We were overwhelmed to receive 300 submissions to the Text Young Adult Prize. Clearly there are many writers at work whose voices are not being heard. Our judging panel, comprising senior members of the Text editorial department, was impressed with the level of interest and the quality of the writing the prize generated. Submissions ranged from vividly realised sci-fi and fantasy to heart wrenching coming-of-age stories. We had epics from far-off galaxies and beautiful tales from closer to home. We received submissions from writers of all ages and experience, from first-timers and those previously published. The judges argued long and hard about a number of manuscripts before deciding upon a shortlist which they feel reflects the talent that is evident in Australian writing for young adults.
Text Publishing proudly presents the Text Young Adult Prize shortlist:
- Title: Avenging Angel
Synopsis: Set in 1450 Europe, Avenging Angel tells the story of Gerant Basseterre, a teenager who has inherited his mother’s special Gift. With the Church gripped by the fear of witches, he is sent away for his own safety. When his mother is burned at the stake, Gerant devotes his life to learning his powers and seeking revenge.
Author: Dave Luckett
Bio: Dave Luckett has nearly twenty books for children and young adults in print. He won the Aurealis Award twice, and frequently figures on the Children’s Book Council’s notable list. Married with one son, he lives in domestic content, but remains defiantly a hard-core member of SF fandom.
- Title: I Swallowed A Horse
Synopsis: I Swallowed A Horse is Echo’s story. Life is pretty good, as far as being a fifteen-year-old goes. Cool clothes, cool friends, cool ring tones. Sure, her mother is pregnant to her teacher, but Echo can cope with that. A seizure, though, changes everything. Diagnosed with epilepsy Echo’s popularity plummets. She has to learn how to cope with her illness, and learn what is really important in life.
Author: Nicole Lobry de Bruyn
Bio: In 2001, Nicole Lobry de Bruyn’s first novel Undertow was shortlisted for the WA State Literature prize. A qualified vet, Nicole discovered the joy of writing after a car accident left her a paraplegic. Her dream is to write full-time.
- Title: The Valentines and the Billionaire’s Curse
Synopsis: In The Valentines and the Billionaire’s Curse, Gerald’s life is turned upside down by the unexpected death of his great aunt. She has made him the sole beneficiary of her estate–worth £20 billion! But that’s not all he’s inherited– there’s the knowledge that his great aunt was murdered, that he is next on the killer’s list and that a 2000-year-old mystery ties it all together.
Author: Richard Newsome
Bio: Richard Newsome has worked as a journalist, strategy consultant and communications director for a large public company. He took the plunge to write his first novel while being a stay-at-home Dad to his three children. He is currently working on a new book series about a group of teenagers who survive a mystery pandemic.
Text would like to congratulate all who entered, but extend a special round of applause to Dave, Nicole and Richard.
The inaugural winner of the Text Young Adult Prize will be announced as part of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival on Saturday 30 August at 9.00pm, at the Festival Club on the Flinders Street level of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square.