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The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize

The LIMINAL & Pantera Press 
Nonfiction Prize 2021 
Submissions period: 1 May–1 July

WINNER — $10,000
RUNNER-UP — $2,000


Visit the official website for the The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize at: https://www.liminalmag.com/prizes-fellowships/liminal-pantera-press-nonfiction-prize


Following the success of the 2019 LIMINAL Fiction Prize and our subsequent anthology, ‘Collisions’, LIMINAL and Pantera Press are thrilled to announce the LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize, for First Nations writers and writers of colour. 

This inaugural Nonfiction Prize calls for writing on the theme of ARCHIVE. 

Archives are not merely sites where knowledge is retrieved, but sites where knowledge is produced. What is placed in an archive is often a monument to political authority—and the narrative that authority wishes to tell. When we pick up pieces of the past, we must ask: what stories do they tell, and whose do they elide? Accessing histories of the marginalised or subaltern often requires us to read against the grain. How do we tell the stories of those who have been diminished or ignored in the writing of history? How do we do justice to the lives they lived, or to the people they were?  

In proposing this prize, we want writing that troubles institutional accounts of history, or considers the politics of the personal archive, asking what each of us chooses to remember, memorialise or forget. For how do we write or hold our former selves, our ancestries? And how does where we come from connect to where we are headed? 

We are looking for nonfiction writing that bends and shifts boundaries—that queries form as much as it interrogates content. We are looking for work from First Nations writers, and Australian writers of colour who seek to challenge singular narratives about the past, and who wish to offer testimony and prophecy alike. 

Submit writing of no more than 4,000 words that addresses the idea of ‘Archive’, in its grand capacity, by 11.59 AEST on 1 July 2021.


Prize Guidelines

11.59pm AEST, Thursday 1 July 2021.

$10,000 for the winner of the LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize
$2,000 for the runner-up of the LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize

The winner, runner-up and longlisted writers will each receive $300 for publication of their writing in a forthcoming anthology (published 2022) with Pantera Press.

Brian Castro, Maddee Clark and Shakira Hussein

Archive. We’re looking for nonfiction that takes ‘archive’ as its theme, regardless of whether you stare at it head-on or just out of the corner of your eye. To quote our friends at Voiceworks, themed work is good, good work is better, and good themed work is best. We’re excited to read what you have to offer. 

Please submit a piece of nonfiction of 1,600–4,000 words. We value liminality and will accept any work that slots under the category of nonfiction writing. In its broadest sense, this type of writing considers real experiences and real people, and advances truth-telling in its many forms (including essays, memoir, journalism, philosophy and biography). Err on the side of experimentation; send us your best work.

Word document (DOCX, DOC or RTF files), 12pt, Times New Roman, 1.5 spacing. 
Include a cover sheet with:

  • your name
  • contact details (phone number, email and, where relevant, website)
  • a personal statement of up to 150 words indicating your previous publishing history and eligibility for this prize (see terms and conditions below).

We are not seeking nor accepting previously published writing; essays written for school or university assignments; or journal articles that would suit, or have been written for, academic publication (though footnotes, references and related accoutrements are welcome). We will also not accept work written, or submitted, under a pseudonym.  


Terms & Conditions 

Must identify as a First Nations person or a person of colour, and as a resident or citizen of Australia.

Must not be on the editorial team of LIMINAL magazine or an employee of Pantera Press. 

Can submit only one (1) entry.

Must be entirely original and made wholly by the entrant. They cannot contain, in part or in whole, any previously published material, or material currently licensed under an exclusive basis in any form and in any territory to another party.

Cannot be under consideration for an existing publishing or agenting agreement. However, they can be in contention for other literary prizes/awards, on the condition that they must be immediately withdrawn from the LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize should they win first or second place. 

Must not violate any existing copyright, confidentiality, defamation or national-safety laws, or contravene any licences, statutes or agreements.

Must be entirely true (or, at least, true from the perspective of the entrant), with any statements of fact verified by the entrant. Speculation, suspicion, confabulation, etc.—particularly when dealing with the experiences of other people—must be clearly signposted. Please refrain from submitting comments or content that could be considered overly critical or in any way damaging of another party’s integrity. 

Must adhere to all the submission guidelines as well as terms and conditions.

Entries will be assessed against the metrics of quality of expression, veracity/authority, quality of storytelling/argument and originality/style. 

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The winner will receive $10,000, and the runner-up will receive $2,000. Both works, along with all longlisted pieces, will be published in the anthology attached to the prize  (see below).

All currency figures mentioned will be in AUD.

The winning entry and longlisted works will all be published in an anthology to be released by Pantera Press in 2022. For this, each writer will receive $300 and, upon the book’s release, two copies of the anthology.

By submitting to the LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize, entrants agree that if they win, or are longlisted, they license (on a non-exclusive basis) the world rights to their work for publication in the anthology, which will be available in print and ebook formats.

The winner and all shortlisted entrants will retain copyright of their works.

While the anthology will be published by Pantera Press, 100% of profits from the book’s sales will go towards funding LIMINAL’s future endeavours.


Submissions will open 1 May 2021. 



Writers Victoria is a proud partner of the The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize.

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