With more than 130 book launches and dozens of literary award wins, Tasmanian authors have plenty of reason to celebrate an unprecedented level of success in 2014.
Book stores in Tasmania averaged three to four launches statewide each week, while the cream of Tasmania’s writing community were shortlisted, won and were awarded many prestigious awards – more than any previous year.
Tasmanian literary legend Richard Flanagan has of course done his home state proud for winning not only one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards – the Man Booker Prize – but also co-won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction as well as a host of other prizes for his masterpiece, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The incredible tale also won the Western Australian Premier’s Book and Fiction awards.
Many other Tasmanian writers have also been acknowledged for their books and stories in 2014 – more than ever before.
Tasmanian Writers’ Centre director Chris Gallagher said she was blown away by just how prolific and successful 2014 had been.
“Tasmania is continuing to build its reputations as a great literary island,” she said.
“For our population, we have unusually high numbers of authors and writers. But perhaps what 2014 has proven with the unprecedented amount of award wins for the state, is that not only do we have lots of writers, we also have a density of significant talent. Tasmanians are writing, and they’re writing extremely well.”
Ms Gallagher said Tasmania could now be positioned as the literary isle for anyone interested in writing and writers.
“I think this year’s achievements will assist Tasmania being viewed internationally as a proud literary community supporting so much writing talent.
“It’s wonderful to see our writers being honoured around the country, and we would certainly welcome moves for the Tasmanian government to ensure the Tasmanian Literary awards continue to acknowledge and honour our own writers.”
Ms Gallagher said the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre was planning an exciting 2015, drawing on the momentum of this awe-inspiring year. She said the centre would release its program of events, workshops and activities for the coming year, with an exciting and renewed focus and vision to help shape and encourage even more Tasmanian writers. Perhaps most exciting of all is the Centre is already preparing for its biennial Tasmanian Writers’ Festival to be held in Hobart September 11-13.
“Expect to see some particularly left-of-centre and dynamic writing events in 2015. We’re planning something pretty special,” she said.
Award-winning Tasmanian authors 2014
• Richard Flanagan – the Man Booker Prize, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Fiction co-winner, the Miles Franklin Award (shortlisted), the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction, the University of Queensland Fiction Book Award, the Colin Roderick Award (shortlisted), the Western Australia Premier’s Book Award (Premier’s Prize and Fiction category), the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction (shortlisted) and the Independent Booksellers Award for The Narrow Road to the Deep North
• Karen Harrland – Finch Memoir Prize for Spinifex Baby
• Alison Alexander – National Biography Prize for The Ambitions of Jane Franklin
• Julie Hunt – Readings Children’s Book Prize and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize for Song for a Scarlet Runner
• Sarah Day – Prime Minister’s Literary Prize shortlist for Tempo
• Henry Reynolds – Victorian Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction for The Forgotten War
• Tim Thorne – Gwen Harwood Prize for Fukushima Suite
• Polly Whittington – Tasmanian Writing Prize 2014 (40 South) for The Chimney Pot
• Anne Morgan and Gay McKinnon – joint winner of the Wilderness Society’s Environmental Award for Children’s Literature Junior Fiction for The Smallest Carbon Footprint and Other Eco-Tales
• Christina Booth – Wilderness Society’s Environmental Award for Children’s Literature Picture Book for Welcome Home
• Lily Stojcevski – Young Tasmanian Writing Prize Senior for Mountain. Predator. Shell.
• Freya Cox – Young Tasmanian Writing Prize Junior for Leaf in my Hands
• Finnegan Kruckemeyer – Australian Writers’ Guild Awards for Theatre joint-winner for The Violent Outburst that Drew me to You and Australian Writers’ Guild Awards for Children’s Theatre for The Grumpiest Boy in the World
• Tom Holloway – Australian Writers’ Guild Awards for Theatre joint-winner for Storm Boy
• Adam Ouston – The inaugural Erica Bell Foundation Award for Literature for The Party
• Rohan Wilson – Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Awards for To Name Those Lost