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At First Glance: TCW First Pages Pitch Contest

21 October 2023 | 4:20 pm - 5:30 pm

First Pitch Contest

Enjoy our signature TCW pitch contest with $250 prize money on offer. ‘First pages’ from aspiring authors are read by a narrator to industry experts who will provide a critique of chosen submissions. The session will provide other attendees with a chance to learn what attracts the attention of agents and publishers when seeking new historical fiction. Entrants will remain anonymous other than the winner of the contest. Our judges are Meredith Curnow (Penguin Random House), literary agent Gaby Naher (Left Bank Literary) and Rochelle Fernandez (Alex Adsett Agency). Rachel Nightingale will act as narrator.



The contest will be recorded to enable other writers in the audience to gain the benefit of advice provided by the panel.

Submission Details

Please email the following documents marked ‘HNSA First Pages’ to contact@hnsa.org.au  by Midnight 13 October AEST*

  • Cover sheet with your name and **Registrant ID for your HNSA 2023 conference ticket in a separate word.docx with the file identified by your name eg ‘janeausten.docx’)
  • First 500 words excerpt from your manuscript
  • Elevator pitch (50 words max)
  • 200 word synopsis
  • The excerpt, pitch and synopis to be placed in a word.docx with the file identified with the book’s title eg ‘title.docx’. Do not place your name on the excerpt.

Purchase of an ‘In-Person’ weekend conference or day ticket is a precondition to entering the contest. Online conference registrants are ineligible to enter.

*HNSA reserves the right to refund your money and allocate your place to the next person in the waiting list if the deadline is not met.

**Your Registrant ID can be found at the bottom of your email confirmation.

Preference will be given to early bird registrants.

Limit: 8 persons

Cost: $15


About Meredith Curnow

Meredith Curnow is a publisher of fiction and non-fiction at Penguin Random House Australia.

About Gaby Naher

Gaby is a literary agent with over 30 years experience in the book industry. Her clients include Stella-prize-winning Heather Rose, New York Times # 1 bestselling author Candice Fox and Dr Norman Swan. Prior to establishing The Naher Agency in May 2008, Gaby worked as a literary agent, publicist and bookseller in Sydney, London and New York. She is the author of four books and has a Doctorate of Creative Arts. She is former President of the Australian Literary Agents Association and a Patrol Captain at Bronte Surf Life Saving Club.

About Rochelle Fernandez

Spanning a career of nearly 20 years, Rochelle has worked as an editor across fiction, non-fiction and ebooks for small and large publishing houses. She was the former publisher for Voyager, HarperCollins’s Speculative fiction imprint, and has recently made the jump to agent to champion the stories she thinks Australia needs to read.

About Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale’s previous publications include the Tales of Tarya historical fantasy series and a non-fiction book with artist Karen Scott, Mandala: Journeys Within the Circle. An award-winning playwright, Rachel’s works have been performed onstage and on radio in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, and her extensive theatre experience includes co-writing and performing in the popular Murder on the Puffing Billy Express steam train dinner show. She has taught in Australia, India and Vietnam. In her spare time she is a pin-cushion to a Devon Rex, a chew toy for some crazy chihuahuas, and a craft-a-holic. Being on the autism spectrum, Rachel understands what it’s like to be different and embraces diversity and acceptance.




The HNSA 2023 conference is both a live and online event with in-person sessions livestreamed to the virtual audience.  Ticket holders will have on-demand access to sessions for 3 months after the event.
Any queries should be directed to hnsaevents@gmail.com


21 October 2023
4:20 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:



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