Tasmanian Literary Prizes

2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes logo

The Tasmanian Literary Prizes (formerly the Tasmania Book Prizes) are the Tasmanian Government’s biennial literary awards, which have existed in various forms since 2001. The prizes celebrate the richness of the Tasmanian literary sector and acknowledge the particular influence that Tasmania has on written work.

While the prizes recognise established writers, with past winners including Richard Flanagan, Robert Dessaix and Nicholas Shakespeare, they have been reimagined for 2013 to ensure that emerging writers are also celebrated and that literary content in its many different forms is valued.

2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes winners announcement

Winners of the 2013 Tasmanian Literary PrizesPremier and Minister for the Arts, Lara Giddings MP, announced the winners of the 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes at a glittering gala event at the Hobart Town Hall on Friday, 22 March 2013.

See the full media release, media kit or read the judges' report.

Image credit: 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prize winners - Rohan Wilson, Katherine Johnson and James Boyce. Photographer: Peter Cochrane.

THE WINNERS OF THE 2013 TASMANIAN LITERARY PRIZES:

The Tasmania Book Prize

For the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre - $25 000.

1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia by James Boyce (Black Ink)

1835 cover image

In 1835 an illegal squatter camp was established on the banks of the Yarra River. In defiance of authorities in London and Sydney, Tasmanian speculators began sending men and sheep across Bass Strait – and so changed the shape of Australian history. Before the founding of Melbourne, British settlement on the mainland amounted to a few pinpoints on a map. Ten years later, it had become a sea of red.

In 1835 James Boyce brings this pivotal moment to life. He traces the power plays in Hobart, Sydney and London, the key personalities of Melbourne’s early days, and the haunting questions raised by what happened when the land was opened up. He conjures up the Australian frontier – its complexity, its rawness and the way its legacy is still with us today.

The Margaret Scott Prize

For the best book by a Tasmanian writer - $5 000.

The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

The Roving Party cover

1829, Tasmania.

John Batman, ruthless, singleminded; four convicts, the youngest still only a stripling; Gould, a downtrodden farmhand; two free black trackers; and powerful, educated Black Bill, brought up from childhood as a white man. This is the roving party and their purpose is massacre.

With promises of freedom, land grants and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize.

Passing over many miles of tortured country, the roving party searches for Aborigines, taking few prisoners and killing freely, Batman never abandoning the visceral intensity of his hunt. And all the while, Black Bill pursues his personal quarry, the much-feared warrior, Manalargena.

The University of Tasmania Prize

For the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer - $5 000.

Kubla, Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson

1953, Tasmania, two brothers discover a secret cave but only one comes out.

Set deep underground, Kubla tells the story of Kip Duggan – acclaimed scientist but unfaithful husband and neglectful father – who returns to the forbidden place where his 10-year-old brother went missing 50 years before. Fearing his brutal father, Kip lied about Tommy’s death in the vast Kubla cave system beneath his family’s dairy farm. His return is an attempt to fulfil a promise he made to his dying mother: to find his brother’s remains and bury them alongside her. But what if Tommy’s remains are not where he thought they’d be? The obsessive search becomes a journey of self-discovery and a struggle for his own survival. Kubla is a book about the importance of family, of living your own life, and the airing of deep secrets.

THE WINNERS OF THE 2013 TASMANIAN LITERARY PRIZES PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS:

The 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes People’s Choice Awards generated a great deal of interest, with 550 people voting for their favourite books and manuscripts.

The Tasmania Book Prize - People's Choice Award

For the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre.

Last Days of the Mill, Pete Hay and Tony Thorne (Forty Degrees South)

Last Days of the Mill cover image

For seven decades 'The Pulp' constructed the social, economic and environmental circumstances of life on the North-West Coast. In 2011, on the last day of its operation, artist Tony Thorne went on site armed with sketchpad and camera. And writer Pete Hay came to Burnie armed with notepad and recorder to talk to displaced mill workers. The result is this extraordinary collaboration of dramatic monologues in the vernacular voice of the mill floor and artworks of stark, confronting beauty that vividly capture the dying days of an industrial colossus.

Margaret Scott Prize - People's Choice Award

For the best book by a Tasmanian writer.

Pedder Dreaming, Olegas Truchanas and A Lost Tasmanian Wilderness, Natasha Cica (University of Queensland Press)

Pedder Dreaming cover image

In 1972 Lake Pedder in Tasmania’s untamed south-west was flooded to build a dam. Wilderness photographer Olegas Truchanas, who had spent years campaigning passionately to save the magnificent fresh water lake, had finally lost. The campaign, the first of its kind in Australia, paved the way for later conservation successes, and turned Truchanas into a Tasmanian legend.

Pedder Dreaming quietly evokes the man, the time and the place. Truchanas, a Lithuanian émigré, is a stalwart adventurer, loving family man, activist, thinker, survivor and artist. Australia on the cusp of environmental awareness is the time, and Lake Pedder and the south-west of Tasmania, the place – wild, pristine, wondrous.

Through those who were closest to him, Truchanas emerges, as does his influence on early conservation in Tasmania, and the small group of landscape artists, the Sunday Group, who admired his passion for the lake and were inspired by it. Stunningly illustrated with original Truchanas photographs from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and artwork from the Sunday Group, Pedder Dreaming captures the brutality, raw beauty and vulnerability of the Tasmanian wilderness and the legacy of one man who had the vision to fight for it.

The University of Tasmania Prize - People's Choice Award

For the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer.

Kubla, Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson

1953, Tasmania, two brothers discover a secret cave but only one comes out.

Set deep underground, Kubla tells the story of Kip Duggan – acclaimed scientist but unfaithful husband and neglectful father – who returns to the forbidden place where his 10-year-old brother went missing 50 years before. Fearing his brutal father, Kip lied about Tommy’s death in the vast Kubla cave system beneath his family’s dairy farm. His return is an attempt to fulfil a promise he made to his dying mother: to find his brother’s remains and bury them alongside her. But what if Tommy’s remains are not where he thought they’d be? The obsessive search becomes a journey of self-discovery and a struggle for his own survival. Kubla is a book about the importance of family, of living your own life, and the airing of deep secrets.

 

The 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes were supported by 936 ABC Hobart and Pipers Brook Vineyard.

936 ABC Hobart logo Pipers Brook Vineyard Tasmania logo

The 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes were presented by Arts Tasmania and the University of Tasmania as part of Ten Days on the Island.

 The 2013 Tasmanian Literary Prizes are presented by Arts Tasmania and the University of Tasmania as part of Ten Days on the Island.