Over the last 21 years, the Miles Franklin Literary Award has been won by many acclaimed Australian novels including Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, Michelle de Krester’s Questions of Travel, Tara June Winch’s The Yield, Peter Temple’s Truth and Tim Winton’s Dirt Music. But which of these novels has been published internationally—where and in what languages? And shortlisted titles—have they had international success? Is there a discernable gender difference? Associations between publishers? What about change over time? How might we find out?
Globally, publishers and agents report a strong association between literary awards and prizes in international interest in a novel and, subsequently, the licensing of the publishing rights internationally. Yet while there are case studies on individual authors and novels, there’s little empirical research into the impact of individual awards and prizes on such rights transactions. In Australia, even those looking to find a comprehensive set of international editions of winners of what is described as Australia’s most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, have not been able to do so. The aim of The Miles Franklin Rights Project was to create such a list—and to create an efficient, accurate international edition identification model that can be used for other AustLit projects.