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Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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'The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is awarded annually to the best unpublished manuscript written by an Australian or New Zealander for children or young adults.'

Source: Text Publishing. (Sighted: 19/5/2014)


2019 winner Georgina Young

for Loner

2018 winner y separately published work icon It Sounded Better in My Head Nina Kenwood , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 16746606 2019 single work novel young adult

'When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed and nothing is quite making sense.

'Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

'It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out and finding out what really matters—from an exciting new voice in Australian YA writing.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon The Extremely Weird Thing That Happened in Huggabie Falls Adam Cece , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018 12265751 2018 single work children's fiction children's

'Kipp Kindle always knew his family wasn’t like other families. They were weird, in fact they were probably the weirdest family on Earth. It was just as well they lived in the town of Huggabie Falls, because Huggabie Falls was the weirdest place on Earth.

'Winner of the 2017 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

'KIPP Kindle and his friends Tobias Treachery and Cymphany Camelot live in Huggabie Falls, the weirdest town on Earth. Weird things happen all the time—that’s normal. But when an extremely weird thing happens Kipp and his friends embark on an action-packed, hilarious adventure to find out what is making everything turn normal, and to return the weirdness to Huggabie Falls.

'With evil villain Felonious Dark and fierce mathematics teacher Mrs Turgen to contend with—not to mention killer vampire bats, vegetarian piranhas and a Portuguese-speaking lab rat called Ralph—Kipp Tobias and Cymphany have quite a task ahead of them. And to make things worse, Cymphany has been turned into a baby hippopotamus.

'The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls is the first book in a trilogy of sublimely ridiculous laugh-out-loud stories for middle-grade readers.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner Adam Cece For 'The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened at Huggabie Falls'.
2016 winner y separately published work icon Beautiful Mess Claire Christian , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017 11525250 2017 single work novel young adult

'Since Ava lost Kelly, things haven’t been going so well. Even before she gets thrown out of school for shouting at the principal, there’s the simmering rage and all the weird destructive choices. The only thing going right for Ava is her job at Magic Kebab.

'Which is where she meets Gideon. Skinny, shy, anxious Gideon. A mad poet and collector of vinyl records with an aversion to social media. He lives in his head. She lives in her grief. The only people who can help them move on with their lives are each other.' (Synopsis)

(As manuscript, with title Waste)

2015 winner y separately published work icon The Book of Whispers Kimberley Starr , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016 9706103 2016 single work novel historical fiction fantasy

'Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees, or risk another exorcism by the nefarious priest Ramberti.

'Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Night after night Luca sees his father murdered, and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.

'Far away in Cappadocia, Suzan has dreams too. Consigned with her mute mother to a life in an underground convent, she has a vision of a brown-haired boy riding through the desert. A boy with an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power. A boy who will take her on an adventure that will lead to places beyond both their understanding.

'Together, Luca and Suzan will realise their true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon How to Be Happy : A Memoir of Love, Sex and Teenage Confusion Dave Burton , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 11660536 2015 single work novel young adult

'A funny, sad and serious memoir, How to Be Happy is David Burton’s story of his turbulent life at high school and beyond. Feeling out of place and convinced that he is not normal, David has a rocky start. He longs to have a girlfriend, but his first ‘date’ is a disaster. There’s the catastrophe of the school swimming carnival—David is not sporty—and friendships that take devastating turns. Then he finds some solace in drama classes with the creation of ‘Crazy Dave’, and he builds a life where everything is fine. But everything is not fine.

'And, at the centre of it all, trying desperately to work it all out, is the real David.

'How to Be Happy tackles depression, friendship, sexual identity, suicide, academic pressure, love and adolescent confusion. It’s a brave and honest account of one young man’s search for a happy, true and meaningful life that will resonate with readers young and old.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

For the 2014 manuscript.
2013 winner y separately published work icon The Minnow Diana Sweeney , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014 6142339 2014 single work novel young adult

'Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby.

'Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings.

'And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.

'The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.' (Publication summary)

2012 winner y separately published work icon Zac and Mia A. J. Betts , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 6106145 2013 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world he wouldn't--couldn't--be friends with her. 

But in hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note--then a friendship neither of them sees coming. 

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. 
In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. 

Or maybe they both need each other, always.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Won for the original manuscript.
2011 winner y separately published work icon Fire in the Sea The Relic Myke Bartlett , 2011 Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012 Z1882702 2011 single work novel young adult adventure fantasy

'Sadie is sixteen and bored with life in Perth. It's summer, and lazing on the beach in the stifling heat with her cousins and Tom is a drag. Then something comes out of the sea.

'Dark menacing forms attack an old man, leaving him for dead and Sadie wracking her brains to understand what she saw. Then there's a mysterious inheritance, a strange young man called Jake and a horned beast trampling the back yard.

'Sadie finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient conflict that is nearing its final battle, a showdown that threatens to engulf Perth and all those she loves in a furious tsunami.

'Fire in the Sea is a fast-paced thrilling adventure with a feisty heroine who is not afraid to fight for what she knows is right.' (From the publisher's website.)

Won with the title 'The Relic'.
2009 winner y separately published work icon This Is Shyness Leanne Hall , 2009 Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2010 Z1616802 2009 single work novel young adult fantasy

'A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget.

'In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn't rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night.

'But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless ... dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.' (From the publisher's website.)

2008 inaugural winner y separately published work icon The Billionaire's Curse The Valentines and the Billionaire's Curse Richard Newsome , 2008 Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2009 Z1526341 2008 single work novel young adult mystery

'Someone has stolen the world's most valuable diamond and a constable lies unconscious in the British Museum, two sedative darts protruding from his backside.

'Not something Gerald Wilkins knows or cares anything about. Not until he finds himself on a private luxury jet heading for London to attend the funeral of a great aunt he has never met. Not until he inherits her estate, worth twenty billion pounds. Not until he opens a bundle of envelopes from his dead great aunt.

'Was she murdered? Who stole the diamond? And what is the mysterious casket that everyone seems to be looking for?

'With the help of the Valentine twins, the rat-fearing Sam and the gymnastic champ Ruby, Gerald's got a mystery to solve. A mystery that will take them into secret passageways, a musty bookshop, an ancient crypt, a ruined tower and a colossal cavern where the secret of a priceless treasure lies protected by deadly booby traps.

'The Billionaire's Curse is an irresistible adventure story with an array of curious characters, ancient folklore and a whodunnit. Young and not-so-young adults, get ready to stay up late.' (From the publisher's website.)

Shortlisted under the title 'The Valentines and the Billionaire's Curse'