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Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript
or Dorothy Hewett Award

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'UWA Publishing, in partnership with Copyright Agency Limited and ABC 720 Perth, has established a new award [in 2015, first awarded in 2016] for an unpublished manuscript.

The award has been established as a response to the changes to the WA Premier’s Book Awards announced earlier this year. Along with the majority of the Western Australian arts community, UWA Publishing expressed the view that the loss of $65,000 per annum and move to a biennial format undervalues the arts in a state that has produced some of the nation’s finest writers and thinkers.

'The aim of the Dorothy Hewett Award is to support literary talent both in and related to Western Australia, and to celebrate the life and writing of a stalwart Australian radical. The award will be an annual fixture designed to be a catalyst for writers beginning or furthering their professional writing careers.' (Source: )


2020 winner y separately published work icon Where the Fruit Falls Karen Wyld , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2020 19910013 2020 single work novel

'An ancient ocean roars under the red dirt. Hush. Be still for just a moment. Hear its thundering waves crashing on unseen shores.

'Spanning four generations, with a focus on the 1960s and 70s, an era of rapid social change and burgeoning Aboriginal rights, Where the Fruit Falls is a re-imagining of the epic Australian novel.

'Brigid Devlin, a young Aboriginal woman, and her twin daughters navigate a troubled nation of First Peoples, settlers and refugees – all determined to shape a future on stolen land. Leaving the sanctuary of her family’s apple orchard, Brigid sets off with no destination and a willy wagtail for company. As she moves through an everchanging landscape, Brigid unravels family secrets to recover what she’d lost – by facing the past, she finally accepts herself. Her twin daughters continue her journey with their own search for self-acceptance, truth and justice.' (Publication summary)

2019 winner y separately published work icon Rogue Intensities Angela Rockel , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2019 17186040 2019 single work autobiography 'Rogue Intensities is a memoir grounded in Tasmania, with a richness of storytelling which emerges from the space between human, nature and environmental threads. It manages to straddle the intimate and the universal with ease a great deal of delight. The exploration of the Australian landscape through prose is a core tenet of Australian literature and the UWAP has been successful in finding a shining example of this in Rogue intensities. This work successfully adds to this canon in a way that extends it and enriches writing alongside it.' (Publication summary)
2018 winner y separately published work icon Legacy Julie Watts , Nedlands : UWA Publishing , 2018 14701111 2018 selected work poetry

'This impressive volume keeps the reader in its strong, yet tender, hold. The poems are poised, poignant and braced with feeling, especially grief and loss, but there is joy, too, and celebration, especially of family. In poem after poem, Julie Watts delivers many perspectives, but at all points the human, geographic and moral landscapes are convincing and real. She can dovetail inner and outer worlds effortlessly. Her poems are probing, investigative, yet always humane.

- Judith Beveridge

'This substantial volume is startling in its range: it encompasses elegies, love poems, descriptive pieces, poems of joy and of sorrow as Julie Watts ponders the legacies that form us through genetics and culture and that we in turn pass on. With considerable empathy and generosity of spirit she contemplates the old, the middle-aged and the young, the distant and near past, the present and the future, childhood’s imagination and adulthood’s sometimes tough reality. Identity for her is found in relation to others, in a world that is closely observed and closely imagined; life is a kind of music and she renders it with rhythmic and imagistic richness.

- Dennis Haskell'   (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Drawing Sybylla Odette Kelada , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2017 11571879 2017 single work novel fantasy

'‘Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over.’ '                                             'The Yellow Wallpaper' ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

'On stage, a woman named Sybil Jones is making a speech. She is talking about the significance of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. Behind her sits a panel of writers, facing their audience, and one writer drawing Sybil’s likeness in a contemplative daze.

'The Sybil in the writer’s drawing starts to move, like the women behind Gilman’s wallpaper. She shakes. She takes the writer by the hand and leads her down into the paper, into the dark recesses of her mind, and into Australia’s past — into the real and imagined lives of Australia’s women writers. 

'Drawing Sybylla is a novel about the challenges women writers have faced in pursuing the writing life.' (Publication summary)

2015 inaugural winner y separately published work icon Extinctions Josephine Wilson , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2016 9145761 2016 single work novel

'He hated the word ‘retirement’, but not as much as he hated the word ‘village’, as if ageing made you a peasant or a fool. Herein lives the village idiot.

'Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. His wife, Martha, is dead and his two adult children are lost to him in their own ways. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life – objects he has collected over many years and tells himself he is keeping for his daughter – he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.

'When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the ones he loves.

'Humorous, poignant and galvanising by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.' (Publication summary)