Avila wins 2020 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize
In the UK, Australian writer Jacob P Avila has won the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Unpublished Manuscript for his self-published novel Cave Diver.
Avila receives a world rights publishing deal with Bonnier Books, which will release Cave Diver in Australia and the UK. The contemporary thriller follows Rob Nash, an acclaimed explorer who lost his wife in a controversial diving accident. When a TV documentary team searching for a World War Two submarine offers Nash the chance to resurrect his career, he soon finds himself at risk in the remote landscape of Papua New Guinea.
All six authors shortlisted for the award received one-to-one support from literary consultant David Llewelyn to develop their work, while Avila has also secured literary representation with Charlotte Colwill at the Bravo Blue Agency, in association with Tibor Jones in the UK.
Northern NSW-based Avila is a full-time writer with a background in freelance journalism, and taught secondary English for 10 years.
Established by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation in 2015, the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and ‘seeks to support and celebrate the best new adventure writers today’. The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for a published work—worth £15,000 (A$26,470)—is on hold for 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information about the prize, see the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation website.