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Winners

2018 winner y separately published work icon Tide of Stone Kaaron Warren , United States of America (USA) : Omnium Gatherum Media , 2018 14976277 2018 single work novel horror

'The Time-Ball Tower of Tempuston houses the worst criminals in history. Given the option of the death penalty or eternal life, they chose eternal life. They have a long time to regret that choice.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner y separately published work icon Corpselight Angela Slatter , London : Jo Fletcher Books , 2017 11384668 2017 single work novel fantasy

'Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

'Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

'An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

'V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful ...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2016 winner y separately published work icon The Grief Hole Kaaron Warren , Victoria : IFWG Publishing Inc , 2016 9436819 2016 single work novel horror

'There are many grief holes.

'There's the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies.

'There's another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live.

'And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre.

'Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love.

'Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you'll die by the spirits haunting you. If you'll drown, she'll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women.

'She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn't let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon Origin Wolf Creek : Origin Aaron Sterns , Greg McLean , Melbourne : Penguin Books , 2014 6840306 2014 single work novel horror

'Nature vs nurture turns out to be a bloodbath

'The wide open outback offers plenty of space for someone to hide. Or to hide a body.

'When wiry youngster Mick Taylor starts as a jackaroo at a remote Western Australian sheep station, he tries to keep his head down among the rough company of the farmhands. But he can't keep the devils inside him hidden for long.

'It turns out he's not the only one with the killer impulse – and the other psychopaths don't appreciate competition. Is Cutter, the station's surly shooter, on to him? And what are the cops really up to as they follow the trail of the dead?

'In the first of a blood-soaked series of Wolf Creek prequel novels, the cult film's writer/director Greg Mclean and horror writer Aaron Sterns take us back to the beginning, when Mick was a scrawny boy, the only witness to the grisly death of his little sister. Origin provides an unforgettably bloody answer to the question of nature vs nurture. What made Mick Taylor Australian horror's most terrifying psycho killer?' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon 809 Jacob Street Marty Young , Brisbane : Black Beacon Books , 2013 7504742 2013 single work novel horror

'Fourteen year old Byron James wishes he'd never been dragged to Parkton.

'It's a crazy sideshow of a town in the middle of damn nowhere, and he's stranded there. To make matters worse, his two new friends - his only friends - turn out to be class rejects with an unhealthy interest in monsters. They want to discover the truth to the infamous monster house at number 809 Jacob Street.

'Joey Blue is an old bluesman who fell into his songs and couldn’t find his way out again. Now he’s a Gutterbreed, one of the slinking shifting shadows haunting the town’s alleys. When an old dead friend comes begging for help, Joey’s world is torn apart. He is forced to stare down the man he has become in order to rescue the man he once was - and there is only one place he can do that.

'The house on Jacob Street calls to them all, but what will they find when they open its door?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2012 winner y separately published work icon Perfections Kirstyn McDermott , Sydney : Xoum , 2012 Z1915505 2012 single work novel horror

'Two sisters. One wish. Unimaginable consequences. Not all fairytales are for children.

'Antoinette and Jacqueline have little in common beyond a mutual antipathy for their paranoid, domineering mother, a bond which has united them since childhood. In the aftermath of a savage betrayal, Antoinette lands on her sister’s doorstep bearing a suitcase and a broken heart. But Jacqueline, the ambitious would-be manager of a trendy Melbourne art gallery, has her own problems – chasing down a delinquent painter in the sweltering heat of a Brisbane summer. Abandoned, armed with a bottle of vodka and her own grief-spun desires, Antoinette weaves a dark and desperate magic that can never, ever be undone.

'Their lives swiftly unravelling, the two sisters find themselves drawn into a tangle of lies, manipulations and the most terrible of family secrets.'

(Publisher's blurb: Twelfth Planet Press)

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