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Awarded annually to the best manuscript written for young adults and children, the Text Prize has unearthed extraordinary, multi-award-winning novels and launched international publishing careers. The winner receives $10,000 and a publishing contract with Text Publishing.

‘Quickly building a glowing reputation.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘The Text Prize is going from strength to strength…Winners that push the boundaries of young-adult fiction.’ Junior Bookseller + Publisher


The winner of the 2013 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is Diana Sweeney for her moving and powerful novel The Minnow, the story of a young girl struggling to find her way after a devastating flood claims the lives of her sister and parents.

Michael Heyward, publisher at Text remarked, ‘This is now the sixth time that we have awarded the Text Prize. Each year we have been thrilled with the quality of the winning book. Diana Sweeney’s The Minnow is a brilliant addition to the list of winners. We know we have unearthed a dazzlingly talented new writer. This novel is a true find. It tackles the hardest issues about being a teenager but it sings. It makes us understand sorrow and joy at the same time. We can’t wait to publish The Minnow.

Diana Sweeney commented, on hearing the news, ‘Winning the Text Prize is nothing short of a dream come true.’

Diana Sweeney is a university lecturer and model. She was born in Auckland then moved to Sydney at the age of twelve. She now lives in northern New South Wales.

The Minnow will be published by Text in August 2014.

‘Are you fishing or wishing?’ Bill asks me when there’s a tug on my line.

It’s a little Catfish. Far too undersized to keep. As I unhook it I think of my sister floating away, her head under the water looking at the things in the sea. The Catfish asks me what I’m doing, its little mouth mouthing the words.

‘I’m throwing you back, Sarah,’ I say. ‘You belong in the water now and I belong here with Bill.’ Nana. I meant to say Nana.

Text Publishing is thrilled to announce we will also be publishing one of the runners-up, Waer by twenty-one-year-old Meg Caddy from Perth.

Previous winners:

2012: Zac and Mia A. J. Betts (August 2013)

2011: Fire in the Sea Myke Bartlett

2010: The Bridge Jane Higgins

2009: This Is Shyness Leanne Hall

2008: The Billionaire’s Curse Richard Newsome