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Announcing the 2023 Text Prize shortlist

Six manuscripts have been shortlisted for the 2023 $10,000 Text Prize.

The recipient of the Steph Bowe Mentorship will also be chosen from the shortlist, and both winners will be announced on 19 June.

UPSWELL / Beth Amos / YA
Upswell is about a seventeen-year-old surfer who, after an act of impulsive violence, finds an unlikely connection at a Snowy Mountains youth program. This coming-of-age novel explores one-punch attacks, anger and grief, fractured families and youth rehabilitation.

Beth Amos has worked in South Africa and Australia as a copywriter, illustrator, graphic designer and communications professional. Her writing awards include a 2017 ASA Emerging Writers’ mentorship and a 2018 Kill Your Darlings (KYD) Unpublished Manuscript Award shortlisting, with an extract published as New Fiction by KYD. She is a 2020 Pitch Wars alumna and a 2021 Varuna Fellowship recipient. She lives in Canberra.

THE BEST WITCH IN PARIS / Lauren Crozier / Middle-grade
The Best Witch in Paris is a fantasy novel about Luna, a spirited young witch who was found as a baby lying beneath a magic tree. Luna must fight to hold on to her magical birthright­ – with the help of a mischievous familiar, a boobook owl called Silver.

Lauren Crozier is a writer and editor who loves writing for children. She lives on Gayamaygal land with her husband and young children, Ernie and Nancy.


SONG OF THE SUMMER / Julia Faragher / YA
Song of the Summer is about eighteen-year-old Ki, who must balance her love of music and performing with caring for her mum, who has been re-diagnosed with cancer.

Julia Faragher is an artist, writer and lawyer with Vietnamese and British heritage, from Melbourne/Naarm. She has written for the ABC, the Guardian and diaCRITICS and has spoken at the National Young Writers’ Festival. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in contemporary Australian young adult fiction and creative writing at Monash University.

Una and the Many Worlds of Dream is the story of Una, a lonely teenager who must make her way in the Ash Pits, one of the many Worlds of Dream, determined to avenge her only friend.

Verity Laughton is an award-winning South Australian poet and playwright. She completed a doctorate in creative arts in 2020. Her adaptation of Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words is scheduled for production by the State Theatre Company of South Australia (September 2023) and the Sydney Theatre Company (October/November 2023). A book of her poems, Snake, will be published through UK-based Signalhouse Editions in late 2023.

RIBS / Ella PiIson / YA
After a bullying incident, sixteen-year-old Leila moves to a new school with a vibrant curriculum and some genuinely cool people. Leila thinks she’s all set for a simple school year...until she falls for her classmate, Maxine.

Ella Pilson is an author-in-progress based in Naarm (Melbourne). She was shortlisted for the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers in 2020 and is a recent graduate of RMIT’s Associate Degree of Professional Writing & Editing. Her pieces have appeared in RMIT’s Catalyst and on ArtsHub.

GOLDEN / Jade Timms / YA
Golden is about seventeen-year-old Eddie who navigates grief and guilt after the death of her brother-in-law. Eddie plans to spend the summer working and training for a mud run, but a new friendship sees her confronting emotions she’s been expertly avoiding.

When she’s not working at a tiny beachside library, Jade Timms can be found writing stories or reading at least five different books. Jade has a degree in archaeology and a diploma in library services, and is currently working towards a post-graduate qualification in children’s literature.

For publicity enquiries, please contact Nikki Boltz:    


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