Flann wins 2019 Banjo Prize for ‘unbearably tense’ survival thriller
HarperCollins has announced Elizabeth Flann as the winner of the 2019 Banjo Prize for an unpublished manuscript for her ‘unbearably tense’ Australian thriller ‘Beware of Dogs’.
Flann’s work was chosen from a shortlist of three announced in August. She receives a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000.
‘Beware of Dogs’ is written as the field diary of Alix Verhoeven, who’s hiding in a tiny cave on a remote Australian island, documenting her isolation and battle for survival against the men who are after her. HarperCollins describes Flann’s novel as ‘a compelling and utterly gripping tale for fans of Harlan Coben, Karin Slaughter and the Australian classic Wake in Fright’.
‘‘Beware of Dogs’ is exactly the sort of page-turning novel we were looking for, and it was a big favourite among the HarperCollins reading team,’ said HarperCollins fiction publisher Anna Valdinger. ‘In one sense, the survival story is reminiscent of Cast Away or The Martian, as Alix has to rely solely on her wits and bushcraft skills in a hostile environment, but through it all looms the terrifying sense of her being hunted. It’s a truly unputdownable thriller and we are so excited to publish it.’
The two runners-up, Fleur Glenn for ‘Nina and Pearl’, and Terry Whitebeach for ‘The True Love Story of David Collins and Terra Nullius’, receive a written manuscript assessment from HarperCollins.