What is the program?

Up to 10 emerging fiction and non-fiction writers will work with staff from Hachette Australia to develop high-quality manuscripts.

The program will run for four days in Brisbane, Queensland. Participants will each have an individual consultation with staff from Hachette Australia to receive feedback on their manuscript. During the four days, participants will also meet other publishing industry professionals such as literary agents, booksellers and established authors, and work on their manuscripts.

Hachette Australia does not guarantee publication of manuscripts selected for the program but reserves the first right to publish the selected manuscripts. Please read the full terms and conditions in the Application Form.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This program has been created for emerging Australian authors of commercial adult and Young Adult (YA) fiction and non-fiction only.
  • Manuscripts submitted by applicants for the program must be their own original, unpublished work and should be strong commercial fiction, including but not limited to contemporary women’s fiction, crime and YA, or commercial narrative non-fiction, including but not limited to memoir, biography, travel narratives and general history. The emphasis of this program is on finding and developing commercial manuscripts capable of having broad appeal.
  • The following types of work are not eligible:
    • Speculative fiction – i.e. science fiction, fantasy and other subgenres
    • Poetry, plays, short stories
    • Works intended for the academic or educational market
    • Self-help manuscripts
    • Business manuscripts
    • Cookery manuscripts.
  • Manuscripts for adult fiction and non-fiction must be between 55,000 and 110,000 words in length.
  • The program is open to emerging writers who, for the purpose of this program, are defined as writers who are unpublished or with no more than one commercially or independently published work.
  • A writer who has had one work published already and has contractually agreed to give the option on their next work to their incumbent publisher is not eligible.
  • Entry to the program will be open to applicants Australia-wide who are Australian citizens or permanent resident in Australia, and who currently reside in Australia.
  • Applicants must be aged 18 years or older.
  • A minimum of 3 places will be reserved for Queensland-based writers. For the purpose of this program, a Queensland-based writer is a writer currently residing in Queensland.
  • Hachette Australia reserves the right to ask applicants to submit full works prior to announcing the shortlist. In this case, applicants must submit a full-length draft of their manuscript within 72 hour of being notified. This does not guarantee entry into the program.
  • Successful applicants must be available to attend at least the publisher-consultation portion of the retreat in Brisbane.

Entry and Assessment Process

  • Applicants must submit one printed copy of the first 50 pages of their manuscript plus one copy of a one-page synopsis.
  • Manuscripts must be formatted as per industry standard – please see the QWC resource sheet on Formatting Your Manuscript
  • Synopses should be single-spaced. Please see QWC’s Writing a Synopsis resources for tips:
  • Applications must be accompanied by a completed application form and the entry fee. The fee contributes toward the expense of running this program.
  • Applicants may enter more than one manuscript; however, each submission must be accompanied by its own application form and entry fee.
  • All submissions will be assessed by staff from Hachette Australia, who will make the final decision on the shortlist of successful applicants.
  • The successful applicants must submit a full-length draft of their manuscripts within 72 hours of being accepted to the program. Staff from Hachette Australia will read the full manuscript prior to the retreat.
  • There will be no individual feedback for unsuccessful applicants.

Fees and Charges

The entry fee is $55 (plus GST) for general entries, and $50 (plus GST) for QWC members and members of any of the following Australian State Writers Centres:

This program has been partially subsidised; however, participants selected for the program will be required to contribute towards some of their meals during the program. Participants will need to arrange and pay for their own travel to and from Brisbane. There are no other charges for this program.

Key Dates

Applications Open:           Monday 2 July 2018

Applications Close:           5:00pm Friday 17 August 2018

Shortlist notified:             End of November 2018

MS Development Retreat:   TBA

Applications must be delivered by the deadline. Electronic submissions will not be considered.

How to Apply

Complete the Application Form and send with one printed copy of your manuscript and synopsis to:

QWC/Hachette Australia MS Development Program
c/o Queensland Writers Centre
PO Box 3488
South Brisbane Qld 4101

Manuscripts must be presented according to standard manuscript format e.g. printed in 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, 3cm margins, page numbered, printed on one side. Do not staple or bind applications (bulldog clips are preferred). Applicants should ensure their name appears on the application form only. Please do not include your name or identifying details on any portion of the manuscript or synopsis.

Application materials will not be returned. Send copies only (i.e. not your original manuscript). Application materials will be disposed of securely once the selection process has been completed.


Download the Frequently Asked Questions on QWC’s website and if you have further queries you can contact QWC for information at 07 3842 9922 / admin@qldwriters.org.au

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