2016 Tasmanian Writers’ Achievements



It’s been an enormous year for writers in Tasmania, with countless awards, book launches, grants and residencies right across the board. Join us as we show respect to the literary successes from 2016 so far, from activities through the centre and beyond.

 Tasmanian Writers Centre program successes:


Erica Bell Mentorship recipients 


  1. Tania Walker
  2. Terry Whitebeach
  3. Karen Johnson
  4. Ben Walter

 Inaugural Tasmanian Writers Centre Hot Desk Residents


  1. Michael Stratford-Hutch
  2. Erin Hortle
  3. Vivienne Cutbush
  4. Gemma Krambousanos

 Inaugural Young Writers in the City of Launceston residents

  1. Claudia Locatelli
  2. Grace Kenyon
  3. Yaya Mackeddie
  4. Jasper Godden
  5. Tessa Wynne
  6. Eloise Hart

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Inaugural Young Writers in the City of Devonport

  1. Kate Elphinstone
  2. Skye Cusack
  3. Kyle Perry
  4. Jane Beeke
  5. Lauren Hay


Wildcare Nature Writing Prize


Harriet Riley (NY, USA)



  1. Sue Castrique (NSW)
  2. Nicole Gill (Tas)
  3. Raoul Slater (Qld)


  1. Catherine Mauk (ACT)
  2. Daniel Fallon (Qld)
  3. Eibhlín Scanlon (WA)
  4. Michael Blake (Tas)
  5. Alison Thompson (NSW)
  6. Raoul Slater (Qld)
  7. Tracy Fantin (Qld)

Prince Edward Island Residency Recipient

Gina Mercer

Gina Mercer 1

Tasmanian writer successes from across the literary community:

Tasmanian writers with books published in 2016 or to be launched in 2017

  1. Christine Dibley’s debut novel To The Sea published by Pan Macmillan will be in bookshops on 22 December
  2. Steph Parkyn’s Into the World is a novel based on the true story of Marie-Louise Girardin, who flees France in the midst of Revolution and embarks on a voyage to the South Seas disguised as a man. Published by Allen and Unwin in October 2017
  3. Col Meyers has launched self-published book Trawl Tales & True, sharing experiences of his 30-year career as a fisherman
  4. Fiona Levings’ new book The Moonbow launched at Fullers Bookshop this December
  5. Betty McKenzie-Tubb’s new book Meanderings launched at the Hobart Bookshop
  6. Verity Croker’s Cyclone Christmas (2000), which tells the story of a family in the wake of the 1974 Darwin cyclone, has been re-released in a new edition and a new cover. Verity’s May Day Mine (2015) is now out in hardcover
  7. Katherine Johnson’s new book The Better Son released by Ventura Press. The story had previously won The University of Tasmania Prize (Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013), People’s Choice Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Writer (Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013), and The Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award 2013. Katherine’s project was assisted by a grant from Arts Tasmania
  8. Bruce Pascoe, who joined us for our Hidden Stories events, was published in the Southerly Journal with his piece Cry for my Heart, Dance for my Soul
  9. Heather Rose released her fourth literary novel The Museum of Modern Love, which was inspired by Marina Abramovic
  10. Paul Fleming’s successfully crowdfunded book PAUSE: A Collection of Tasmanian Moments is distributed through Blackgum Distributors.
  11. Leigh Swinbourne’s book Shadow in the Forest, it is to be published next year by Guillotine Press! The unpublished manuscript was shortlisted for the 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes
  12. Blue Pollen Beautiful by Libby Goodsir will be released by Ginninderra Press in December
  13. Anne Kellas had The White Room Poems launched
  14. Robyn Mundy had Wildlight launched
  15. Sylvia Barrett had her book published: New Perspectives on Wellness, and Kylie Dunn had her book published: Do, Share, Inspire
  16. Congratulations for Rachel Edwards for The Third Script, Karen Armstrong for If We Could Fly, Anne Morgan for The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken, and Penny Edmonds for Settler Colonialism and (Re)conciliation: Frontier Violence, Affective Performances, and Imaginative Refoundings
  17. Esther Campion’s Between Septembers will be published by Hachette for 2017 release
  18. Margaretta Pos launched her book Shadows in Suriname, published by Forty South Publishing
  19. Arjun von Caemmerer’s book Vice Versa, new and selected poems (Collective Effort Press) was launched by Lyn Reeves at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music.


