Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature

Last updated:  28 February 2024
Applications closed

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.


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. 

The Judging Panel
Photo of Wai Chim

Wai Chim

Panel Chair

Wai Chim is the Chinese-American-Australian author of a number of young adult titles including Freedom Swimmer and 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. Her most recent book is Last-Place Lin, a picture book illustrated by Freda Chiu and inspired by Wai's time on Australian Survivor. 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 an award-winning Australian author for young adults and children. Her most recent YA novel, The Gaps, won the young adult categories of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Davitt Awards and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Leanne has also had short stories published in Meanjin, Best Australian Stories, and the anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia. Leanne is currently a PhD student at RMIT and lives on the unceded and sovereign lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations.


Tim Sinclair

Tim Sinclair is a writer of young adult fiction and poetry. His latest novel Run (Penguin), a CBCA Notable Book, is a young adult parkour thriller set in Sydney, which uses concrete poetry to capture the speed and energy of the discipline. His other books include Nine Hours North, a coming-of-age verse novel set in Japan, and Re:reading the Dictionary, poetry for word nerds. 

Past winners


Cover image of The Upwelling
The Upwelling
Hachette Australia


The Gaps
The Gaps
Text Publishing


The End of the World is bigger than love
The End of the World is Bigger than Love
Text Publishing


Cover image for the book Lenny's Book of Everything.
Lenny's Book of Everything
Allen & Unwin


Cover image of the book titled 'Amelia Westlake'.
Amelia Westlake
Hardie Grant Publishing


Cover image of The Ones That Disappeared
The Ones That Disappeared
Hachette Australia


Book cover of One Thousand Hills
One Thousand Hills
Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia

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.

Award Information


For more information, please contact the Awards team.

Phone: (02) 9273 1767, or alternatively (02) 9273 1770.