Our prize winners for May 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 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 Miles Franklin Literary Award 2017 longlist has been announced. The longlisted titles were chosen from 64 entries. A shortlist will be announced at the Australian Booksellers Association conference in Melbourne on 18 June. The winning author, who will receive $60,000, will be announced in September. Among the longlisted books are:

  • ‘The Easy Way Out’ by Steven Amsterdam, tutor
  • ‘A Loving, Faithful Animal’ by Josephine Rowe, tutor

Susan Hawthorne, member and Kate Richards, tutor, where among the three writers presented with Penguin Random House Best Achievement in Writing in The Inspire Awards, administered by the Victorian Supreme Court’s Funds in Court Division. The awards recognise Victorians who identify with a disability and are well respected in their field of work or community. Recipients are acknowledged for their professional contribution as well as their leadership, role modelling and mentoring, with the awards designed to raise awareness about disability issues and support the development of an inclusive Australian society.

The ballot for the Ditmar Awards 2017 has been announced. Established in 1969, the Ditmar Awards recognise achievement in Australian science-fiction, fantasy and horror. Voting for the awards is open to members of this year’s or last year’s Australian National Science Fiction Conventions. The winners will be announced at the Continuum 13 conference, to be held in Melbourne from 9-12 June. Among The shortlisted works and authors are:
Best Collected Work:

  • ‘Dreaming in the Dark’ by Jack Dann, tutor

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review:

  • Kat Clay, member, for essays and reviews in ‘Weird Fiction Review’

The shortlist for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2017 has been announced. The winners will be announced at the beginning of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 22 May. On the list are:
Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature:

  • ‘Iris and the Tiger’ by Leanne Hall, tutor

Multicultural NSW Award:

  • ‘The Hate Race’ by Maxine Beneba Clarke, tutor

Three of the four writers named the 2017 ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ Best Young Australian Novelists are members of the Writers Victoria community. They are Jennifer Down, member, Rajith Savanadasa, member and Josephine Rowe, tutor. The awards, which recognise emerging writing talent, are open to writers aged 35 years or younger when their books are first published.

Sisters in Crime has announced the longlists for the 2017 Davitt Awards for the best crime books by Australian women. The shortlists will be announced in July and the winners will be announced at an event in Melbourne in August/September. On the longlist are:
Adult novels

  • ‘Family Skeleton’ by Carmel Bird, tutor
  • ‘Dead in the Water’ by Tania Chandler, member
  • ‘All These Perfect Strangers’ by Aiofe Clifford, member
  • ‘Murder, Mayhem and Men on Pause’ by Sandy Curtis, member
  • Dastardly Deeds: A Nell Forrest mystery’ by Ilsa Evans, member
  • ‘The Adventure of the Colonial Boy’ by Narrelle M Harris, member
  • ‘Through a Camel’s Eye’ by Dorothy Johnston, member
  • ‘Grand Slam’ by Kathryn Ledson, member
  • ‘The Light on the Water’ by Olga Lorenzo, tutor
  • ‘5 Ways to be Famous Now’ by Maurilia Meehan, member
  • ‘Murder in Mount Martha’ by Janice Simpson, member
  • ‘Only Daughter’ by Anna Snoekstra, member
  • ‘Hotel du Barry’ by Lesley Truffle, member

Young Adult novels

  • ‘Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club’ by Alison Goodman, tutor
  • ‘Frankie’ by Shivaun Plozza, manuscript assessor, tutor and member
  • ‘Everything is Changed’ by Nova Weetman, member
  • ‘The Boundless Sublime’ by Lili Wilkinson, tutor

Children’s novels

  • ‘Iris and the Tiger’ by Leanne Hall, tutor
  • Ailsa Wild, member for ‘Squishy Taylor and a Question of Trust’, ‘Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters’, ‘Squishy Taylor and the Mess Makers’, ‘Squishy Taylor and the Tunnel of Doom’, ‘Squishy Taylor and the Vase That Wasn’t’ and ‘Squishy Taylor in Zero Gravity’

Writers Victoria members again featured highly in the 30 writers accepted into the annual HARDCOPY Program. Established in 2014, HARDCOPY is a national professional development program that helps build the capacities, aptitudes and resources emerging Australian writers need to reach their potential. In this year’s intake for non-fiction writers, are members Anne Myers, Laura Russo, Emily Clements, Janine Mikosza, Julie Maine, Susie Latham, Belinda Raposo and Kristy Hornby

A number of Australian authors have been longlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) 2017 Dagger Awards. ‘The Heat’ by Garry Disher, member, is in the running for the Steel Dagger for best thriller. Kat Clay, member, is also in the running for the Debut Dagger for unpublished writers for her novel ‘Victorianoir’.


Individual celebrations

Cassandra White, member, has been accepted into the Djerassi Artists Residency YA writers workshop with author Nova Ren Suma and has received an Australia Council development grant to support her travel. The Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California USA has provided over 2,000 artist residencies, and currently serves approximately 90 artists each year, since 1979.

The shortlist for the Inaugural Readings YA Prize has been announced.  The winner will be announced in late June and will receive $3000. On the shortlist is ‘The Road to Winter’ by Mark Smith, member.

The winners for The 2017 Indie Book Awards have 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 winners, in the category of Book of the year older children (8 to 14 years), is Cath Crowley, member and manuscript assessor, for ‘Words in Deep Blue’.

Online journal ‘Feminartsy’ has announced the winners of its inaugural Fiction and Memoir prizes. Shu-Ling Chua, member, was named runner-up for her piece ‘Don’t (F*cking) Ask Me Where I’m From, Please’.

The State Library of NSW has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing. Among the shortlisted titles is Ben Pobjie, tutor, for ‘Error Australis’. The $10,000 biennial prize is awarded to the best book of humour writing by an Australian author published in the previous two years, and aims to ‘celebrate, recognise and encourage the humour-writing genre’. The shortlist was chosen from 48 entries and the winner will be announced at the State Library of NSW on 8 June.

Kate Mildenhall, member and tutor, is among the recipients of Creative Victoria’s latest round of arts grants. Kate’s grant will support ‘research and development of a novel which explores the story of a woman forced to flee her home and country with her children’.