The Ampersand Prize is Australia and New Zealand’s premier award for unpublished writers of middle-grade and young adult fiction. Created by Hardie Grant Children's Publishing in 2012, the Ampersand Prize has launched the careers of numerous best-selling and critically acclaimed authors including Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space), Erin Gough (The Flywheel), Cally Black (In The Dark Spaces), Rhiannon Williams (Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt) and Lisa Siberry (The Brilliant Ideas of Lily Green). The most recent winner, Frances Chapman, published her winning young adult novel, Stars Like Us, in July 2020.
The Ampersand Prize team is passionate about uncovering brilliant debut novels and bringing fresh voices to the world. If we fall in love with a manuscript, the writer receives an advance against royalties, a publishing contract, and rigorous editorial development to bring their book to market.
The Ampersand Prize 2020 winner is Helen Valley, with her novel Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues.
Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing is thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2020 Ampersand Prize is Helen Valley, a writer from Auckland, New Zealand, who won judges over with her novel Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues – a charming and hilarious YA romantic comedy with a touch of magic. Helen’s novel was selected from a record number of submissions, and was instantly beloved by the team. Pitched as Red White and Royal Blue meets Carry On, this gay YA rom-com is set in a magical boarding school in NZ and follows two boys who ditch their exes to team up for the annual egg-baby experiment. Full details about Helen novel are here. The 2020 shortlist can be viewed in full here.
The Ampersand Prize will re-open for entries in 2022.