Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Hachette signs three-book deal with Vic Prem’s Unpublished Manuscript winner

Hachette Australia has signed a three-book deal with the winner of the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Hachette will publish Clarke’s award-winning short story collection Foreign Soil, which comprises ‘tales of the dispossessed, the newly arrived, those seeking refuge and those realising they are in need of it’, in May 2014. This will be followed by her debut novel, Asphyxiation, in 2015, and her memoir, The Hate Race, in 2016. 

Clarke is an Australian writer and spoken-word performer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Her short fiction, essays and poetry have been published widely, including in the Age, the Big Issue, Overland, Cordite Poetry Review, Harvest, Voiceworks and Going Down Swinging. She is also the author of two poetry collections, Gil Scott Heron is on Parole and the forthcoming nothing here needs fixing (both Picaro Press).

Hachette Australia commissioning editor Robert Watkins described Clarke as a ‘born storyteller’. ‘Having read Foreign Soil in one uninterrupted sitting, I can tell you (without hyperbole) that she is a writer with massive potential. This particular collection is an emotional sucker punch. I haven’t read anything like it in seventeen years of working in this industry.’

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript is open to all Victorian writers who have not previously had a work of fiction published. Previous winners include Graeme Simsion for The Rosie Project (Text), Amy Espeseth for Sufficient Grace (Scribe), Angela Savage for Thai Died, published as Behind the Night Bazaar (Text), and Carrie Tiffany for Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living (Picador).

Books+Publishing’s Weekly Book Newsletter features regular updates on rights sales and acquisitions. For the latest rights news, click here.



Category: Local news