The Erica Bell Foundation

Rewarding Excellence in Tasmanian Literature and Medical Research

Erica Bell Foundation Literature Award eligibility criteria

How to enter
Entries must be lodged between 1 October 2014 – 31 October 2014.


  • Must be a resident of Tasmania (for more than 12 months)
  • Must be an emerging writer of a substantial adult or young adult fiction manuscript (more than 40,000 words) which has not been self or commercially published. The Foundation is seeking emerging Tasmanian writers who have previously had no more than one full-length work of fiction self or commercially published
  • Must provide a one page synopsis providing a plot summary of the story
  • May submit only one application.

The manuscript:

  • Must be a work of adult or young adult literary fiction or genre fiction (do not send poetry, short stories, memoirs, children’s picture books, verse novels, graphic novels, non-fiction
  • Must be original work, entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English
  • Your manuscript must be anonymous with the title only – your name will appear on the application form
  • Must be a complete manuscript with a minimum length of 40,000 words which has not been previously self or commercially published in print or electronic form.


  • Entries must be lodged by 5pm AEST on Friday, 31 October 2014. Late applications will not be considered
  • The winner of the Erica Bell Foundation Literature Award, as well as the first and second runners up, will be notified the first week of December 2014
  • The winner of the award, as well as the first and second runners up, are required to attend the awards ceremony on Friday, 5 December 2014
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • Each entrant is required to agree to the conditions of entry
  • Breach of any conditions will render an entry invalid.

Submission process:
You will need to submit your manuscript in PDF format, plus a one page synopsis, as well as the completed entry form to


Q: Can my manuscript be submitted to a publisher while under consideration for this award? And can I enter it in other competitions?
A: Your manuscript may be submitted to publishers, agents and other competitions during the course of this award. However, it cannot remain in our award if it is under contract to a publisher or wins another competition. If you are offered a publishing contract or you receive a place in another competition before the winner is announced on Friday, 5 December 2014 you will need to withdraw from the award.

Q: Is there a minimum or maximum word limit?
A: Yes. The minimum length is 40,000 words. Keep in mind that although publication is not part of the prize, we are looking for a publishable manuscript.

Q: Does my manuscript have to be complete?
A: Yes. While it is understood that an unpublished manuscript is by definition a draft, it must be a completed work. No unfinished plots, missing chapters, or characters to be fleshed out later. If your manuscript isn’t finished yet, submit it next year.

Q: Can I submit a collection of short stories?
A: No.

Q: Can I submit a stage play, screenplay or script?
A: No. This competition is for a work of adult literary or genre fiction.

Q: Can I submit creative nonfiction?
A: No. This competition is for a work of adult literary or genre fiction.

Q: What if my manuscript is a semi-autobiographical memoir that might or might not be fiction?
A: Whatever you submit will be read as fiction and judged as such. If your aim is to publish a factual memoir then this is not the competition for you. We suggest you ask your local writers’ centre or check their website for non-fiction competitions.

Q: What do you mean by “literary fiction” and “genre fiction”?
A: In this competition we are trying to be inclusive rather than exclusive, looking at the quality of writing rather than for a particular style or genre. Fantasy, science fiction, crime, thrillers and romance – and all the various permutations within, without and around them – are examples of genre fiction. Traditionally, genre fiction pays more attention to plot and often follows a set structure, while literary fiction is thought to be more concerned with character development and psychological depth. These days the borders are blurred and the distinctions less obvious. If your manuscript is fiction, then it fits our criteria.

Q: What do you mean by a synopsis and how long should it be?
A: A synopsis is a short summary of your story, no more than one page written in the present tense and told in the third person. The aim is to give the reader – in this case the judges – a clear idea of the plot of your story. For tips, check out