Five writers shortlisted for 2016 Ampersand Prize.
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Announcing the 2016 Shortlist

Hardie Grant Egmont is thrilled to announce that five writers have been shortlisted from nearly 160 entries for the 2016 Ampersand Prize.

Launched in 2012, the Ampersand Prize is Hardie Grant Egmont's annual award for unpublished YA and middle-grade writers, and is responsible for unearthing award-winning YA authors such as Melissa Keil and Erin Gough

‘We had a fantastic crop of submissions this year,’ says publisher Marisa Pintado. ‘More than one third of entries were aimed at middle-grade readers and we found an extraordinary quality of writing overall. I was especially delighted with the broad range of genres we encountered.’

2016 marks the first year in which the Ampersand Prize shortlist has been publicly shared. ‘This year’s shortlist was hard-won, with a number of team favourites competing for one of five coveted positions,' says Pintado. 'It’s going to be difficult to choose a winner.’ 

The winner of this year's Ampersand Prize will be announced in January 2017.

The five writers shortlisted for the Prize this year are:

Little Ott Colter by Rhiannon Williams (MG)

To rescue her lost little brother, Ottilie Colter must disguise herself as a boy and join an organisation of monster hunters working to keep her homeland safe. 

Rhiannon Williams is a graduate of Flinders University and lives in Sydney, where she balances work and writing. She has been building worlds for as long as she can remember, and committing them to paper since her early teens. Little Ott Colter is the first of a planned series.

Anomalies by Amelia Mellor (YA)

A brilliant young engineer and a feral orphan are thrown together by chance when their families are abducted by mechanical monsters. 

Amelia Mellor recently graduated from her Creative Writing Honours degree with first-class honours at the University of Melbourne, where she completed a minor thesis on YA steampunk fiction.

Grow by Amy Laura Jackson (YA)

When a teenager breaks into his childhood home searching for a connection to his absent dad, he doesn’t expect the new owner to become a father figure – or to fall in love with the man’s niece. 

Amy Laura Jackson is a YA writer from Hamilton, NZ, where she currently lives on a lifestyle block with a stand of Christmas trees and two free range children. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English after becoming addicted to writing as a teenager.

The Space Between by Rachel Sanderson (YA)

When a teenage girl vanishes without a trace, her best friend finds herself falling apart – and falling in love with the missing girl’s brother. 

Rachel Sanderson lives in Canberra and works in the Commonwealth public service. Her background is in screenwriting and her feature-length documentary film, The End of the Rainbow, won the First Appearance Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

Dead Chatter by Jess Howard (YA)

When a deadly disease breaks out that turns people into flesh eating shamblers, a teenage girl is separated from her family and joins forces with a group of unconventional survivors.

Jess Howard decided to be a writer at age 7 after reading Roald Dahl’s The Witches, because she wanted to make stories that were both horrifying and triumphant. She studied writing and editing at RMIT and now works in educational publishing.

The team at Hardie Grant Egmont congratulates the shortlisted authors, and thanks this year’s entrants for their patience and enthusiasm.

The winner of the Ampersand Prize will be announced in January 2017.

In the meantime, for further information about the Ampersand Prize and the 2016 shortlist, please contact Haylee Collins – Communications and Marketing Executive, Hardie Grant Egmont.

About Hardie Grant Egmont
Hardie Grant Egmont (HGE) is the home of the Ampersand Prize, the premier award for debut YA and middle-grade novelists in Australia and New Zealand. A joint venture of Australian company Hardie Grant Publishing and Egmont Books UK, HGE is Australia’s largest independent children’s publisher, and prides itself on publishing exceptional books for children and teenagers. From award-winning and best-selling series such as Billie B Brown and Zac Power, to classic titles from Enid Blyton and A.A. Milne, HGE is passionate about making books kids want to read.
Copyright © 2016 Hardie Grant Egmont, All rights reserved.

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