KYD New Critics Program

Applications are now closed.

In 2023 we’re growing our New Critic award with an expanded publication, events and mentorship program for early-career literary critics, supported by Creative Victoria.

For 2023, we will be selecting two book critics, who will each publish five essay length reviews (1200 words) on recent-release fiction and non-fiction between March and December 2023.

Each critic will also receive editorial feedback and mentorship throughout the year with writer, editor and critic Cher Tanas well as appear at two panel/discussion type events in 2023 to discuss the function, form and future of Australian literary criticism.

Each critic will be paid $1,237 per review, and $233 per panel appearance (total $6,651 each).

Applications are open from 28 November—11:59pm AEDT 19 December, and consist of the following:

  • Section 1: A cover letter describing your interest, knowledge and/or involvement with literary criticism, and suitability for the Program.
  • Section 2: 1 x short review (approx. 400 words) of a book published in 2022. (This can be of any book, and can be original or previously published). Check out KYD‘s Books Roundup column for examples and inspiration!
  • Section 3: 1 x pitch/short outline (max. 200 words) for a review of a 2023 title that you would write as a New Critic. (Tips on crafting a strong pitch can be found here.)
  • Section 4: A one-page maximum overview of your relevant previous writing experience and/or previously published work.

Submissions are open exclusively to KYD Members (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers are invited to enter without a membership). Find more information on becoming a KYD member here.

View the full terms & conditions here. For any queries contact

The KYD New Critics Program 2023 is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Previous winners:

2022 Winner: Claire Cao (NSW); Runners up: Merryana Salem, Taylor Mitchell

2021 Winner: May Ngo (NSW); Runners up: Olivia Muscat, Dženana Vucic

2020 Winner: Michael Sun (NSW); Runners up: Aimee Knight (SA), Fiona Murphy (NSW)

2019 Winner: Cher Tan (VIC); Runners up: Kaya Wilson (NSW), Viv Cutbush (TAS)

2018 Winner: Kylie Maslen (SA).

2017 Winner: Stephanie Eslake (TAS).


Need some inspiration? Check out Cher Tan’s online writing course Writing Criticism:

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