Every year, the team at Hardie Grant Egmont throws open the doors and puts out the call for manuscripts by unpublished writers. It's called the Ampersand Prize, and they get really, ridiculously excited about it.
The Ampersand Prize aims to find brilliant debut novels by YA and middle-grade writers. If they fall in love with a manuscript, the writer gets a contract, an advance and serious editorial development to bring their books to market.
Since its launch in 2012, the Ampersand Prize has quickly become the premier award for debut novelists in Australia and New Zealand, and launched the careers of a number of incredible writers including Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl) and Erin Gough (The Flywheel).
The most recent Ampersand Prize-winner, Cally Black, will release her debut novel In the Dark Spaces in 2017.
Interested in entering in 2016? Make sure you check out their Entry Process and Submission Guidelines, and familiarise yourself with the Key Dates on their website here.
If you have questions, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org before the submission close date and they'll respond as soon as they can.