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History

An award for a work of fiction by an Australian author, not previously published locally or overseas.

Notes

  • This is an award for a work of fiction first published in Australia. The award was inaugurated in 1997.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon The Toymaker Liam Pieper , Melbourne : Penguin , 2016 9482444 2016 single work novel

''A person is defined by the secrets they keep.'

'Adam Kulakov likes his life. He's on the right side of middle age; the toy company he owns brightens the lives of millions of children around the world; and he has more money than he can ever spend, a wife and child he adores, and as many mistresses as he can reasonably hide from them.

'And he is not the only one with secrets. In 1944, Adam's grandfather, Arkady, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and given an impossible choice. Now, as he reaches the end of his life, he has to keep the truth from his family, and hold back the crushing memories of his time with one of history's greatest monsters.

'As a mistake threatens to bring Adam's world tumbling down around him, the past reaches for Arkady. Everything he's spent a lifetime building will be threatened, as will everything Adam and his family think they know of the world.

'Bold, dark and compelling, The Toymaker is a novel about privilege, fear and the great harm we can do when we are afraid of losing what we hold dear. ' (Publication summary)

Year: 2015

winner y separately published work icon Useful Debra Oswald , Scoresby : Penguin , 2015 8141941 2015 single work novel

'Sullivan Moss is useless.

'Once a charming underachiever, he's now such a loser that he can't even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision. He shouldn't waste perfectly good organs just because they're attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger.

'As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

'But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he's got himself together, Sully discovers that he's most at risk of falling apart.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2014

winner y separately published work icon South of Darkness John Marsden , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2014 7949044 2014 single work novel historical fiction young adult

'My name, then, is Barnaby Fletch. To the best of my knowledge I have no middle name and cannot say of whom I am the son, or of whom my father's father's father was the son. Alas, my origins are shrouded in mystery.

'Thirteen-year-old Barnaby Fletch is a bag-and-bones orphan in London in the late 1700s.

'Barnaby lives on his wits and ill-gotten gains, on streets seething with the press of the throng and shadowed by sinister figures. Life is a precarious business.

'When he hears of a paradise on the other side of the world - a place called Botany Bay - he decides to commit a crime and get himself transported to a new life, a better life.

'To succeed, he must survive the trials of Newgate Prison, the stinking hull of a prison ship and the unknown terrors of a journey across the world.

'And Botany Bay is far from the paradise Barnaby has imagined. When his past and present suddenly collide, he is soon fleeing for his life - once again.

'A riveting story of courage, hope and extraordinary adventure.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2011

winner y separately published work icon The Voyagers : A Love Story Mardi McConnochie , Camberwell : Viking , 2011 Z1775619 2011 single work novel historical fiction 'In 1943, Stead arrives in Sydney Harbour hoping to spend his shore leave with Marina, a woman with whom he shared three magical days before the war. But Marina is gone, and has been missing for almost five years.

'And so begins an extraordinarily powerful and compelling journey - across the seas and the great stages of the war - as Stead retraces the steps of the one woman he has truly loved.' (From the publisher's website.)

Year: 2010

winner y separately published work icon The Second-Last Woman in England Maggie Joel , Sydney : Pier 9 , 2010 Z1679714 2010 single work novel historical fiction

'In London's South Kensington, in the austere years immediately following the end of the war, Mrs Harriet Wallis is convicted of the murder of her husband, Cecil, and is sentenced to death by hanging. Leading a pampered if conventional existence, the Wallises appear to have a contented life. However, when the police turn up at the front door on the day the new nanny arrives, the first of a chain of events that will culminate in Cecil's murder is begun.

'Set in a post-War period when a well-to-do British family's existence - both outside and inside the house - is ruled by a strict set of conventions, The Second-last Woman in England explores the depth of emotions that are always there in every family but rarely surface. And what happens when they do.' (From the publisher's website.)

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