Applications closed

About the Prize

The Ethel Turner Prize ($30,000) is offered for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry written for young people of secondary school level. Books containing the work of more than four authors, including anthologies, are not eligible for nomination. In the case of books containing original illustrations which are integral to the success of the book, the judges may determine that the award be shared by the writer/s and the illustrator. 

Past winners

The Gaps
Text Publishing
The End of the World is bigger than love
Text Publishing
Cover image for the book Lenny's Book of Everything.
Allen & Unwin
Cover image of the book titled 'Amelia Westlake'.
Hardie Grant Publishing
Cover image of The Ones That Disappeared
Hachette Australia
Book cover of One Thousand Hills
Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia

The Judging Panel

Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis is a journalist and author. After releasing his first novel at nineteen, his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards, among others.

The Sidekicks was his third novel for young adults, shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize in 2017, and his American debut. Most recently, Will has applied his trademark style to the fantasy genre, with Monuments and its sequel, Rebel Gods. An advocate for young readers and writers, Will promotes reading and writing in high schools around the country. He was awarded the 2020 Maurice Saxby Award by the School Library Association of New South Wales for service to children’s and young adult literature.

Photo of Wai Chim

Wai Chim


Wai Chim is the Chinese-American-Australian author of a number of children's books including The Chook Chook series, Freedom Swimmer and most recently The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling, which was a Kirkus Prize Finalist in the US and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister Literary Awards. Born to immigrant parents in New York, Wai now lives in Sydney with her husband and beloved cat, Freddie. 

Photo of Leanne Hall

Leanne Hall

Leanne Hall is a multi-award-winning author of young adult and children's fiction. Her most recent YA novel, The Gaps, won the young adult category of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature and the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Leanne is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT.  

About Ethel Turner

The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature is named after Ethel Sybil Turner (1870–1958), author of Seven Little Australians. Turner was born in England. Her mother migrated with her daughters to Sydney in 1880 after the death of Turner’s stepfather. Together with her sister Lilian she was educated at Sydney Girls’ High School where they edited their own magazine Iris. After they left school in 1889 they founded the monthly Parthenon. Both sisters later became novelists. Ethel worked as the editor of the ‘Children’s Page’, first for the Illustrated Sydney News and later for the Australian Town and Country Journal. Her first novel and best-known work Seven Little Australians was published in 1894 and quickly sold out. It was translated in several languages and has been in print for more than 100 years. In her lifetime Turner wrote thirty-four volumes of fiction, short stories and poems and was awarded several prestigious literary awards for her works.