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MUD Literary Prize
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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History

Inaugurated in 2018, the MUD Literary Prize is administered by the MUD Literary Club, a philanthropic organisation that supports emerging Australian writers. The aim of the MUD Literary Prize is to support a debut literary novelist.

Winners

2021 winner y separately published work icon The Dictionary of Lost Words Pip Williams , South Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2020 18575183 2020 single work novel historical fiction

'Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

'Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.' (Publication summary) 

2020 winner y separately published work icon Master of My Fate Sienna Brown , Melbourne : Penguin Random House Australia , 2019 15408170 2019 single work novel historical fiction

'William Buchanan lived an extraordinary life: born a slave on a plantation in Jamaica, he escaped the gallows more than once, took part in the rebellion that led to the end of slavery in Jamaica, was transported to the other side of the world as punishment, tried his hand at robbing stage coaches, and finally won true freedom on Australian soil.

'Sienna Brown came across William’s story while working in Hyde Park Barracks, the very building he was transported to in Sydney. Sharing his Jamaican background, Sienna was inspired to write Master of My Fate, a novel based on his story.

'Told through William’s voice, this is a lyrical, historical, coming of age story about learning to fight for your rights – and finally becoming the master of your own fate.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton , Sydney South : Fourth Estate , 2018 13529833 2018 single work novel

'Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

'But if Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 inaugural winner y separately published work icon See What I Have Done Sarah Schmidt , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2017 9926885 2017 single work novel crime thriller

'When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden - thirty two years old and still living at home - immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

'Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie's unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie's uncle to take care of a problem.

'This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.' (Publication summary)

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