Text Prize 2021 shortlist announced
The shortlist for the $10,000 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing has been announced.
The seven shortlisted manuscripts are:
- ‘Dancing Barefoot’ by Alice Boyle (YA), a story about ‘finding love, figuring out your place in the world, and learning to embrace the changes life throws in your path’
- ‘We Will Make Darkness’ by Ellie Casey (YA), ‘a dark and powerful fantasy novel about lifelong friendship, ancestral magic, found family, and discovering yourself outside the confines of your upbringing’.
- ‘Blind Spot’ by Robyn Dennison (YA), ‘a novel about shame, intimacy, and the question of what we owe each other’, in which 17-year-old Dale, who isn’t thrilled to have a new house guest in Maxine, nonetheless ‘finds himself drawn to his irreverent, hard-to-read cousin’. ‘And then there’s Brent, the cute guy Dale meets, who seems interested in getting to know him.’
- ‘Between the Flags’ by Rachel J Fenton (YA) about 14-year-old trainee lifeguard Mandy Malham, who has wanted to beat Jen in the Surf Lifesaving Championships ever since Jen bullied her in primary school, but who must first rescue herself.
- ‘The Boy in the Field’ by Sophie Lewis (middle-grade), which is based on the true story of the author’s great-grandfather and follows the adventures of young Polish boy Jan and the trials he faces during the Second World War.
- ‘The Curious Case of the Cocoa Bean’ by Jacqueline Mohr (middle-grade), ‘a middle-grade mystery full of humour, interesting characters and an intriguing setting’ in 1953 Papua New Guinea, in which Lotty Gold Worthington is convinced it is up to her to solve a family friend’s murder, even though everyone insists it was an accident.
- ‘These Cursed Waters’ by Emilie Morscheck (YA) about 17-year-old Alice, who tracks down the kelpie who drowned her best friend to discover the it is just a cursed boy, compelled to kill for an unknown master and ‘her only key to finding out who laid the curse and what really happened in Scotland 70 years ago’.
The recipient of Text’s Steph Bowe Mentorship will also be chosen from the shortlist, and both the mentorship and prize winner will be announced on Thursday, 29 July.
The winner of last year’s Text Prize was Andrew Paterson’s middle-grade novel Rainfish, which was published this month. In addition to Rainfish, Text also acquired world rights to four additional manuscripts that were shortlisted for the 2020 Text Prize.
For more information about the award, see the Text website.