Awards: wins, shortlists, and longlists 

  1. 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards: The World Repair Video Game by David Ireland, serialised in Island, was shortlisted in the Fiction category. Island’s Poetry Editor Sarah Holland-Batt won for her collection of poems The Hazards (UQP, 2015) in the Poetry category. Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival speaker Jane Harrison was shortlisted for Becoming Kirrali Lewis (Magabala Books, 2015) in the Young Adult Fiction category
  2. Katherine Johnson made it into the Indie Book Awards fiction longlist with The Better Son
  3. Carmel Bird won the prestigious 2016 Patrick White Literary Award for her years of literary contributions
  4. Island magazine and Hobart Bookshop announced the winners of the 2016 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize: First prize awarded for In Memory by Stuart Cooke, second prize awarded for Correspondence by Kate Wellington, and Highly Commended for Along The Wire, In the Dark by Jill Jones
  5. Grace Shi from the University of Tasmania was one of the 36 leading entrants in the YAJA Awards
  6. Congratulations Susie Greenhill, who won this year’s Richell prize for her novel The Clinking. Greenhill was longlisted for the prize last year. The prize is a partnership between Guardian Australia, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and Hachette Australia
  7. Author Julie Hunt won the Griffith University Children’s Book Award along with illustrator Dale Newman for their book KidGlovz! The book was also shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards
  8. Robyn Friend was our state’s nominee for this year’s Alice Award
  9. Congratulations to all the young writers who received a place in the Young Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2016, presented by Forty South Publishing and the Tasmanian Association for the Teaching of English:
  • Senior Section: Years 10-12 Winner 
  • Amber Lohrbaecher, Elizabeth College –He called to say
  • Runners Up
  • Zoe Rabone, Elizabeth College –A natural death
  • Carolina Peneda, Ogilvie High School –The call of morning
  • Commended
  • Riley Chivers, Hellyer College –Rose of another name
  • Freya Cox, The Friends School –The same partnership
  • Junior Section: Years 7-9 Winner
  • Annwen Roberts, Taroona High School –Sense of achievement
  • Runners Up
  • Ruby Croft, St Aloysius Catholic College –The wedding celebration
  • Ben Smith Noble, Taroona High School –Golden moments
  • Commended
  • Lilith Cole, Taroona High School – No geraniums* Winner of the Peter Sharp Memorial Award 2016 
  • Anneliese Gulliver, Scotch Oakburn College –Golden
  • Mia Cooper, Ogilvie High School –Three Years
  1. Adrienne Eberhard’s poem Four Meditations on Love made it to the finals in the Newcastle Poetry Prize, offered by the University of Newcastle
  2. Nicole Gill was shortlisted in the Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing 2016 with her story Every Lizard Counts
  3. Illustrator Coral Tulloch’s book (written by Rohan Cleave) Phasmid, Saving the Lord Howe Island Insect was awarded Honour Book in the Eve Pownall Information Book of the Year, Children’s Book Council of Australia, 2016. Coral was also shortlisted for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books with Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect and then received Honour Book, Children’s Book Council of Australia. It won the Whitley Commendation for Children’s Literature from the Royal Zoological Society, NSW
  4. Illustrator Peter Gouldthorpe was also shortlisted for the Eve Pownall withThe White Mouse: The Story of Nancy Wake
  5. Bert Spinks’ story On a Hasty Journey Across Iceland was shortlisted for this year’s Express Media Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers
  6. Verity Croker’s young adult novel, May Day Mine, was shortlisted for the US-based Dante Rossetti Award which recognises emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of  Young Adult & New Adult Fiction
  7. Kathryn Lomer’s latest YA novel, Talk Under Water, received a Notable Book Award from the Children’s Book Council of Australia
  8. Heather Rose and Danielle Wood (writing as Angelica Banks) were shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards for Best Children’s Fiction for A Week Without Tuesday
  9. Craig Cormick won the Forty South Tasmanian Writers’ Prize for his story No man is an island. Keren Heenan was also highly commended for her story All the quiet things. Tasmanian writers Helen Wyatt, Andrea McMahon and Margaret Forster were finalists. Sadly, Margaret Forster has since passed away. It is a sad loss to the Tasmanian writing community and our thoughts are with her friends and family.
  10. Christina Booth released her new book Too Many Sheep, and next year will release her Anzac Tree story through Scholastic, the result of grants from Arts Tasmania in 2014 and 2015
  11. Robert Dessaix and Rohan Wilson honoured for best Australian non-fiction and fiction at the SA Premier’s Literary Awards
  12. Kate Gordon has been announced as the 2016 Winner of the Ena Noel Award for her YA novel Writing Clementine
  13. Congratulations to Katherine Brabon on winning the Australian/Vogel Literary Award for her novel The Memory Artist
  14. Christina Booth and Tansy Rayner Roberts were both shortlisted for the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards!
  15. Helayne Short’s Dawn’s Age was shortlisted for a Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award. Helayne received a $2,000 Tasmanian Regional Arts ‘Quick Response Grant’ to workshop Dawn’s Age with her dramaturg in Sydney.


  1. Christina Booth won a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust residential fellowship for 2017
  2. Nicole Gill was granted a six-week residency at Lake St Clair

Christina Booth


  1. Launceston writer Adam Thompson will receive an Aboriginal Arts Program grant toward mentorship for his 12 short stories, set to be published in 2017
  2. Tasmanian Aboriginal playwright Nathan Maynard will have his original play The Season presented across the country in 2017 and as part of the Ten Days on the Island festival in March. The play, about mutton bird families in the state, will be produced by Tasmania Performs and features seven Indigenous actors. It received funding through the Major Festivals Initiative
  3. Tasmanian writers Sarah Day, Robyn Mundy, and Cassandra Pybus for received funding in the Australia Council grants

Other achievements

  1. The Kettering Incident co-creator and show-runner Vicki Madden has been picked by CAA in the US and United Artists in the UK for representation. The show also won a major award in Paris. The prestigious international Series Mania festival considered 80 series from more than 20 countries. Vikki Madden, producer of the eight-part series, said winning the special jury prize was “surreal”
  2. Rachel Edwards has been appointed Non Fiction Editor of Open Road Review, South Asia’s leading magazine of literature and culture.
  3. Our 2016 Twitch Coordinator Claire McCarthy’s band Heart Beach was nominated for a National Live Music Award! Claire was also selected for the Festival of Voices’ Keep One Eye on the Stranger initiative for female songwriting talent


Congratulations, everyone! We look forward to hearing about your success in 2017. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters and keep up to date on achievements throughout the year!