The Banjo Prize 2020 open for entries Monday 23 March


HarperCollins Publishers Australia is delighted to announce that entries will open for the 2020 Banjo Prize on Monday 23 March. HarperCollins launched The Banjo Prize in 2018 in a quest to find Australia’s next great storyteller. The inaugural winner was Tim Slee, whose delightful debut novel Taking Tom Murray Home was published by HarperCollins in July 2019.  The 2019 winner was Elizabeth Flann’s incredibly tense Australian thriller Beware of Dogs, to be published in September 2020.

The Banjo Prize is offered annually and is open to all Australian fiction writers, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000. Writers need to have a full manuscript at the time of submission. Applications also need to include a synopsis of approximately 500 words and a 200-word biographical statement. Any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter.

HarperCollins is Australia’s oldest and original publisher, with a literary heritage dating back to Angus & Robertson, who started publishing in Sydney in 1888. The Banjo is named after Banjo Paterson, Australia’s first bestselling author. His first collection of poems, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, was published by Angus & Robertson in October 1895 and was an instant success. The first edition sold out in the week of publication and went on to sell over 7000 copies in just a few months.

HarperCollins Commercial Fiction Publisher Anna Valdinger said, ‘There are many prizes for literary fiction out there, but there aren’t many unpublished manuscript prizes for people who just love to tell a great story. But if you’re inspired by writers like Jane Harper, Kate Morton, Holly Ringland, Dervla McTiernan, Michael Robotham, Liane Moriarty or Jojo Moyes, and you’ve written a novel which is crime, historical fiction, a great family saga, domestic noir, uplit or psychological thriller – then we’d love you to enter the Banjo Prize in 2020! We’re looking for that thing that all readers love – a story we simply can’t put down. So, please, send us your manuscripts!’

Entries open: 9.00am AEDT Monday 23 March 2020

Entries close: 5.00pm AEDT Friday 29 May 2020

Shortlist announced: Tuesday 1 September 2020

Winners announced: Tuesday 15 September 2020

For more information please visit:


HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries. With 200 years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize.

Twitter Tips for Readers and Writers

I often have people tell me that they find Twitter difficult and confusing to use. I can understand that it can seem a bit intimidating at first, but it really is a fantastic platform to connect and network with other like-minded people once you get the hang of it. It is the number one social media platform I use to drive visitors to my blog posts and find interesting people to connect with.


The number one concept Twitter newbies need to get their heads around are hashtags. Make sure that you use them and make sure that they are relevant. Unlike Facebook, hashtags are expected and highly useful on Twitter. All you need to do to create a hashtag is add the pound symbol (#) before the tag you are using. E.g. #hashtag

To search for tweets that include hashtags that you are interested in, just enter your hashtag in the search box and you will see every tweet in Twitter about your topic. Make sure you retweet any that grab your interest!

I’ve put together a list of hashtags that all readers and writers should check out:



#amwriting         hashtag































#wip (Work in progress)














#TBR (To be read)























Hashtag Days

Hashtag Days are an incredibly effective way to connect with new people. Make sure that if you add a Hashtag Day tag to your tweet that you read and retweet other people’s tweets as well.

EDIT 10/12/15 Before you post on a hashtag day, please take the time to read what you can  and can’t tweet on each day. I’ve included the links to all of the hashtag day’s rules, as well as the Twitter accounts that host each day.

EDIT 16/12/15 Thank you Paula Reed Nancarrow for providing the link for Archive Day! You can find Paula on Twitter @prnancarrow

Monday: #mondayblogs Rules Twitter Account: @MondayBlogs

Tuesday: #tuesdaybookblog Rules Twitter Account: @rosieamber1

#teasertuesday Rules Twitter Account: @ADailyRhythm

Wednesday: #wwwblogs Rules Twitter Account: @Womenwriterblog

#ww (Writer Wednesday)

Use the @ to mention writers that you appreciate on Twitter

Thursday: #indiethursday Rules Twitter Account: @IndieThursday

Also #indiebookstorelove

Friday: #fridayreads Rules Twitter Account: @FridayReads

#ff (Follow Friday)

Similar to #ww. Mention any Twitter people you enjoy following.

