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2022
Submissions 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

Erin Gough

Chair

Erin Gough is the author of two novels for young adults; The Flywheel, which won the Ampersand Prize; and Amelia Westlake, winner of the Readings Young Adult Book Prize and the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature. Her books have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the United States.

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.

Sean Williams

Sean Williams

Sean Williams is a multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author for readers of all ages. His work includes series, novels, short stories and poems that have been translated into multiple languages for readers around the world.

His most recent novels Impossible Music and Her Perilous Mansion were nominated for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature and the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature respectively. Both are Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books.

Past winners and shortlist

2021
The End of the World is bigger than love
Text Publishing
Winner
2021
The F Team
Giramondo Publishing
Shortlisted
2021
Ghost Bird
University of Queensland Press
Shortlisted
2021
Metal Fish, Falling Snow
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2021
Where we begin
Pan Macmillan Australia
Shortlisted
2021
Loner
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image for the book Lenny's Book of Everything.
Allen & Unwin
Winner
2019
Cover image of the book titled 'Amelia Westlake'.
Hardie Grant Publishing
Winner
2018
Cover image of The Ones That Disappeared
Hachette Australia
Winner
2017
Book cover of One Thousand Hills
Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia
Winner

About Ethel Turner

The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature is named after Ethel Mary 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.