The Dry wins Premier's award

The Dry wins Premier's award

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jane Harper's debut novel The Dry has scooped the $15,000 prize for an Unpublished Manuscript at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.

The atmospheric thriller was chosen from more than 130 entries, with the award presented by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas on behalf of the state government.

Judges Clare Renner, Else Fitzgerald and Jeff Sparrow described The Dry as a taut detective novel, which weaves together themes about belonging, loyalty and forgiveness in an exploration of the best and worst of rural Australia.

"With complex characters and a rich sense of place, The Dry keeps the reader guessing until the last page. Harper has delivered an accomplished piece of crime writing; one destined to find a wide audience," the judges said in their comments.

The award was presented at opening night of the 2015 Emerging Writers' Festival in Melbourne by the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley.

"This award has had a great track record of discovering new talent and launching careers. I look forward to reading Jane's work and wish her continued success in the future," Mr Foley said.

Also shortlisted for the award was Nikolai the Perfect by Jim McIntyre and Michelle Wright's short story collection, Fine.

The Unpublished Manuscript award has a strong history, with previous winners including Maxine Beneba Clarke with acclaimed Foreign Soil in 2013, and Graeme Simsion's international hit The Rosie Project in 2012.

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