Showing all posts tagged: literary awards

The 2022 Miles Franklin shortlist

23 June 2022

The 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist was unveiled this evening, with the following five novels making the cut:

Awesome to see Grimmish by Michael Winkler, on the list, now the first self-published novel to reach the Miles Franklin shortlist.

The winner will be named on Wednesday 20 July 2022.

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Megan Williams wins 2022 Text Prize for unpublished manuscripts

23 June 2022

Brisbane based former employment lawyer Megan Williams has been named winner of the 2022 Text Prize, with her debut unpublished novel manuscript Let’s Never Speak of this Again.

Having won the prize for young adult and children’s fiction though, Let’s Never Speak of this Again will not remain unpublished for too much longer.

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Grimmish Michael Winkler’s self-published Miles Franklin entry

22 June 2022
Grimmish by Michael Winkler, book cover

Grimmish by Michael Winkler — along with the other books on this year’s Miles Franklin longlist — has somewhat found itself in the shadows as a consequence of the plagiarism controversy surrounding John Hughes’ novel The Dogs, which has since been removed from the longlist.

This could have been unfortunate as the 2021 title by the Melbourne based Australian author has an historic claim to fame. Grimmish is the first ever self-published novel to be included on the longlist of the long running Australian literary prize.

Variously described as “exploded nonfiction“, and an “experimental historical novel“, Grimmish recounts the story of Italian American boxer Joe Grim, and his tour of Australia in 1908 and 1909. Grim who fought in over one-hundred-and-fifty bouts, only prevailed on twenty-four occasions. That didn’t prevent him from developing a reputation for his showmanship and extraordinary physical resilience, and earning the moniker of the “the human punching bag” in the process.

But Grim isn’t the only player in this story with tenacity. Like many authors, Winkler struggled to find a publisher interested in looking at his manuscript. But that was only the beginning. He was also subjected to numerous taunts and sneers, being told Grimmish, with its unconventional format, was “wearisome”, and “repellent.” Publishing houses, it seemed, did not want to take a punt on a book they felt certain would not sell.

At that point Winkler decided to self-publish. But self-publishing is not for the faint-hearted. In addition to writing a novel, an author is required to take on all the functions of a publishing house, editing, printing, marketing, and distribution, among them. An abundance of resolve and stamina — matching that, I dare say, of a champion boxer — is required.

The Miles Franklin shortlist will be announced tomorrow, Thursday 23 June 2022, and Grimmish has more than a few fans gunning for its inclusion. Rave reviews aside — the novel has garnered a respectable 4.25 out of five rating on Goodreads, Grimmish is almost deserving of a shortlist place purely on account of Winkler’s drive and determination in getting his book published.

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Be sure to read the small print of writing competitions

14 June 2022

Writing contests are a great way for an emerging writer to get their work in front of a wider audience, possibly take home a modest cash prize, and maybe even pick up a publishing deal.

But carefully reading the terms and conditions each time you submit your work to one is essential, as you may end up signing away far more than you realise, when ticking the “I have read and understood the terms and conditions of entry.”

For example, some competitions place restrictions on your ability to submit your entry to other competitions, some require the first option to publish the entries of the winners and runners-up, and some unscrupulous players may even require you to assign your copyright to them.

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2022 Text Prize shortlist for unpublished manuscripts

9 June 2022

Seven middle-grade and young adult writers have been named on the 2022 Text Prize shortlist for unpublished manuscripts.

  • Bellamy Jones and the Lost Treeheart, by Emily Beck
  • How to be Normal by, Ange Crawford
  • One Thing You Can Feel, by Robbie Taylor Hunt
  • Year of the Dog, by Kate McCabe
  • Finding Liminas: The Sudden Tree, by Bria McCarthy
  • The Collector of Gifts, by Jamie Ramjan
  • Let’s Never Speak of this Again, by Megan Williams

The winner of the 2022 Text Prize, along with the recipient of the Steph Bowe Mentorship for Young Writers, will be named in late June.

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Small independent publishers dominate Miles Franklin longlist

31 May 2022

Six of the titles named on the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist were published by members of the Small Press Network, a Melbourne based organisation representing more than two hundred and fifty small and independent publishers across Australia, and include one self-published title.

In much the same way small businesses are a vital component of the Australian economy, so too are small and independent publishers to Australian literature.

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Still Alive by Safdar Ahmed wins NSW’s Book of the Year 2022

30 May 2022
Still Alive by Safdar Ahmed, bookcover

Sydney based Australian artist, writer, and refugee advocate Safdar Ahmed was named winner of the Book of the Year award in the 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for his graphic novel Still Alive (published by Twelve Panels Press, April 2021), which explores the experiences of asylum seekers in Australia’s Immigration detention system.

Those seeking asylum in Australia due to war, strife and violence in their home countries face extraordinary challenges both during their journey and upon arrival. Ahmed’s book focuses on people who arrive in Australia by boat. For these people, a long, perilous journey ends with the often equally perilous obstacles they face when dealing with Australia’s legal processes, with the privations of onshore and offshore detention centres, and with inadequate health and psychological support.

