The Hope Prize, the BSLs national short story competition, encourages writers to explore resilience in the face of adversity.

The Hope Prize was established thanks to the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family. The prize encourages writing that transcends stereotypes of ‘the poor’ and reflects the resilience people show in the face of poverty and testing times.

We are delighted to announce the winners of this short-story competition, after a rigorous judging process assisted by our publishing partner, Simon & Schuster, and leading book retailer Readings.

2018 Hope Prize


  • First prize: Finegan Kruckemeyer, Like Dresses in a Tree
  • Second prize: Tess Rowley, The Girl Who Wanted to Paint the Moon
  • Third Prize: Kim Kelly, MESSERSCHMITT

Highly commended authors

  • Alice Bishop, Saltwater
  • Melanie (Rees) Crouch, Lilly of the Locust Fields
  • Vicky Daddo, Run

Award for emerging writer under 18 (shared prize)

  • Eleanor George, Biographies of the British Monarchy
  • Veronica Hester, We Will Go On
  • Jenny Pang, The Space Between Stillness and Sleep

Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships

  • Melanie (Rees) Crouch
  • Vicky Daddo

The judges

Our judges, actor Cate Blanchett, former Governor General Quentin Bryce and author Kate Grenville, are passionate about defeating disadvantage and encouraging good writing.

What the judges said about the 2016 Hope Prize

Quentin Bryce: "I admire the way the stories reveal the lives of people who so often go unnoticed in our society; stories filled with determination and human spirit about people who overcome the odds with courage and strength."

Cate Blanchett: "The finalists all revealed powerful perspectives on the world at large, and displayed unique, unpretentious and authentic voices."

Kate Grenville, on the story which won the first Hope Prize, 'Better Homes and Gardens' by Catherine Moffat: "The hope here isn’t that good things are going to happen, because they probably won’t. It’s that love is stronger than circumstance, and hope keeps love alive."


The Hope Prize was made possible by the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, and the support of Simon & Schuster and Readings .


2016 Hope Prize


  • First Prize: Catherine Moffat, Better Homes and Gardens
  • Second Prize: Eloise Young, 555 to Reservoir
  • Third Prize: Katherine Hayes, Queen St
  • Young Writer award: Eleanor George, Colours

Highly commended authors

  • Laura McPhee-Browne, The Surprise
  • Marlish Glorie, Machine Man
  • David Porter, We are Looking at Hun Chen
  • Heidi Catherine, The Extra Piece
  • Christine Fontana, The Common Good
  • Yvonne Popplewell, The Flatscreen