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Fiction ()
Subcategory of Indie Awards
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Latest Winners / Recipients

2021 winner y separately published work icon Honeybee Craig Silvey , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2020 19613814 2020 single work novel

'The highly anticipated new novel by the bestselling author of Jasper Jones.

'Find out who you are, and live that life.'

'Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below.

'At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette.

'The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.

'Honeybee is a heart-breaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.

'At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by a loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering step-father, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.

'Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It's about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter -- one offering hope, the other redemption. It's about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.' (Publication summary)

2020 winner y separately published work icon There Was Still Love Favel Parrett , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2019 15936861 2019 single work novel

'Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, a man wearing a hat. Eva runs into him, hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the gutter. His anger slaps Eva, but his hate will change everything, as war forces so many lives into small, brown suitcases.

'Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city - the fear cannot touch him. Ludek is free. And he sees everything. The world can do what it likes. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. His whole world.

'Melbourne, 1980: Mala Lika's grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Inside, the smell of warm pipe tobacco and homemade cakes. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A life imbued with the spirit of Prague and the loved ones left behind.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Bridge of Clay Markus Zusak , Sydney : Picador , 2018 13340612 2018 single work novel

'An unforgettable and sweeping family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller The Book Thief.

'Bridge of Clay is about a boy who is caught in the current - of destroying everything he has, to become all he needs to be. He's a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for memory and tragedy. He builds a bridge to save his family, but also to save himself. It's an attempt to transcend humanness, to make a single, glorious moment:

'A miracle and nothing less.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner y separately published work icon The Choke Sofie Laguna , Sydney : Allen and Unwin , 2017 11520939 2017 single work novel

'Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop's chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch - a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can't protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal.

'Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back.

'The Choke is a brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can't be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. This compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.' (Synopsis)

2017 winner y separately published work icon The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Dominic Smith , New York (City) : Sarah Crichton Books , 2016 9187015 2016 single work novel historical fiction

'This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.

'In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.' (Publication summary)

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