PRH Literary Prize winner announced
Penguin Random House (PRH) Australia has announced that the winner of its inaugural literary prize is Kathryn Hind for her novel Hitch.
ACT-based Hind wins $20,000 (which acts as an advance against royalties), and Hitch will be published in 2019 by Vintage/Knopf publisher Meredith Curnow.
Selected from a pool of 409 submissions, Hitch tells the story of a young woman who ‘stands on a highway in the Australian desert, alone except for her dog and the occasional road train that ignores her raised thumb’. But as she runs further from her past, ‘she moves ever closer to the things she longs to escape’.
The judging panel comprised representatives from PRH Australia and Leading Edge Books. Galina Marinov from Leading Edge said she was ‘blown away’ by the quality of writing submitted to the prize in its inaugural year.
‘Any one of the six shortlisted titles would’ve made a worthy winner, and yet Kathryn Hind’s Hitch stood out amongst the group,’ Marinov said. ‘It ticked all the boxes of a great book: beautiful writing, an engaging and pacy storyline that kept me reading well into the night, and a young heroine I could not help but care (and fear) about. Kathryn is an exciting new Australian voice and I cannot wait for her book to be published and read by independent bookstore readers around Australia.’
Hind said of her award win: ‘To know that I will now be able to bring my manuscript to life with the guidance and support of such an experienced team is incredibly exciting; I’m hopeful that this is the start of building what will be a strong foundation for my writing career.’
The next round of submissions for the prize will open in July 2018.