Our prize winners for October 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Sarah Vincent

Picture of a trophy

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 winners of The 2017 Young Australians Best Book Awards (YABBAs), Victoria’s children’s choice awards, have been announced. Among the winners were ‘The 78-Storey Treehouse’ by tutor, Andy Griffiths in the Fiction for older readers category. Tutor Hazel Edwards was named the 2017 Graham Davey Citation honour recipient, which is presented each year to a book or person that "has made an impact on Australian children’s literature".

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced the shortlist for The 2017 Asher Literary Award. On the list are:

  • ‘Enemy’ by Ruth Clare, member
  • ‘1917’ by Kelly Gardiner, tutor
  • ‘The Waiting Room’, by Leah Kaminsky, tutor

Publisher Hardie Grant Egmont has announced The 2017 Ampersand Prize shortlist for an unpublished YA and middle-grade manuscript. On the shortlist are:

  • Rebecca Colless, tutor, for her YA speculative-fiction novel ‘The Demon Bells’, about a young woman who has been marked as Blessed, and her choice between her sacred duty and her love for a boy who is Cursed.
  • Cameron Macintosh, member, for his YA novel ‘The Ascension of Saint Jay’, an 'unromantic comedy' about an atheist teenager who joins a revenge plot at his new Catholic high school.
  • Louise Bassett, member, for her YA novel ‘What We Say in the Dark’, in which ‘former bad girl’ Cassie is drawn into an amateur criminal investigation.

The first recipients of The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund have been announced. Ten writers, playwrights and publishers were selected from the 205 applicants, Among the successful applicants were:

  • Michael Earp, member. Michael is a writer and bookseller and will use the grant to attend a children’s bookselling conference in New Orleans and a writing residency in Pennsylvania.
  • Michael Green, tutor. Michael is a journalist and will use the grant to undergo a research trip to Manus Island ‘to inform an essay on the impending closure of the detention centre’, and to Brisbane ‘to follow the coronial inquiry into the death of Faysal Ishak Ahmed’.
  • Vanessa Russell, tutor. Vanessa is a writer and will use the grant to travel to Christmas Island, Port Headland and Acacia Prison as research for her novel ‘Refugee Zoo’.

The Voss Literary Prize 2017 shortlist has been announced. On the list are:

  • ‘Our Magic Hour’ by Jennifer Down, tutor
  • ‘Our Tiny, Useless Hearts’ by Toni Jordan, tutor and member 
  • ‘A Loving, Faithful Animal’ by Josephine Rowe, tutor

Varuna, the national writers’ house has announced the recipients of their 2018 Varuna Residency Fellowships. Among the recipients are:

  • Rebecca Harkins-Cross, tutor, for ‘Terror Australis’, ‘probing the history of fear in Australian film’
  • Nick Gadd, member, for ‘Death of a Typographer’, a ‘novel about fonts’
  • Toni Jordan, member and tutor, for the novel ‘Cloudland’, about ‘the decades-old mystery of the death of a beloved novelist’
  • Leah Kaminsky, member and tutor, for ‘The Hollow Bones’, a novel ‘based on a true story which smoulders with the crucial lessons we might learn from our not-too-distant history’
  • Miranda Luby, member, for ‘The Colour of Air’, a novel ‘about a boy who must confront unresolved family issues or face being trapped on an island forever without the girl he loves’
  • Paddy O’Reilly, tutor, for ‘The White Line’, a novel where ‘a hardworking cleaner must enter a dangerous world’ to find her missing husband.


Individual celebrations

The Walkley Book Award 2017 longlist has been announced. The Walkley Book Award recognises excellence in Australian nonfiction literature and long-form journalism. On the longlist is tutor Jenny Valentish for Woman of Substances’.

Member Trish Bolton's crime fiction manuscript 'Stuck' was longlisted for the 2017 Mslexia Women's Novel Competition (UK).

At the announcement of the 2017 Ned Kelly Award Winners, member Louise Bassett was awarded The S.D. Harvey Short Story prize for her short story 'Rules to Live By', which will be published in an upcoming edition of the on-line arts magazine ‘Kill Your Darlings’.

Member Kirsty Ferguson’s book ‘Severed Heart’ won first place in the mystery category for the Summer Indie Book Awards.

Member Nola Frawley was awarded Poet of the Month by Woodend Chamber Poets.

A 2017 Australia Council Fellowship for literature has been awarded to Arnold Zable, tutor and Honorary Member.

Cath Crowley, member and tutor, has been has been awarded the Gold Inky Award for an Australian book at the 2017 Inky Awards for her YA novel ‘Words in Deep Blue’.

Nine Australian authors and illustrators and one Australian organisation have been nominated for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Among the nominees is Kirsty Murray, member.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) NSW branch has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program for unpublished children’s writers. Among the three shortlisted writers is Angela Costigan, member, for the picture book ‘Baby and Me Sit Quietly’, ‘a gentle, wonder-filled story of a parent taking time to pause and watch the world go by with their baby’