Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

The Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an emerging Victorian writer offers a $15,000 prize for an unpublished fiction manuscript – which may be a collection of stories or a novel.

In 2015, the two shortlisted runners up will receive a Writers Victoria membership and a place on a course of their choice from the 2015 Writers Victoria programme.

In addition to the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an emerging Victorian writer, the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards include the Prize for Fiction, the Prize for Non-fiction, The Prize for Writing for Young Adults, the Prize for Poetry, the Prize for Drama, the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Award for Indigenous Writing. These winners of these categories were announced on 28 January 2015. For information about the shortlists and winning books, visit the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2015 page.

2015 Winner

The Dry by Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s The Dry is a taut detective novel in which a multiple homicide drags a city policeman back to the small country township he fled years earlier. It weaves together themes about belonging, loyalty and forgiveness in an exploration of the best and worst of rural Australia. With complex characters and a rich sense of place, The Dry keeps the reader guessing until the last page. Harper has delivered an accomplished piece of crime writing; one destined to find a wide audience.


Shortlisted Manuscripts

Nikolai the Perfect by Jim McIntyre 

Nikolai the Perfect follows Vasilli from the cold Moscow winter to a teaching job in Melbourne and the unearthing of a long-hidden family secret. In this skilfully constructed narrative exploring the landscape of both foreign and familiar cities with beautifully dense and descriptive prose, the author delivers a richly layered novel about loss, discovery, family and moving forward.

Fine by Michelle Wright

A good short story leaves us with an echo, a lingering sense of having discovered something important about the world. Michelle Wright is an assured and compelling storyteller; her ability to present a moment in time as a narrative complete in itself, has resulted in a strong collection of short stories set across Australia and Sri Lanka. Many of the stories explore the seismic shifts that can occur when something unexpected happens and the collection reveals the universal yet intensely personal nature of human experience.

Commended Manuscripts

A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop
The Kafka Papers: the Revised Memoirs of Max Brod by Lucinda Berg
Unhomely Places by Kerry Munnery
Foreign Madam and the White Yogi by Chris Mooney-Singh
The Hidden Drawer by Imbi Neeme


Judging Panel

The panel for the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript comprises three judges: Clare Renner, Else Fitzgerald and convener Jeff Sparrow.