ACT Publishing Awards

Supported by Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka.

Closing date: 5pm Friday 11 September 2015

The aim of the ACT Publishing Awards is to recognise, reward and promote writing by ACT region authors that has been published by small publishers or self-published. The Awards are administered by the ACT Writers Centre, in recognition of the excellent writing published locally.
There are four categories:

  • fiction
  • nonfiction
  • poetry
  • children's books (This category may be divided by age group, pending judging feedback and volume of entries.)

The awards will be judged on the excellence of the writing/content of the titles entered in each category.

Winners will receive a $100 Paperchain voucher and book stickers certifying their award. Certificates will be provided for the winning and commended entries.



Lucy Nelson’s book reviews and feature articles appear regularly in the Big Issue and the Canberra Times. She is co-director of Noted Writers’ Festival, founder of live book show event The Same Page and sat on the 2015 judging panel for Writers Victoria’s Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship. Lucy has featured on panels as part of National Young Writers Month and was recently writer in residence at Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres. She is currently working on her first novel, the early development of which was funded and supported by Writers Victoria and Templeberg Villa in 2014

Kathryn Favelle has been a member of the ACT Writers Centre for longer than she can remember. As Director, Community Outreach at the National Library of Australia, she has met many of her writerly heroes, including Frances Spalding, Geraldine Brooks, David Malouf, and Michael Leunig. She reads voraciously and has previously judged the ACT Book of the Year and the Marian Eldridge Award for an ‘aspiring woman writer’. You can often find her on Twitter tweeting about books and other things (@KathrynFavelle).


Sonja Chandler is an Accredited Editor and has a Grad Dip in Professional Communications (Professional Writing) as well as science degrees. She has been working as a freelance writer/editor since 2006. Her published works include numerous non-fiction articles for a range of audiences, poems and short fiction pieces. Sonja’s past experience has involved the assessment of writing in many different guises – from editing fiction for young people to structural/substantive editing of scientific reports, to marking essays at secondary and tertiary levels. Her goal as a judge is to look for writers telling their stories in ways and words that are clear and engaging.

Dr Pippa Carron is a Canberra-based, non-fiction writer and editor who provides high-level services to clients under the business name Writing in the Gap. Her experience includes a vast range of non-fiction document types, including ebooks and government reports. She is an accomplished trainer, specialising in the delivery of writing and editing skills courses. With a PhD in animal ecology (ANU 1985), her main areas of subject expertise include heath and medicine, agriculture and rural affairs, science and the environment, and innovation and R&D. She is a member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Canberra Society of Editors and the ACT Writers Centre. She also writes fiction and leads a small fiction-writing group. 


Michele Seminara is a poet, editor, critic and yoga teacher from Sydney. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Bluepepper, Tincture Journal, Regime, Seizure, Plumwood Mountain and Social Alternatives. She is co-author of forthcoming poetry anthology Bend River Mountain (Regime, 2015) and her first single authored collection, Engraft, will be published by Island Press in late 2015. Michele is also the managing editor of online creative arts journal Verity La

Tim Metcalf returns to co-judge the award for the second time. He is a past winner, and was the inaugural winner of the Rosemary Dobson Award. His seventh collection has recently been accepted for publication. He holds degrees in medicine, literature and clinical education. He lives in the Bega Valley and does what he can to promote poetry in the shire.

Children's Books:

Kellie Nissen is a teacher, parent, book reviewer, advocate of Asperger’s Syndrome, a writer and an avid consumer of children’s literature and murder mysteries. Kellie has a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing, writes as a guest blogger for Open Colleges, has written book reviews for Allen and Unwin, and is the co-author of Primary School Plays in Japanese, written for the Japan Foundation.

Literary consultant Nikki Anderson has worked as an agent, rights manager, festival and events coordinator, and currently manages the Australian Embassy Beijing's annual Australian Writers Week. 

Conditions of entry

  • Titles must have been published (or self–published) during the 2014 calendar year, made available for sale, and published in print book format, with an ISBN.
  • The writer must have been residing in the ACT or region (which covers the shires of Young, Harden, Gundagai, Tumut, Boorowa, Yass Valley, Upper Lachlan, Goulburn Mulwaree, Wingecarribee, Palerang, Greater Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Bombala, Cooma-Monaro and Snowy River) at the time of publication or during the nominating period.
  • Entries may have been published in the ACT, interstate or overseas, provided the publisher has no more than fifteen employees.
  • Entries must be postmarked on or before Friday 11 September 2015 (or delivered in person to the ACT Writers Centre by 5pm that day). Two hard copies must be forwarded.
  • There is no entry fee or limit on the number of titles entered by any writer or publisher; however, each title can only be entered in one category.
  • The entrant can be the writer or the publisher, but the prize will go to the writer. Any publisher submitting an entry must inform the writer(s) that they have done so.
  • The judging panels may elect to release a shortlist prior to the awards announcement. 
  • One winner will be selected in each category, and the writer of each winning title will be awarded a prize and a certificate. Based on the merit of the entries, and at the judges' discretion, highly commended certificates in each category may also be awarded.
  • Books will not be returned after the awards, but will remain with the judges as part of the judge's fee.
  • The winners will be announced and the prizes awarded at the ACT Writers Centre Annual Awards Night in December.
  • Books written or published by current staff and board members of the ACT Writers Centre are ineligible for consideration in the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards.
  • This award or any category within this award may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of the judges or the ACT Writers Centre. In the event of cancellation, books will be returned to the author/publisher who submitted them.

Entries to the 2015 Publishing Awards have now closed.

These awards are supported by Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka, ACT.
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