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Abbott wins inaugural Richell Prize

Sally Abbott has won the inaugural Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for her entry ‘Closing Down’, which imagines a future Australia ‘negotiating a tidal wave of refugees’.

In a statement, Hachette Australia said the judges were ‘impressed with the clean, vivid prose and intriguing characters of  “Closing Down”, and how the story immediately pulls the reader into a plausible yet brutal vision of a future Australia: a broken country carved up into inclusion and exclusion zones and a population uprooted and transient’.

Abbott, a PR director and former journalist, was chosen from a shortlist of five, and will receive $10,000 in prize money from Hachette Australia and a year’s mentoring with publisher Robert Watkins to develop her manuscript.

Applicants were required to submit the first three chapters and a synopsis of a proposed work of adult fiction or narrative nonfiction.

The prize was created in memory of former Hachette Australia CEO Matt Richell. The judges were author and Richell’s widow Hannah Richell, Potts Point Bookshop bookseller Megan O’Brien, former Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) creative director Sam Twyford-Moore, Guardian culture editor Nancy Groves and Watkins.

The Guardian, a partner in the prize along with the EWF, has released more information about the shortlisted entries here. It will also publish an extract of  ‘Closing Down’.


Category: Local news