The UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize

In partnership with UNSW Press

At UNSW Press we are passionate about books that are unafraid to ask big questions and challenge us to think in new ways. This prize enables UNSW Press to continue to develop relationships with talented nonfiction writers employed at UNSW from all backgrounds and disciplines. This prize offers an opportunity to drive a distinctive career at UNSW and a path to publication.


The UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize will accept submissions for general, scholarly, and literary nonfiction. The prize will offer manuscript development for the winning entry with the editorial team at UNSW Press/NewSouth and, potentially, publication. Manuscript development will include mentoring from our publishers as well as feedback on a proposal and two sample chapters.

UNSW Press retains first option to publish the winning manuscript, as well as any highly commended entries.

Submissions to the prize will require a proposal or outline for a full-length nonfiction book manuscript as well as two sample chapters. Each chapter should be no more than 5,000 words in length. We define a full-length book as a work of more than 50,000 words.

Entries must be sent by email before 2 September 2024 to with UNSW BOOK IDEA of the YEAR PRIZE clearly marked in the subject line.

The proposal and sample chapters should not be under consideration by other book publishers when entered for this prize.

We will accept entries from all disciplinary backgrounds. We encourage submissions from writers from underrepresented backgrounds, including First Nations writers, writers of colour, LGBTQ+ writers, and disabled writers.


The judging panel for the prize will include: Fiona Inglis, Managing Director of Curtis Brown Australia and member of the UNSW Press Board; Roanna Gonsalves, award-winning author and Lecturer in Creative Writing at UNSW; Elspeth Menzies, Executive Publisher at UNSW Press; and Harriet McInerney, Publisher at UNSW Press.

The prize opens in April 2024 and entries close on 2 September 2024.

Please email with any queries or questions.

The UNSW Book Idea of the Year Prize winners will be announced in November 2024.