On being shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards…
On Monday night, I went to the beautiful Western Australian Museum for the awards ceremony of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards – where Fractured was shortlisted in the category of ’emerging writers’. I didn’t win (as expected) but was happy to see my friend, local bookseller, and writing colleague Yvette Walker collect the award for her debut novel, Letters To The End Of Love. Congratulations, Yvette!
It was great to have a drink (a very bubbly, cold champagne) with the other writers shortlisted in our category: Sarah Drummond for Salt Story, and Sally-Ann Jones for Stella’s Sea. I’d spent a few days with Sarah up in Geraldton at the Big Sky festival so it was lovely to see her again.
It was fantastic to see Richard Flanagan win both the ‘Fiction’ category and the overall Premier’s Prize for his amazing novel, The Narrow Road To The Deep North. He gave a moving and funny speech, including some teasing of our premier, Hon Colin Barnett and I’ll never be able to forget the phrase ‘Fifty Shades of Colin’ after Richard’s very amusing acceptance remarks!
I am still buzzing from the experience of the evening: it was, without a doubt, the highlight of my writing career so far. Being in a beautiful building, surrounded by dinosaurs (I made sure we got a photo with one above!), drinking champagne and being amongst writers whose work I admire was amazing. Being shortlisted for a literary award is not something I EVER expected would happen to me, and it was a wonderful validation for me. It didn’t matter that I didn’t win; it was enough to have some recognition from a panel of independent judges that my writing is good enough to be up there with so many other books which I consider to be far more ‘literary’ than my own. It has renewed my confidence in myself and my enthusiasm to get back to writing my third novel, and possibly some non-fiction writing too.
Congratulations to all the other shortlisted and winning authors! Thanks to the State Library of WA for organising the event and all the judges for spending months reading over 500 entries!
I’ll be talking about being a shortlisted emerging writer with Yvette Walker at a free event at the State Library of WA on Thursday 2nd October from 6pm – 7pm. This is a FREE event but bookings are required here or by calling 08 9427 3111 . The talk is hosted by author (shortlisted in the Fiction category for Elemental) and Writing WA member, Amanda Curtin.