I woke up early one morning near the end of April to an email from my publishers asking me to give them a call as soon as I was able, as they had recieved some good news involving me and my book. I made my way to the Old Vic Theatre as normal, and was able to call once I’d arrived at 7am – in fact, I was walking through the empty thousand-seat auditorium, with the chandelier shining high above me, when Claire and Georgia at Fremantle Press told me I had been named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists.
The Best Young Australian Novelist award was created in 1997 by the Sydney Morning Herald to recognise emerging writers, and awarded to a number of authors each year who are/were under 35 years of age when their books were first published. Past winners of the award include Markus Zusak (The Book Thief), Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones), Tara June Winch (Swallow The Air), Emily Maguire (Fishing for Tigers), and Robbie Arnott (Flames). To join such an illustrious group of Australian authors, writers of some of my favourite novels, was an honour and surprise I couldn’t quite believe when I was first told.
The three winners of the Best Young Australian Novelist award for 2022 were myself; Ella Baxter for her debut novel New Animal; and Diana Reid, for her debut novel Love and Virtue. Both Ella and Diana have been rightly lauded for their amazing work, and I highly recommend you go out and buy copies of their novels if you haven’t already!
You can read interviews with all three winners in the announcement article, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 29th April 2022, here: https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/sex-love-and-footnotes-meet-the-2022-best-young-australian-novelists-20220426-p5ag9i.html