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2017 University of Tasmania Prize shortlist

Tasmania's next literary stars

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What do teenagers living in the Venezuelan jungle, a bookshelver who burns down a library, a professor of European literature and bushwalking in Tasmania all have in common? They are all subjects of unpublished works shortlisted for The University of Tasmania Prize by writers Kerri Guardia, Ruairi Murphy, Adam Ouston and Ben Walter.

The $5 000 University of Tasmania Prize is part of the 2017 Premier’s Literary Prizes and is designed to help emerging authors gain recognition and publication opportunities for their work. So far the two manuscripts that have previously won the prize have found publishers. Katherine Johnson’s Kubla won the prize in 2013 and was published as The Better Son by Varuna Press in 2016 and Lois Murphy’s Soon won the prize in 2015 and was published in 2017 by Transit Lounge.

Speaking shortly after winning the prize in 2013, Katherine Johnson said that after putting years of work into a book, the encouragement that such an award provides can’t be underestimated. “It’s also a really valuable leg-up towards publication in what is currently a very difficult publishing environment, particularly for writers who are yet to become well-established,” she said.

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, shortly after winning the University of Tasmania Prize for best unpublished manuscript as part of the 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes (now the Premier’s Literary Prizes)

Who will be the next Tasmanian writer to win the University of Tasmania Prize? The judges are still deliberating, but right now you can read extracts from the shortlisted works  and vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Awards. This is a great opportunity to read work by some of Tasmania’s most promising writers. Plus, you’ll go into draw to win all twenty books longlisted for the Premier’s Literary Prizes and score an invitation to the gala announcement at Government House. Click here to vote now.

The University of Tasmania Prize is supported by the University of Tasmania.