Four outstanding manuscripts have been selected from 268 entries to make up the shortlist for the $10,000 Text Prize, awarded annually to the best unpublished manuscript for teenagers and children.
NEVERLAND by Margot McGovern
Seventeen-year-old Kit Learmonth would rather die than grow up and leave her family’s island, ‘Neverland’. An ambitious, complex story about memory, growing up and moving on.
Margot McGovern is a freelance writer and reviewer who contributes to a number of leading literary publications. She is a former associate editor of Ride On magazine and lives in Perth.
AGATHA ABEL MEETS HER MAKER by Sophie Overett
Agatha lands in a Catholic boarding school for girls after her mother falls ill and her father disappears. A compelling, modern exploration of adolescent sexuality and the emotional life of teenagers.
Sophie Overett is a cultural producer and writer in Brisbane. She was a Young Writer in Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in 2014 and in 2015 is a Queensland Literary Fellow.
SOLSTICE by Mark Russell
Set on a planet that stopped rotating generations ago, where half the world lives in shadow, half in light, Solstice is an exciting, adventurous and original work of science fiction.
Mark Russell is a writer whose work has appeared in publications including Inside Film and the Canberra Times. Solstice was originally written as a screenplay, which won a Screen Australia Development Grant in 2010. He lives in Melbourne.
THE BOOK OF WHISPERS by Kimberley Starr
An imaginative and gripping historical fantasy novel set during the first Crusade, in a world where demons are real and gaining power, and almost no one can see them.
Kimberley Starr is a teacher and author based in Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies, won the 2003 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author.
The winner of the 2015 Text Prize will be announced on Thursday 28 May at an event in Melbourne.
Read more about the Text Prize here.