Chapter One winner announcement

The AAWP takes great pleasure in announcing the winner of the 2016 ‘Chapter One’ prize.

 The winner is Ruby Todd for her manuscript Counterpart.

The AAWP takes great pleasure in announcing a highly commended entry: Lyn Dickens forBirdwatching in the Erinyes. Dickens’ work was long listed for the highly prestigious Richell Prize (2016).

The University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP) has agreed to receive both manuscripts. Both authors are invited to read from their work at the annual conference of the AAWP. Their attendance at the conference is fully subsidised. As the winner, Ruby also wins a $500 cash prize.

Please find below extracts from the judges’ reports.

Extract from judge’s report for Counterpart:

I found this to be the most ambitious of the submissions, with the quality of the writing coming up to match the very searching themes and complex events outlined in the synopsis.  The writer shows an impressive descriptive power, both in the outlining of scenes and in the development of character.  The short extract quickly sets the reader’s mind running in numerous directions, in highly evocative density of impressions and allusions, in a way that is both demanding and rewarding.  The novel broaches very demanding psychological territory in ways that look, in this short extract, to be very effective.  The writing is impressively tactile and visual; the reader is presented with object after object, visual impression upon further visual impression.  It does far more than simply tell the story; it creates a very distinctive mood and a highly reflective ‘way of seeing’, that steadily schools the reader and with each paragraph, heightens sensitivity […].  Overall though, it is deeply learned, resonant, polished and evocative writing.  

Extract from judge’s report for Birdwatching the Erinyes:

As a judge, I was impressed with Birdwatching the Erinyes. The writing was strong with an engaging narrator who drops us right into the action – a skeleton has been discovered under a Sydney university quadrangle. According to the outline, we follow mixed race student Tuesday Goodman through the course of the novel as the skeleton’s story comes to light. This work also explores Pulau Pontianak, a multiracial island in the Java Sea that sank in 1979, and we learn about Tuesday’s uncle and love interest, moving between the present of the novel and three years previous. The work touches on themes of love, family and terrorism, asking the question: how do we reconcile with that which haunts us? On a line-by-line level, the author proves she is in control of her scenes, fleshing them out with telling details that offer a sense of character and place for the reader. The author’s use of language, especially, drew me in. The descriptions were haunting – even those pertaining to Twitter and nicotine inhalers. On both the structural and line-by-line levels, this was an engaging, thoughtful submission.