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Winners

2020 joint winner y separately published work icon Death of a Typographer Nick Gadd , Melbourne : Arcadia , 2019 17393237 2019 single work novel

'MARTIN KERN has a special sensitivity to fonts, a skill that he uses to solve typographical crimes. When a local printer is found dead in his workshop, his body in the shape of an X, Martin and his co-investigator, journalist Lucy Tan, are drawn into a mystery that is stranger than anything they have encountered before. Someone is leaving typographical clues at the scenes of a series of murders.

'All the trails lead back to Pieter van Floogstraten, a Dutch design genius who disappeared without trace in the 1970s, and who has since been engaged in a mystical scheme to create the world’s most perfect font, which is concealed in locations around the globe. But is he really the killer, and how are the crimes connected to his secret font? In solving the mystery, Martin and Lucy may have to expose Martin’s hero as a psychopath.

'The main plot of the novel unfolds in Melbourne, while interleaved chapters set variously in a Tibetan monastery, on the plains of Peru, in London, Naples and Amsterdam, gradually reveal the story of Floogstraten in flashback. Other characters include a noir-style private font investigator, a typographical monk from the Renaissance, a Dutch prog rock group named I Am A Dolphin, and a collective of Italian typo-terrorists.

'This novel takes the reader into the arcane world of typographers and their typefaces, of symbols, swashes and glyphs, where the difference between a serif and sans serif could mean life and death.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

 designed by Stephen Banham 
2019 winner y separately published work icon Apple and Knife Intan Paramaditha , Melbourne : Brow Books , 2018 13003305 2018 selected work short story

'Inspired by horror fiction, myths and fairy tales, Apple and Knife is an unsettling ride that swerves into the supernatural to explore the dangers and power of occupying a female body in today’s world.  

'These short fictions set in the Indonesian everyday—in corporate boardrooms, in shanty towns, on dangdut stages—reveal a soupy otherworld stewing just beneath the surface. Sometimes wacky and always engrossing, this is subversive feminist horror at its best, where men and women alike are arbiters of fear, and where revenge is sometimes sweetest when delivered from the grave.

'Mara finds herself brainstorming an ad campaign for Free Maxi Pads, with a little help from the menstruation-eating hag of her childhood. Jamal falls in love with the rich and powerful Bambang, but it is the era of the smiling general and, if he’s not careful, he may find himself recruited to Bambang’s brutal cause.  Solihin would give anything to make dangdut singer Salimah his wife – anything at all.

'In the globally connected and fast-developing Indonesia of Apple and Knife, taboos, inversions, sex and death all come together in a heady, intoxicating mix full of pointed critiques and bloody mutilations. Women carve a place for themselves in this world, finding ways to subvert norms or enacting brutalities on themselves and each other.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner Sandy Cull for The Museum of Modern Love
2013 joint winner y separately published work icon Sufficient Grace Amy Espeseth , 2009 Brunswick : Scribe , 2012 Z1613099 2009 single work novel

'Ruth and her cousin Naomi live in rural Wisconsin, part of an isolated religious community. The girls' lives are ruled by the rhythms of nature — the harsh winters, the hunting seasons, the harvesting of crops — and by their families' beliefs. Beneath the surface of this closed, frozen world, hidden dangers lurk.

'Then Ruth learns that Naomi harbours a terrible secret. She searches for solace in the mysteries of the natural world: broken fawns, migrating birds, and the strange fish deep beneath the ice. Can the girls' prayers for deliverance be answered?

'Sufficient Grace is a story of lost innocence and the unfailing bond between two young women. It is at once devastating and beautiful, and ultimately transcendent.' (From the publisher's website.)

2013 winner y separately published work icon The Voyage Murray Bail , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012 Z1889738 2012 single work novel 'Frank Delage, piano manufacturer from Sydney, travels to Vienna, a city immersed in music, to present the Delage concert grand. He hopes to impress with its technical precision, its improvement on the old pianos of Europe.

'How could he not know his piano is all wrong for Vienna? Perhaps he should have tried Berlin. But a chance meeting with Amalia von Schalla brings new possibilities for Delage—connections, her daughter Elisabeth, and an avant garde composer. Now travelling home, on a container ship, with Elisabeth, the real story is about to begin.' (From the publisher's website.)
designed by W.H. Chong.
2013 winner y separately published work icon The Secret Keeper : A Novel Kate Morton , New York (City) : Atria Books , 2012 Z1899473 2012 single work novel historical fiction 'During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds--Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy--who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. This book explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told--in Morton's signature style--against a backdrop of events that changed the world.' Libraries Australia. designed by Lisa White.
2012 winner y separately published work icon Foal's Bread Gillian Mears , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1821887 2011 single work novel (taught in 4 units)

'The sound of horses' hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn't totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn't died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he's pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.

'Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal's Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land.

'It is a love story of impossible beauty and sadness, a chronicle of dreams 'turned inside out', and miracles that never last, framed against a world both tender and unspeakably hard. Written in luminous prose and with an aching affinity for the landscape the book describes, Foal's Bread is the work of a born writer at the height of her considerable powers. It is a stunning work of remarkable originality and power, one that confirms Gillian Mears' reputation as one of our most exciting and acclaimed writers.' (From the publisher's website.)

esigned by Sandy Cull, gogoGinko, and Yolande Gray
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