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White wins 2017 Vic Prem’s Unpublished Manuscript award; Affirm acquires winning title

Melbourne writer Christian White has won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for his novel Decay Theory.

The $15,000 award was presented at the opening night of the 2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival. White’s winning manuscript was chosen from a shortlist of three—from a total of 88 entries—that also included Kaz Kilmore-Barrymore’s ‘Truth Untold’ and Laura Stortenbeker’s ‘Low Light’.

White’s novel tells the story of a Melbourne woman who gets caught up in the investigation of a decades-old kidnapping in Kentucky. The judges—Katherine Brabon, Hannah Donnelly and Amra Pajalic—described it as an ‘assured novel and a page-turner about a small town mystery dealing with trauma, cult and memory’.

The novel has been acquired by Affirm Press and is scheduled for publication in 2018.

Affirm Press publishing director Martin Hughes said he was enthralled by the manuscript. ‘My first thought when I read Decay Theory was, “Where has Christian been hiding?” This is a fabulous novel—rich, atmospheric, pacey and unforgettable.’

White, who has an advanced diploma of professional screenwriting from RMIT, is currently working in London with Matchbox Pictures on a television series that he co-created. He has also co-written the feature film Relic, to be produced by Carver Films.

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript seeks to uncover new Victorian literary talent. Last year’s winner was Melanie Cheng for her short fiction collection Australia Day, which will be published by Text in July.


Category: Local news