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'The literary awards season shifted into gear this week with the Indie Awards and the release of the Miles Franklin longlist. The former, voted on by Australia's independent booksellers, has a habit of picking books that will go on to do well with prize judges and civilian readers alike. We also have a shortlist for the inaugural Stella Prize for Australian women's literature, set up partly to counter a perceived male bias in the Miles Franklin, and a longlist for its British-based inspiration, the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly Orange Prize). It's early days -- we have the various state-based book prizes and the refreshingly idiosyncratic Prime Minister's Literary Awards to come -- but already some works look like being major players throughout the awards season, just as Anna Funder's All That I Am and Gillian Mears's Foal's Bread were last year. Melbourne writer Carrie Tiffany is on the Miles Franklin, Stella and Women's Prize lists for her second novel, Mateship with Birds. London-based ML Stedman is in the running for the Miles Franklin and the Women's Prize for her debut novel The Light Between Oceans and Sri Lankan-born Sydney author Michelle de Kretser is a Miles Franklin and Stella contender for Questions of Travel. I won't be at all surprised if these three books fight out the big local literary awards. Stedman has a head start after picking up the awards for best debut fiction and overall book of the year at the Indies. '(Abstract from publisher)