Sheppard wins $15,000 Kathleen Mitchell Award; Dunk wins $15,000 Dal Stivens Award
Holden Sheppard has been announced as the winner of this year’s Kathleen Mitchell Award, presented biennially to the author aged 30 or under for an outstanding novel or novella.
Sheppard won the $15,000 award for his novel Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press), which won last year’s T A G Hungerford Award for an unpublished manuscript.
Sheppard said: ‘Writing isn’t an easy road, especially being a young author from a working-class background. I’ve put myself under major financial strain in order to write my first two novels, so winning this award will enable me to reduce my hours at my day job. I’ll be able to focus more on writing my third book without having to worry about how I’m going to pay the bills each fortnight or fix my car when it breaks down. This is a dream come true for any writer, and I’m seriously so grateful that the judges thought Invisible Boys was worthy.’
The Katheleen Mitchell Award was established by Mitchell in 1996 to support young authors and encourage the ‘advancement, improvement and betterment of Australian literature’. The prize was not awarded in 2016, and was last awarded in 2014 to Majok Tulba for his debut novel Beneath the Darkening Sky (Hamish Hamilton).
The $15,000 Dal Stivens Award, presented biennially to an author aged 30 or under for the best literary short story or essay has been awarded to Jonathan Dunk for his essay Park (Sydney Review of Books).
Dunk said: ‘This award represents a deeply satisfying personal and professional recognition, and a deep encouragement to myself and others to continue unsettling the assumptions and conventions of Australian culture and history.’
The Dal Stivens Award, named after Australian writer Dal Stivens, was established in 2007 in the will of Juanita Cragen, to whom Stivens left his literary estate. Stivens was founding president of the Australian Society of Authors in 1963.
Both awards are being administered by the Australia Council for the first time this year.
Tags: Australia Council