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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.

Dates for the 2015 Text Prize

Submissions open: 2 March 2015

Submissions close: 2 April 2015

A submission form will be available soon. Stay tuned to Text on Facebook or Twitter.

The 2014 winner of the Text Prize is David Burton for


A funny, sad and serious memoir of a personal journey through adolescence, HOW TO BE HAPPY tackles depression, friendship, sexual confusion, suicide, academic pressure, love and self discovery. A brave and honest account of one young man’s struggle that will resonate with readers young and old.

David Burton is a twenty-four-year-old award-winning playwright from Brisbane. His work April’s Fool (Playlab Press) toured nationally in 2012. He has recently co-written Hedonism’s Second Album for La Boite Indie, and The Landmine Is Me for Queensland Theatre Company. A speaker and presenter in schools across Queensland, David is passionate about sharing his remarkable story with young people.

How to Be Happy is David’s first book.

Michael Heyward, publisher at Text Publishing : ‘We launched The Text Prize six years ago because we wanted to play our part in helping new and emerging writers of young adult and children’s books find readers. And we wanted to help booksellers identify brilliant new voices right from the start. We know how many talented writers are out there who deserve to find an audience. The Text Prize has launched careers. It has earned its reputation for finding different and distinctive voices. We have sold foreign rights in all of the winning books to date.

This year’s winner, How to Be Happy, will delight readers. It’s the first memoir to win The Text Prize. It’s a book that sets off in pursuit of those things that are true and real. It is a three-dimensional account of how to grapple with every kind of adolescent anxiety, and it’s bursting with humour and wit. We can’t wait to publish it.’

On winning the Text Prize, David said, ‘I’m incredibly humbled and honoured to be the recipient of this year’s prize, and am beyond thrilled to be working with Text.’

David has won $10,000 and a publishing contract with Text Publishing. How to Be Happy will be published in mid-2015.

The Text Prize is awarded annually to the best manuscript written by an Australian or New Zealander for young adults or children.

Entries for the 2015 prize open in March 2015.

Previous winners:

2013: The Minnow Diana Sweeney, June 2014

2012: Zac and Mia A. J. Betts

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

‘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