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The Horne Prize

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The Horne Prize will be given for an essay:

Of exceptional quality

Of no more than 3000 words

Written between July 13 and September 18, 2017

Addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian Life’, be that a profile or a reported feature centred on a particular issue, or a series of vignettes or something else that explains who we are and how we live.

It could be hard news or it could be something softer, so long as it is grounded in interviews and observation.

Entrants need not be published or professional writers, but craft skills of professional calibre are essential.

For a benchmark, we suggest reading last year’s winning essay, Anna Spargo-Ryan’s The Suicide Gene, and the work of other prominent contemporary essayists.

What we’re not seeking or accepting:

  • Essays about Donald Horne and his work
  • Essays that look to the past without using the backward glance to reflect on the present, or on possibilities for the future
  • Lyric essays and memoirs that are purely expositional (that is, lacking research and analysis of their subject)
  • Essays written for school, TAFE or university assignments
  • Submissions that include artwork, photographs or other images.


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