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Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing
The New England Writers' Centre is delighted to announce the results of the 2016 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing.
The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing is a national award for unpublished short-form crime writing in three Open categories: Fiction, sponsored by the School of Arts, University of New England; Non-Fiction, sponsored by The Armidale Express and Poetry, sponsored by the New England Writers' Centre and the Armidale Dumaresq Memorial Library. There are also three special awards: the New England Award for a writer resident in New England, sponsored by Readers' Companion; the Emerging Author Award, for an unpublished writer over 18, sponsored by Friends on Tamworth Libraries; and the Youth Award, for writers under 18, sponsored by Little Pink Dog Books and Christmas Press, both locally-based children’s publishers in Armidale.
In its fourth year in 2016, the Prize attracted a strong field of entries from all over Australia, by writers both published and unpublished. Fiction was once again particularly well-represented, with the winner of the Fiction category also picking up the Emerging Authors Award. Poetry and Non-Fiction also fared well across award categories, with the winner in the Youth Award winning with a poem, and the New England Award winner, and Highly Commended entry, being from the Non Fiction category.
The winners of the 2016 New England Thunderbolt Prize are as follows:
Fiction: Maryanne Ross (VIC) for Secrets.
Non-Fiction: Maryrose Cuskelly (VIC) for Well before Dark.
Poetry: Ian Hood (NSW), Drowning Satan.
New England Award: William Bennett for That Man Mendel. Also Highly Commended, Non-Fiction category.
Emerging Author Award: Maryanne Ross (VIC) for Secrets. Also Winner, Fiction category.
Youth Award: Stella Carolan, age 12 (NSW) for Take a Tablet.
The New England Writers' Centre warmly congratulates all the winners, as well as all those received Highly Commended and Commended citations.
New England writers were well represented, with several local writers receiving Highly Commended and Commended citations in each category.
All entries were blind-read by the judges, with all identifying marks removed, other than title and an assigned number. Judges this year were John Foulcher, Poetry; Bronwyn Parry, Fiction; Helena Pastor, Non-Fiction; and Ann Young and Beattie Alvarez, Youth Award. The New England Award and Emerging Author Award were chosen based on judges' recommendations across categories.
The New England Writers' Centre wishes to thank the hard-working and thoughtful judges and all the generous sponsors of the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing for helping to make 2016 another successful year for the Prize.
The New England Thunderbolt Prize continues to receive excellent nationwide recognition for the quality of the writers it showcases. Winners of the 2015 Thunderbolt Prize had their winning entries selected for publication in Award-Winning Australian Writing, an annual publication by Melbourne Books. And Emma Viskic, the winner of the Fiction category in the inaugural Prize in 2013, whose first novel, Resurrection Bay, was published in 2015, received two major crime fiction awards in 2016 for this novel. She has acknowledged the important effect that winning the Thunderbolt Prize had on her confidence as a writer and recognition in the literary world, and in 2017 will be coming to Armidale to give a workshop on short-form crime writing to coincide with the launch of the 2017 Thunderbolt Prize.