Skip Navigation

Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program 2017

CBCA NSW Branch Inc is excited to announce the winner, the shortlist and longlist for their 2017 Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program.

Winner: Maura Pierlot


The three shortlisted manuscripts are, in no particular order: 

  • Baby And Me, Sit Quietly by Angela Costigan, a picture book entered in the Picture Book category. A gentle, wonder-filled story of a parent taking time to pause and watch the world go by with their baby.
  • Go See In The Night by Jackie Randall, a junior novel entered in the Younger Readers category. A historical adventure story, set in medieval London, of 12-year-old Ashel’s fight against a criminal mastermind, helped by his two friends and customs officer Geoffrey Chaucer.
  • Freefalling by Maura Pierlot, a young adult novel entered in the Older Readers category. A touching, humorous story of 15-year-old Harley and her struggle to find her place in the world as she fights a downward spiral of weight loss, self-loathing and broken friendships.


The seventeen longlisted manuscripts are, in no particular order:

Picture Book Category

Baby And Me Sit Quietly by Angela Costigan

One Little Duck by Shannon Snoad

Look Who's Watching by Kesta Fleming

Echidna's Song by Vikki Conley

Show-stopper by Kate Hart

The Goose is Out by Elizabeth Stewart

Monster Parents by Victoria Hill 

Younger Readers Category

Go See In The Night by Jackie Randall

Twelve Chimes of Christmas by Stephanie Smith

Being Australia Brown by Mish Gittens

Children of the New World by Michael Hallett

Wild Honey by Paula Stevenson

Older Readers Category

Freefalling by Maura Pierlot

Screen Test by Sean Travers

Burn by Elizabeth Amos

Under The Cinnamon Tree by Tamzen Murphy

A Flicker of Freesia by Tamzen Murphy

The longlist was selected from 106 entries, blind-judged by experienced professionals. The seventeen longlisted manuscripts were forwarded to HarperCollins, who selected the shortlist of three.

The winning author, Maura Pierlot, was chosen by HarperCollins, also received the Charlotte Waring Barton Award and a mentorship with HarperCollins.

The winner, Maura Pierlot, was announced at our inaugural Aspiring Writers Night on 9 November 2017, featuring special guests and publisher insights. Details are below.

Access a flyer here. 

Click here for a Media Release with further information.

The CBCA NSW Branch Inc Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program is now open to all Australian citizens residing in Australia.

The mentorship is sponsored by HarperCollins Children’s Books Australia. 

Aspiring Writers Awards Night 2017

Who will win the 2017 Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program?

What do publishers want in a manuscript?

Join us from 6-8.30pm on 9 November 2017 at HarperCollins beautiful Sydney offices (Level 13, 201 Elizabeth Street) for an inspiring evening. 

Sparkling wine and nibbles on arrival.

Speakers include:

  1. Authors: Jacqueline Harvey, Jen Storer, Belinda Murrell, Kate Forsyth and Danika Hall
  2. From HarperCollins:
    • James Kellow — CEO Australia and New Zealand,
    • Cristina Cappelluto — Children’s Publishing Director
    • and Lisa Berryman — Publisher

Book sales and signings will be available at the event through Better Read Than Dead booksellers.

Charlotte Waring Barton Award

The winner of the 2017 Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program receives the Charlotte Waring Barton Award and a comprehensive mentorship which includes: 

  • 2 x 3-hour guidance sessions with an established HarperCollins author.
  • 1 x 1-hour session with a HarperCollins editor.
  • 1 x 1-hour session with a publishing expert in HarperCollins Marketing Communications Manager.
  • 1 x 1-hour session with a HarperCollins publisher.

If the winner resides outside of Sydney, HarperCollins reserves the right to conduct all sessions via Skype.