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Kathryn Barker’s Waking Romeo wins Aurealis best sci-fi novel

28 May 2022
Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker, bookcover

Waking Romeo (published by Allen & Unwin, March 2021), by Sydney based Australian author Kathryn Barker, has been named winner of the Best Science Fiction Novel, in the 2021 Aurealis Awards.

It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forwards. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the ‘now’, living off the scraps that were left behind. Among these are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo is in a coma and she’s estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance. Then a handsome time traveller, Ellis, arrives with an important mission that makes Jules question everything she knows about life and love. Can Jules wake Romeo and rewrite her future?

The Aurealis Awards have been honouring Australian science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers since 1995. The full list of winners in the 2021 awards can be seen here.

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Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree wins International Booker Prize

27 May 2022
Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, bookcover

Tomb of Sand (published by Penguin Random House India, March 2022) by New Delhi based Indian author Geetanjali Shree, and translated by Daisy Rockwell, has been named winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize.

In northern India, an eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband, and then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a transgender person – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two. To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Frank Wynne, Booker Prize judges chair, described Tomb of Sand, also the first novel originally written in any Indian language, and the first book translated from Hindi, to win the award, thusly:

This is a luminous novel of India and partition, but one whose spellbinding brio and fierce compassion weaves youth and age, male and female, family and nation into a kaleidoscopic whole.

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The 2022 Miles Franklin longlist

24 May 2022

The 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist was announced this morning. An annual award, the Miles Franklin recognises outstanding works of Australian fiction.

Some familiar titles there, some new ones, either way time to update those to-be-read lists. The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 23 June 2022.

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2022 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlist

23 May 2022

The 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlist has been announced. Sixty-five titles are vying for recognition in thirteen award categories, including audiobook, biography, fiction, non-fiction, children, and literary fiction.

Across these categories, together with The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, shortlisted titles — in no particular order — include:

The winners will be named at a ceremony on the evening of Thursday 9 June 2022, at the ICC Sydney.

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Evelyn Araluen’s Stella Prize acceptance speech

3 May 2022

In a passionate and moving acceptance speech after winning the Stella Prize last week, Evelyn Araluen implores Australian governments to do more to fund the arts in Australia.

Artists, in this country anyway, are used to instability, we’re used to two or three jobs, we’re used to paltry super, and the constant fear of illness and accident faced by all precarious workers. We’re used to living one pay check away from poverty. Despite this slap in the face, this blunt dismissal of the clear social and cultural good the arts provides to all Australians, artists were still advocating and organising throughout the pandemic, and the fires and the floods. They were still working through the isolation of endless lockdowns in the hope that their creative efforts, their work, would help someone else survive.

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2022 Best Young Australian Novelists awards

2 May 2022

Ella Baxter, Michael Burrows, and Diana Reid, have been named winners of the Sydney Morning Herald’s 2022 Best Young Australian Novelists awards.

Judges Thuy On, Gretchen Shirm and SMH Spectrum editor Melanie Kembrey said the three novels ‘stood out from the many entrants for their strong narrative voices, memorable characters and sharp writing — they’ll make you laugh, cry and keep thinking long after you’ve turned the final page’.

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Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen wins the 2022 Stella Prize

28 April 2022
Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen, bookcover

Dropbear, the debut collection of poetry by Melbourne based Australian writer Evelyn Araluen, has been named winner of the 2022 Stella Prize.

Melissa Lucashenko, chair of the 2022 Stella Prize judges, says Dropbearannounces the arrival of a stunning new talent to Australian literature.

“When you read Evelyn Araluen’s Dropbear you’ll be taken on a wild ride. Like the namesake of its title, this collection is simultaneously comical and dangerous. If you live here and don’t acquire the necessary local knowledge, the drop bear might definitely getcha! But for those initiated in its mysteries, the drop bear is a playful beast, a prank, a riddle, a challenge and a game. Dropbear is remarkably assured for a debut poetry collection, and I think we can safely say it announces the arrival of a stunning new talent to Australian literature. Congratulations, Evelyn.”

At twenty-nine, Araluen is the youngest recipient of the literary prize that celebrates the writing of Australian women, and says she may never have become a poet had she not studied her great-grandfather’s language:

Araluen, a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation born in Dharug Country and now based in Naarm/Melbourne, began writing poetry while she was studying her great-grandfather’s language at TAFE, becoming attuned to poetic techniques like fragmentation and different sentence structures. “I honestly don’t think I would have become a poet if I hadn’t started learning that language,” she told ABC Arts in 2021.

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2022 Women’s Prize shortlist announced

28 April 2022

Six titles have been named on the 2022 Women’s Prize shortlist:

  • Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead
  • Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason
  • The Book of Form and Emptiness, by Ruth Ozeki
  • The Bread the Devil Knead, by Lisa Allen-Agostini
  • The Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak
  • The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich

The winning book will be announced on Wednesday 15 June 2022.

