There has been an ‘overwhelming’ response to The Richell Prize, set up in memory of Matt Richell [pictured], prize organisers have said as the judging panel is revealed.
Matt Richell, c.e.o. of Hachette Austrailia and chairman of Hachette New Zealand, was tragically killed in a surfing accident last July.
Hachette Australia launched the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in memory of Richell earlier this year. The prize has received an “incredible” response to the call for entries, with 975 entries received from a diverse range of emerging Australian talent.
Hannah Richell, Matt’s widow and author of Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year, will be on the judging panel for the prize. She said: “I’m so grateful to all the writers who have seized this opportunity and submitted their work to the Richell Prize. It’s going to be a thrilling yet difficult task for us to select just one bright new talent from amongst the pack.”
Also judging will be Sam Twyford-Moore, outgoing creative director of the Emerging Writers Festival, who is looking forward to “discovering so many brilliant new unheard voices with our partners over the coming weeks.”
Nancy Groves, culture editor of The Guardian Australia and judge of the prize, said she has been “overwhelmed by the response”, which she says is “a fitting tribute to Matt’s enthusiasm for new writing.”
Fiona Hazard, publishing director of Hachette Australia, added: “We are absolutely delighted with the response to the prize. Matt Richell’s passion for and support of emerging writers was undeniable and it’s a testament to his memory that the prize has been supported so successfully.”
Megan O’Brien of Potts Point Bookshop and publisher of Hachette Australia, Robert Watkins complete the judging panel.
The shortlist of the prize will be announced on 21st September and the winner announced in Sydney at a special event on 29th October. The winner will receive $10,000 in prize money and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers.