Berry, Bruce win inaugural Woollahra Digital Literary Awards
Vanessa Berry and Melissa Bruce have won the inaugural Woollahra Digital Literary Awards for writing that was first published online or electronically.
Berry won the nonfiction category for her essay ‘Excavating St Peters’, which was published in the Sydney Review of Books. The judges said Berry’s piece was ‘timely, political, historical, and lucid’. ‘Vanessa Berry is an expert tour guide of a Sydney whose lost history is buried just beneath its shiny, new surfaces,’ said the judges. ‘In “Excavating St Peters”, Berry roams a misunderstood suburb, giving lyrical depictions of a kind of beauty that others might see as banal, and, in the meantime, gives a documentary-like take on political protests against over-development.’
Bruce won the fiction category for Picnic at Mount Disappointment (Ginninderra Press). The judges said Bruce’s verse novel ‘charmed in a matter of stanzas’. ‘Surprising character development, witty and original observations, honest representation of a prickly teen trying to find her place between worlds,’ said the judges.
The winners, who each receive $3000, were chosen from a shortlist announced earlier this month.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the fiction prize was open to novels, novellas or short story collections ‘of a literary nature’; and the nonfiction prize was for monographs, essay collections or long essays. Entries in both categories could range from 3000 to 100,000 words, and must have been published online or electronically in the first instance.
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