Our prize-winners for January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Sarah Vincent


Welcome to our monthly brag about our Writers Victoria community members who have won awards, been shortlisted or longlisted for writing prizes or received industry recognition.

Collective celebrations

The finalists for the annual Margaret River Short Story Competition have been announced. Margaret River Press will publish the finalists’ work in an anthology later this year. Among the shortlisted authors and their works were:

  • Judyth Emanuel, member, for ‘Treacle Eyes’
  • Marian Matta, member, for ‘A Single Life’
  • Miriam Zolin, member, for ‘Better than the Farm’
  • Keren Heenan, member, for ‘Oh, the Water’
  • Else Fitzgerald, member and former intern, for ‘Sheen’
  • Belinda McCormick, member, for ‘M’
  • Gail Chrisfield, member, for ‘Still Life with Dying Swan’
  • Erin Courtney Kelly, member, for ‘All the Places You Have Been’.

The Australian Romance Readers Awards 2016 finalists have been announced. The winners will be announced on 25 February as part of the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne. There are nine categories, as well as three special Members’ Choice categories. Among the finalists were:

  • Favourite Australian Romance Author: Anne Gracie, member and tutor
  • Favourite Sci Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance: CS Pacat, tutor, for ‘Kings Rising’
  • Favourite Historical Romance: Anne Gracie, member and tutor for ‘The Summer Bride’
  • Favourite Contemporary Romance: Ella Carey, member, for ‘From a Paris Balcony’ and ‘The House by the Lake’
  • Favourite Continuing Romance Series: CS Pacat, tutor, for ‘Captive Prince’ and Anne Gracie, member and tutor for ‘Chance Sisters’
  • Favourite Cover from a romance published in 2016: Alli Sinclair, member, for ‘Under the Spanish Stars’
  • Favourite Heroine from a romance published in 2016: Daisy Chance in ‘The Summer Bride’ by Anne Gracie, member and tutor
  • Favourite Couple from a romance published in 2016: Daisy and Flynn in in ‘The Summer Bride’ by Anne Gracie, member and tutor, and Damen and Laurent in ‘Kings Rising’ by CS Pacat, tutor.

The shortlist for The 2017 Indie Book Awards has been announced. The Awards were established in 2008 with the aim of creating a unique award recognising and rewarding the best Australian writing as chosen by Australian Independent Booksellers. Among the shortlist were:

  • Nonfiction
    • Maxine Beneba Clarke, tutor, for ‘The Hate Race’
    • Helen Garner, tutor, for ‘Everywhere I Look’
  • Young Adult
    • Cath Crowley, member and manuscript assessor, for ‘Words in Deep Blue’
    • Amie Kaufman, tutor, for ‘Gemina’ (with Jay Kristoff)
    • Mark Smith, member, for ‘The Road to Winter’.

A number of writers and literary organisations have received funding in the Australia Council’s October 2016 grant round. Congratulations to:

  • Cassandra Atherton, member
  • Micheline Lee, tutor and member.

Several writers received grants in the latest round of Creative Victoria’s VicArts Grants. Congratulations to:

  • Catherine Crowley, member and assessor, to develop ‘a historical adventure novel for children aged between nine and twelve years’.
  • Adrian Hyland, member and tutor, for a novel about ‘a family trapped in a major bushfire in ranges north of Melbourne’.
  • Sofie Laguna, tutor, to work on ‘the final draft of her upcoming novel about power, gun violence and courage’.
  • Dee White, member, to research and develop ‘a work of historical fiction based on the true story of how Algerian imams in a Parisian mosque helped save Jewish children during WWII’.

RJ Tennyson, member, was announced as the winner of the 2016 Hal Porter Short Story Competition for his story ‘Tonight’s the night I’m going to shine’. The judges chose the winning story from a shortlist of four. Melisabeth Cooper Fell, member, was on the shortlist for her story ‘How to cure a cat’s anxiety’.

Individual celebrations

John Marsden, member and tutor, has been voted number 5 in Booktopia’s annual poll ‘Australia’s Favourite Author’. Booktopia said ‘well over’ 100,000 votes were cast, with 520 nominees narrowed down to a longlist of 75 in a series of heats on social media.

Jean Flynn, member, has been awarded Xoum Publishing's inaugural XO Romance Prize for her novel ‘Lovesick’. She receives $5000 cash and a publishing contract with XO Romance. Lovesick will be published in August.

Rumi Komonz, member, short story won a prize in the 12th edition of ‘Port Phillip Writes’, a literary publication by that city.