposals and the nature of the editor-author relationship, you can watch The Spark Prize: In Conversation Workshop event hosted by RMIT Writing and Publishing and featuring Hardie Grant publisher, Arwen Summers. Click here to access the recording of the workshop. 

The winner of the Spark Prize will receive: 

  • $2000 prize money, 
  • a tailored 6-month mentorship with Hardie Grant’s editorial team, 
  • and a week-long residency at RMIT’s gorgeous McCraith House on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria 

Three shortlistees will also receive: 

  • a book bundle (valued at $250) from Hardie Grant Books
  • and a two-hour editing session with a Hardie Grant editor



The Spark Prize will re-open for submissions in 2022

The Spark Prize 2020 Logo lockup