Saturday: #archiveday Rules Twitter Account: @SingleMAhoy

Sunday: #sundayblogshare Rules Twitter Account: @SundayBlogShare

This is by no means an exhaustive list of bookish Twitter hashtags, but there are plenty to get started with.

My final piece of advice on getting the most out of Twitter is please make sure that you interact and engage with other people. If you see an interesting link or blogpost, retweet it. Or use the @ feature to let them know you though it was great.

I always follow back bookish people and am happy to assist Twitter newbies.

You can find me on Twitter at @scatterbooker

My other social media handles:

Facebook: scatterbooker

Instagram: scatterbooker

Pinterest: scatterbooker

Google+: Jade St Clair Scatterbooker

LinkedIn: Jade St Clair

How You Might Be Able To Turn Your Self-Published Novel Into A Best-Seller

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir                

The newest space film to hit the cinemas, The Martian, which is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, seems like any other run of the mill Hollywood blockbuster at first glance. I was very surprised to read in the Sydney Morning Herald that The Martian started out as a humble blog, became a self-published novel, and gained a publishing and film deal in the space of 18 months.

It sounds like an impossible dream for most self-published authors, doesn’t it? Well, it maybe it is, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still ways for authors to make a comfortable living from their writing and the easiest way to go about it may result in a hit, just like The Martian.

Kevin Kelly argues that anyone who produces works of art only needs 1000 True Fans to make a living. The actual number of fans required for each artist is different, but the basic idea is that if you have enough True Fans who will buy every book that you ever publish and champion everything that you ever do you can still make a decent salary from writing without becoming a best-seller.

So, how do you find True Fans? By communicating with them! When Andy Weir first began writing The Martian he had around 3000 fans on his personal blog. Since Weir is a self-confessed space nerd and wrote about scientific space stuff his blog attracted other space nerds. Some of his fans helped with the scientific facts which helped make the novel as accurate as possible. A lot of Weir’s fans said they wanted to read The Martian on Kindle rather than online, so he published it on Amazon for them. In turn, they purchased the book and told everyone how much they enjoyed it. This buzz around the novel, which was initiated by Weir’s True Fans, helped it to become a best-seller on Amazon and attracted the attention of Random House and Fox. In other words, Weir found his True Fans and gave them what they wanted.

By connecting with his True Fans Andy Weir became a millionaire. Your True Fans will only be a small percentage of your actual fan base, but they are the people who you should focus the majority of your online and social media efforts on. These are the people who will honestly tell what was great or how you can make improvements. They will provide you with endless encouragement and support while singing your praises to everyone they know. Your True Fans will do everything in their power to make your latest novel a best-seller, but until then, connecting with them will inspire you to keep on writing and provide you with a comfortable living. Make sure you remember to make time for them.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

So, Why Am I So Interested In Self-Publishing?

Source: Maria Elena
Source: Maria Elena

Before I began my book blog I didn’t know much about the self-publishing industry at all. When I first began my great love affair with books, reading such classics as The Babysitter’s Club  and Sweet Valley High, there was only one way to read them. This meant that I never had enough new books because I got through them before my parents were prepared to take me to the shops or library for a new one.

While I was growing up, though, the world was starting change. Throughout my teens and twenties the world was rapidly becoming more and more digitized each year until the point that we’re at right now, in 2015, where almost any form of entertainment that you can possibly imagine, including books, is available online.

I am now a student of Internet Communications and over the course of my studies we talk a lot about the effects that digitization and also convergence have had on many different industries. A very clever man called Henry Jenkins describes what convergence means best, so I will let him explain it to you.

By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they wanted. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes, depending on who’s speaking and what they think they are talking about. In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. Right now, convergence culture is getting defined top-down by decisions being made in corporate boardrooms and bottom-up by decisions made in teenagers’ bedrooms. It is shaped by the desires of media conglomerates to expand their empires across multiple platforms and by the desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want…. – See more at:

I’ve read many interesting and informative articles and participated in many lectures about the effects of digitization and convergence on the television, film, and gaming industries, but there really isn’t much out there about the publishing industry. And when self-publishing gets mentioned, most people’s impression is that all self-published novels are terrible, full of typos and unprofessional, a legacy from when the only option for self-publishing was through a Vanity Press.