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2022 ABA Booksellers Choice Awards shortlist

28 April 2022

Eighteen titles across three categories, adult fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, have been named on the 2022 ABA Booksellers Choice Awards shortlist. After Story by Larissa Behrendt, Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy, and Love & Virtue by Diana Reid, are among contenders for the fiction prize. Winners will be announced on Sunday 12 June 2022.

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Nicholas Wasiliev speaks to Stella Prize shortlist writers

19 April 2022

Sydney based author and podcaster Nicholas Wasiliev, and host of Booktopia’s podcast, Tell Me What To Read, speaks to Evelyn Araluen, Lee Lai, Eunice Andrada, Jennifer Down, and Anwen Crawford, who are five of the six authors to have work shortlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize.

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The 2022 Stella Prize shortlist

3 April 2022

The shortlist for the 2022 Stella Prize was announced on Thursday 31 March 2022. The six titles, the work of Australian women and non-binary writers, along with an excerpt of the judges’ comments for each book are as follows:

Bodies of Light, by Jennifer Down.

This is an ambitious novel, spanning decades and locales, that sees Down demonstrate her imaginative range and take risks following the success of her previous two books. The result is a daring and compelling work, suffused with pathos and an impressive degree of empathic vulnerability.

Dropbear, by Evelyn Araluen.

Dropbear is a breathtaking collection of poetry and short prose which arrests key icons of mainstream Australian culture and turns them inside out, with malice aforethought. Araluen’s brilliance sizzles when she goes on the attack against the kitsch and the cuddly: against Australia’s fantasy of its own racial and environmental innocence.

Homecoming, by Elfie Shiosaki.

Homecoming is both a genre-defying book, and a deeply respectful ode to the persistence of Noongar people in the face of colonisation and its afterlives… Shiosaki has delivered a work of poetic and narrative genius and can be read either as an ensemble of poems or as a single piece that moves seamlessly between the elegiac and the joyful.

No Document, by Anwen Crawford.

No Document is a longform poetic essay that considers the ways we might use an experience of grief to continue living, creating, and reimagining the world we live in with greater compassion and honour… This work is a complex, deeply thought, and deeply felt ode to friendship and collaboration.

Stone Fruit, by Lee Lai.

Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit is a moving graphic novel in which queer couple, Bron and Ray, find themselves at a tense crossroads in their relationship. Throughout scenes rendered in Lai’s signature art style – simple lines and a muted blue and grey colour palette – and featuring spare, perfectly articulated dialogue… Stone Fruit beautifully reflects a tender domesticity that is affecting and atmospheric.

TAKE CARE, Eunice Andrada.

Andrada’s collection adroitly combines the personal, the political, and the geopolitical, narrated by a voice that is at once hip, witty, and deeply serious. Andrada has the imaginative ability to move between the memories of poet-narrators, historical asides, reflections on the nature of race and feminism in Australia, and questions of colonisation both locally and in the Philippines. Formally remarkable, stylistically impressive, and often surprising, TAKE CARE is a collection that understands the ways in which ‘There are things we must kill / so we can live to celebrate.’

If the Stellas are about finding writing that mixes it up and shakes it around a bit, then the contest for this year’s Prize is going to be fascinating.

In the past novels, non-fiction, biographies, and memoirs have won, but in 2022 works of poetry have a better than average chance of prevailing, with the work of three poets in the shortlist.

Then of course there is Stone Fruit, Lee Lai’s graphic novel. Bring on Thursday 28 April, the day the winner is announced I say.

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The Best Australian Yarn Short Story Competition 2022

30 March 2022

The Best Australian Yarn is another generous local literary award currently accepting submissions for short stories of between 1500 – 2500 words.

Short stories have the power to transport us to another world, they educate and entertain us, and can make the everyday seem extraordinary.

A collaboration between The West Australian and the Minderoo Foundation, entries for The Best Australian Yarn are open until Tuesday 31 May 2022, to Australians everywhere aged twelve or over.

A total of A$50,000 in prize money is on offer. The overall winner will be awarded A$30,000, the West Australian winner A$4,000, Regional Australia winner $3,000, the Youth winner will received $2,000 and mentoring opportunities, while the nine shortlisted entrants will received A$1,000 each.

In addition, the winner of the Readers’ Choice award, as determined by a public vote, will receive A$2,000. The longlist, consisting of fifty works, will be announced in August 2022.

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The Barbara Jefferis Award 2022

30 March 2022

Entries are open for the biennial Barbara Jefferis Award, to commemorate the life of the late Australian author, who died in 2004. The literary prize was established in 2007 through a bequest from Jefferis’ husband John Hinde, an Australian broadcaster and film critic, who died in 2006.

The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered biennially for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.

With a prize A$50,000 for the winner, and a further A$5,000 shared among those named on the shortlist, the award is one of the richest in Australian literature. Entries close on Monday 9 May 2022, with the shortlist scheduled to be announced in August.

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