The Spark Prize

Date: Thu September 17 2020 12:00 am to Fri October 16 2020 11:59 pm

Introducing the inaugural Spark Prize – an exciting new opportunity for writers of narrative non-fiction!   

The Spark Prize is your chance to develop a narrative non-fiction project from a budding idea to a publishable book with the guidance of Hardie Grant’s professional editorial team. This biennial, joint venture between Hardie Grant Books and RMIT Writing and Publishing aims to foster talent in the narrative non-fiction genre, providing the successful applicant with the essential tools they’ll need to drive their book proposal to publication. 

To enter, simply submit a book proposal for your great narrative non-fiction idea including: 

  • a one-page synopsis 
  • a chapter outline (maximum 3,000 words)
  • and a sample of (maximum 5,000 words) of your work-in-progress

Narrative non-fiction is non-fiction that tells a fact-based, compelling story. Not to be confused with non-fiction on its own, narrative non-fiction includes (but is not limited to) memoir, hybrid memoir, biography, history, current affairs, popular science, journalism, creative non-fiction, cultural studies and humour. We’re looking for book ideas that will captivate and intrigue a wide audience. 

The winner of the Spark Prize will receive: 

  • $2000 prize money, 
  • a tailored 6-month mentorship with Hardie Grant’s editorial team, 
  • and a week-long residency at RMIT’s gorgeous McCraith House on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria 

Three shortlistees will also receive: 

  • a book bundle (valued at $250) from Hardie Grant Books
  • and a two-hour editing session with a Hardie Grant editor
RMIT Writing and Publishing will be holding an in-conversation workshop with a panel of industry professionals to provide expert guidance and insights into writing a book proposal that will grab a publisher’s attention. The event will feature Arwen Summers, publisher of non-fiction at Hardie Grant Books and author of The Lotus Eaters, Emily Clements, alongside RMIT’s Bowen Street Press Publisher, Tracy O’Shaughnessy and RMIT Lecturer, Master of Writing and Publishing, Zoe Dzunko. Register here.

Key dates: 

Submissions open: 9 am, 17 September 2020 

RMIT Conversation Workshop: 12.30 – 1.30 pm, 2 October 2020 

Submissions close: Midnight, 16 October 2020 

Shortlist and prize announced: Late November     



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