Ampersand Shortlist

21 Aug 2020 | Hardie Grant Books

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing is thrilled to announce that five manuscripts have been shortlisted for the 2020 Ampersand Prize for children’s and young adult fiction:

ANGELICA'S AIRSHIP by Conan Elphicke

A sly middle-grade adventure about twins Tom and Charlet who are about to be expelled from their snooty boarding school when their mysterious Aunt Angelica rescues them in a stolen military airship.

A former freelance journalist and travel writer, Conan’s work has appeared in most major newspapers and magazines in Australia, and several overseas. He lives in Canberra where he works as a writer/editor for the Australian Public Service.
Twitter: @ConanElphicke 

TIM TE MARO AND THE SUBTERRANEAN HEARTSICK BLUES by Helen Valley.

Red White and Royal Blue meets Carry On in this gay YA rom-com set in a magical boarding school in NZ, about two boys who ditch their exes to team up for the annual egg-baby experiment.

Helen Valley grew up on the Waitamatā Harbour in Auckland, at the foot of Takuranga. She now lives at the edge of the Waitākere Ranges with her partner and teaches high school level design.
Insta: @hrvalley
Twitter: @helenoftshirts

I CAN'T EVEN: DIARY OF A FACT FREAK by Nicola Wardley

In this contemporary middle-grade comedy for geeky kids, 12-year-old Alex is freaking out about starting high school until something much more interesting happens: her mother disappears.

Nicola is a graduate of the University of Queensland’s Writing, Editing and Publishing program, and was awarded a 2019 Varuna Mentorship for her middle-grade fiction manuscript.
Facebook: @NKWardleyAuthor
Instagam: @nicolawardley

WE WHO HUNT THE HOLLOW by Kate Murray

In a wild near future of risen seas, acid storms and beasts from beyond our universe, 17-year-old monster hunter Priscilla discovers she has a frightening new super power - and the boy she's falling for wants to use it to tear down the world.

Kate is a New Zealander living in Melbourne with her family, an alarming amount of Lego and an ordinary number of books. She is a full-time parent slash writer, conjuring up spare time so she can conjure up stories.
Twitter: @katemurray 
Instagram: @kateswriting

COMPLETELY NORMAL (AND OTHER LIES) by Elizabeth James

When 17-year-old Isaac Calder dies suddenly, his girlfriend, best friend and the entire school is turned upside down with grief. But no-one knows that 16-year-old Stella Cash was secretly in love with Isaac – and he loved her back.

Elizabeth holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from RMIT, and has previously worked as a boarding school house mother. She writes realistic and contemporary fiction that captures the heartbreaking and hilarious day-to-day life of the modern teenager.
Insta: @bifftasticafantastica

The winner of the 2020 Ampersand Prize will be announced online on Wednesday 11 November.

Author photos available on request. For all publicity enquiries and further information, please contact laurendraper@hardiegrant.com