We are very excited to announce the winners of our inaugural Fiction and Memoir Prize:
Judge: Robyn Cadwallader
Robyn Cadwallader is a writer and editor who lives among vineyards in the country outside Canberra. She has published poems, prize-winning short stories & reviews, a non-fiction book about virginity and female agency in the Middle Ages (2008), a poetry collection, i painted unafraid(2010), & an edited collection of essays on asylum seeker policy, We Are Better Than This (2015). Her first novel, The Anchoress (2015), was published in Australia, UK, US and France; it won a Canberra Critics Award and was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards, the Adelaide Festival Literary Awards, and longlisted for the ABIA Awards.
Winner: Elizabeth Flux, Best Laid Plans
Robyn says, ‘This story stood out for its confident writing and clever construction. Tight and controlled, making each word count, its short vignettes build to a surprisingly complex portrait of female relationships’.
Highly Commended: Alex O’Sullivan, Nothing for dinner
Robyn says, ‘In ‘Nothing for Dinner’, very little happens, but so much is going on. The story gently teases out the implications of an apparently mundane and domestic scene to explore the longing, sadness and love of motherhood and relationships.’
Judge: Biff Ward
Biff Ward is author of the award-winning memoir In My Mother’s Hands (2014), which was short-listed for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards for Non-fiction 2016; short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Douglas Stewart Award for Non-fiction 2015; long-listed for The Stella Prize 2015; and awarded a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for 2014. Biff is also the author of the seminal feminist book Father-Daughter Rape, and is currently working on a memoir about her relationship to the Vietnam War.
Winner: Chloe Higgins, Things we cannot say
Biff says, ‘Things We Cannot Say is about a family mired in grief, and is constructed as a series of gripping vignettes told through the eyes of a daughter. Psychologically insightful and brilliantly written, every word is honed to a consistently perfect pitch.’
Highly Commended: Shu-Ling Chua, Don’t (F*cking) Ask Me Where I’m From, Please
Biff says, ‘An impassioned and startling rendition of how the deadening amalgam of racism and sexism congeals around young Asian woman – this universal truth brilliantly evoked in the particular.’