Here at Text we have been busy reading our way through the mountain of manuscripts we received for this year’s Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. There was a terrific response to the prize, which is in its second year. After reading, re-reading, note-taking and much discussion, we are thrilled to announce the shortlist for this year’s Prize.
Concentrate, The Brothers Groth
This is Shyness, Leanne Hall
Wildfire, Joanne Schoenwald
I Ran Away First, Nicole Trope
Text warmly congratulates these authors on making the cut. The winner will be announced on Sunday, 23 August, as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. (Session code: 2335)
Read on to find out more about the shortlisted manuscripts.
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The Greenhill cricket team’s new kid, Dane Faulkner, is angry, Aboriginal, doesn’t wear a helmet, and cherishes an old bat dubbed ‘Concentrate’ after the message scrawled on its spine. He’s also a phenomenon.
Michael Duffy wants to figure out what makes the strange, gifted newcomer tick but has his own problems—a blinkered father, an overprotective big sister, and impaired vision that is threatening his baggy green dream.
Concentrate is a story of courage after loss, determination after setback and hope after heartbreak.
About the authors:: The Brothers Groth live a dual existence spanning six years and two continents. Individually, The Brothers have been responsible for short stories and novels. Each has won awards at The Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.
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THIS IS SHYNESS
When Wildgirl meets howling Wolfboy at the Diabetic Hotel, she is intrigued by the story of his suburb, Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise. Wildgirl convinces Wolfboy to show her Shyness and prove the endless night to her. Their night out unravels when the Kidds—a gang of sugar-crazed children—mug Wildgirl. As Wolfboy and Wildgirl plan to fight back, they reveal their stories to each other, stories of pain and loss. They only spend one night together—but it is enough time to change their lives.
About the author: Leanne Hall is a children’s specialist at an independent bookstore. She has previously been published in the Sleepers’ Almanac, Best Australian Stories, Meanjin and Growing up Asian in Australia.
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WILDFIRE Mum said to me that banksias need a fire in order to open up their seeds and start new growth. Something that seems so devastating actually brings new life.
Jennifer Kellar likes to keep control of her life. But when her dad travels to the Congo the same day that a bushfire destroys her home her life is thrown into constant change and confusion. With her younger sister, Jennifer moves in with her neighbours and is forced to live with the boy accused of starting the fire.
Wildfire is a contemporary novel, set in Brisbane, which explores themes of change and renewal.
About the author: Joanne Schoenwald is a fiction and non-fiction author with a special interest in promoting Australian content. She was a winner in the 2007 One Book Many Brisbane’s competition. Joanne has plans for a trilogy of young adult novels set in rural Australia.
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I RAN AWAY FIRST Ben and his three friends have done something terrible. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs they have lost control and killed a man. Racked by guilt and fear, Ben turns to his father whose solution is to send Ben out of the country.
In England Ben lives the life of a virtual prisoner as he tries to confront what he has done and why he has allowed his life to take such a terrible turn.
About the author: Nicole Trope was a high school English and Drama teacher before taking time away to raise children. She has written four manuscripts for young adults, which have received interest from agents. Nicole is still waiting to cross the finish line.