I may have even believed the same thing myself if I wasn’t lucky enough to have stumbled upon so many fabulous self-published authors this year! I have to admit that some of the self-published novels that I’ve read have been pretty terrible, but this is the case in any participatory culture. Just because everybody is able to be an author doesn’t mean that everybody should be an author, but I have also discovered an increasing amount of absolutely amazing self-published authors who go to an incredible amount of effort to publish their books.

So, I’m going to use Self-Publishing Talk as a space to discuss my thoughts on digitization and convergence and the ways that writing, distributing and consuming books are changing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and you can check out my latest book reviews, including some great self-published novels, on the main blog page.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.


A New Hashtag Day for Book Bloggers: #TuesdayBookBlog

Attention all book bloggers and authors. Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team are introducing a brand new hashtag day, #TuesdayBookBlog, beginning today, Tuesday, November 3rd.

You can read all about it on Rosie’s blog:

And below are the main guidelines to stick to when posting.

Img Source: Terry Tyler Twitter:
Img Source: Twitter

Since I have so many interesting books on my TBR list I’ve compiled a list of a few books that are coming up soon on Scatterbooker for my very first #TuesdayBookBlog post:

The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne

Img Source:
Img Source: Goodreads

Jane believes in keeping her promises, but a deathbed vow sets her on a twisting path of deceit and joy that takes her from the dark secrets of Holmwood House in York to the sign of the golden lily in London’s Mincing Lane. Getting what you want, Jane discovers, comes at a price. For the child that she longed for, the child she promised to love and to keep safe, turns out to be a darker spirit than she could ever have imagined.
Over four centuries later, Roz Acclam remembers nothing of the fire that killed her family – or of the brother who set it. Trying on a beautiful Elizabethan necklace found in the newly restored Holmwood House triggers disturbing memories of the past at last – but the past Roz remembers is not her own . . .
A dark and twisted tale from Pamela Harshorne, author of The Memory of Midnight and Time’s Echo, and a perfect read for fans of Kate Mosse and Barbara Erskine.


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything. This first book, Future Perfect, tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly. A dark undercurrent runs through this story; the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty, will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience.


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Fetish by Tara Moss

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads


Mak is young, beautiful- and in grave danger. An international fashion model, she arrived in Australia on assignment, only to find her best friend brutally murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer with a very deadly fetish. Before she knows it, Mak herself is caught up in the hunt for the killer and trapped in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Who can you trust and where can you turn when you are the dark obsession of a sadistic psychopath?

Tara Moss began modeling at fifteen and worked as a top model around the world for the years before becoming a full-time crime novelist.


Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads


Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.

Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blonde Eskimo by Kristen Hunt

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads


Part Viking, part Eskimo, Neiva Ellis knew her family’s ancestral home, the island of Spirit, Alaska, held a secret. A mystery so sensitive everyone, including her beloved grandmother, was keeping it from her. When Neiva is sent to stay on the island while her parents tour Europe she sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but she was not prepared for what laid ahead.

On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo rite of passage, Neiva is mysteriously catapulted into another world full of mystical creatures, ancient traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends Nate, Viv and Breezy, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and about her own heritage.

When an evil force threatens those closest to her, Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends. Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.


Amazon US

Amazon UK

How You Might Be Able To Turn Your Self-Published Novel Into A Best-Seller


The newest space film to hit the cinemas, The Martian, which is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, seems like any other run of the mill Hollywood blockbuster at first glance. So I was very surprised to read in the Sydney Morning Herald that The Martian started out as a humble blog, became a self-published novel, and gained a publishing and film deal in the space of 18 months.

It sounds like an impossible dream for most self-published authors, doesn’t it? Well, it probably is, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still ways for authors to make a comfortable living from their writing and the easiest way to go about it may result in a hit, just like The Martian…