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Inaugural Affirm Mentorship Award winners announced

Affirm Press has announced the winners of the inaugural Affirm Mentorship Award, run in partnership with Varuna, the Writers’ House.

Three writers were chosen from 149 submissions, with the Affirm Press editorial team of Martin Hughes, Ruby Ashby-Orr and Kate Goldsworthy judging the entries on the strength of the writing and their potential as trade books.

Paula Keogh’s memoir ‘The Green Bell’ was described by the judges as a ‘fascinating and deeply sensitive portrait of love and mental illness’, which ‘could reach a wide audience’. ‘We were impressed by her voice, which is at once poetic and bluntly honest, along with the richness of the imagery used as the story shifts from university tutorial, to psychiatric ward, to the empty streets of Canberra.’

Andrea Baldwin’s novel ‘The Child Pose’ has ‘potential to succeed as commercial fiction’, said the judges. ‘What makes this piece stand out is Andrea Baldwin’s strong combination of writing ability and construction of a compelling narrative.’

The judges praised ‘subtle humour, self-awareness and insight’ in Gabriella Colsovich’s memoir ‘Crack Me Up’. ‘The broad central question of what “womanhood” means is thrashed out across a series of loosely connected scenes from Gabriella Coslovich’s life as a professional woman—unmarried, with no children and from a traditional European family.’

The Affirm Press Mentorship Award was announced in May this year. It offers up to four local writers the chance to work with the Affirm Press publishing team during a week-long residence at Varuna, with the aim of developing each writer’s manuscript to a publishable standard. Affirm Press has first right of acceptance for the manuscripts.

For more information, visit the Varuna website here.


Category: Local news