In its 15-year history, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript has launched some big names in Australian writing, including Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project), Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil) and more.
The award is a big leg-up for unpublished authors. Previous winners have gone on to write bestselling books across a range of forms and genres and to win other major Australian literary awards, too.
At the Wheeler Centre in September, we’ll check in with some recent past winners: Jane Harper (2015 winner for The Dry), Melanie Cheng (2016 winner for Australia Day), and Christian White (2017 winner for The Nowhere Child). Hosted by Toni Jordan, the trio will discuss their journeys – from laptop-clutching hopefuls to published debut authors, and beyond.
Hill of Content will be our bookseller for this event.
Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition (2008) was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Fall Girl (2010) was published internationally and has been optioned for film, while Nine Days (2012) was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and named in Kirkus Review’s Top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Her latest novel is Our Tiny, Useless Hearts (2016). Toni has been published widely in newspapers and magazines.
Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose projects include feature film Relic. The Nowhere Child is his first book. An early draft of this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and rights were quickly sold into fifteen countries.
Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner. Of Chinese-Australian heritage, she was born in Adelaide, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne with her family. In 2016 she won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.
Australia Day is her first book. Her writing has been published in Meanjin, Overland, Griffith Review, Sleepers Almanac, Seizure, Peril and Visible Ink among other publications.
Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award. Rights have been sold in 30 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne. Her second novel, Force of Nature was released in October 2017.