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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2020

recipient y separately published work icon Between Us Clare Atkins , Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2018 12259282 2018 single work novel young adult

'Is it possible for two very different teenagers to fall in love despite high barbed-wire fences and a political wilderness between them?

'Anahita is passionate, curious and determined. She is also an Iranian asylum seeker who is only allowed out of detention to attend school. On weekdays, during school hours, she can be a ‘regular Australian girl’.

'Jono needs the distraction of an infatuation. In the past year his mum has walked out, he’s been dumped and his sister has moved away. Lost and depressed, Jono feels as if he’s been left behind with his Vietnamese single father, Kenny.

'Kenny is struggling to work out the rules in his new job; he recently started work as a guard at the Wickham Point Detention Centre. He tells Anahita to look out for Jono at school, but quickly comes to regret this, spiraling into suspicion and mistrust. Who is this girl, really? What is her story? Is she a genuine refugee or a queue jumper? As Jono and Anahita grow closer, Kenny starts snooping behind the scenes…'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon The Bone Sparrow Zana Fraillon , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2016 9459824 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'Subhi's imagination is as big as the ocean and wise as the sky, but his world is much smaller: he's spent his whole life in an immigration detention centre. The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.

'Sometimes, at night, the dirt outside turns into a beautiful ocean. As red as the sun and as deep as the sky. I lie in my bed, Queeny's feet pushing up against my cheek, and listen to the waves lapping at the tent.

'Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.

'The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, and brings a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family's love songs and tragedies.

'Subhi and Jimmie might both find a way to freedom, as their tales unfold. But not until each of them has been braver than ever before.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon The Incredible Here and Now Felicity Castagna , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2013 6177924 2013 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'Michael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman. Suitable for young readers from 14 years of age.' (Publisher's blurb)

Year: 2014

winner y separately published work icon The Golden Day Ursula Dubosarsky , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1770097 2011 single work novel young adult mystery (taught in 6 units)

'"There were only eleven of them, like eleven sisters all the same age in a large family. Because it was such a very small class, they had a very small classroom, which was perched at the very top of the school - up four flights of stairs, up in the high sky, like a colony of little birds nesting on a cliff. 'Today, girls,' said Miss Renshaw, 'we shall go out into the beautiful Gardens and think about death."'

'In the Gardens they meet a poet. What follows is inexplicable, shocking, a scandal. What really happened that day? Is 'the truth' as elusive as it seems? And do the little girls know more than they are letting on?' (From the publisher's website.)

Year: 2012

winner y separately published work icon A Small Free Kiss in the Dark Glenda Millard , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1554038 2009 single work novel young adult fantasy 'Skip's an outsider, a quiet observer. He draws pictures to make sense of the world. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left, especially when he teams up with old Billy. Then come the bombs which leave little Max in his care, and also Tia, the sad dancer, with her sweet baby, Sixpence. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination...how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?' (Publisher's blurb)

Works About this Award

Balancing Act Tony Davis , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Author , June vol. 43 no. 2 2011; (p. 24-26)
Most writers lead messy lives filled with myriad jobs that help pay the bills in between the time they send on writing. Tony Davis.
She Poems His Body i "Her implements cut", Lyn Reeves , 2010 single work poetry
— Appears in: Foam:e , no. 7 2010;
The Possums in The Book of Kells i "'A strange group of animals'. Mice perhaps,", P. R. Hay , 2010 single work poetry
— Appears in: Stylus Poetry Journal , January no. 36 2010;
Song About Forever Peter Mitchell , 1986 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Great Unknown 1995; (p. 70)
To the Editor of the Monitor 'Horace Flaccus' , 1826 single work correspondence
— Appears in: The Monitor , 16 June vol. 1 no. 5 1826; (p. 35)
'Horace Flaccus', a free settler in the colony, declares to the Monitor's editor his availability for writing tragedy, sermons, poetry and other forms of literature - for a price. 'Flaccus' also offers some sonnets from his eldest daughter whom he describes as 'a promising Sappho'.
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