Miles Franklin 2007 shortlist – two WA authors

Organisers have announced the shortlist for the 2007 Miles Franklin Award.

Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey
Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones
Careless by Deborah Robertson
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright

Two of the four authors are from Western Australia – Gail Jones and Deborah Robertson. Gail was previously shortlisted in 2005 for Sixty Lights. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Gail and Deborah are currently touring regional Tasmania with Alexis Wright.

UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald then ran a follow-up piece the next day, in which Deborah comments that so many good writers come from Western Australia because there’s nothing else to do and there’s less cultural noise.

(‘Write stuff’ is surely the most overused newspaper headline about writers; I’ve seen it used at least ten times.)

Deborah Robertson’s Careless

Western Australian Deborah Robertson has had her first novel, Careless, longlisted for Australia’s most prestigious literary prize – the Miles Franklin Award.

Deborah was born in Bridgetown in 1959. She now teaches creative writing at Murdoch University. Her first book was a collection of short stories called Proudflesh, published in 1997 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press. Both her books are available from your public library. (If they haven’t got them in stock, they can order them in.)

Careless tells of the aftermath of a massacre of children. The Matilda blog has collated different reviews of the novel and is well worth checking out:

2007 National Biography Award Shortlist

The Matilda blog reports the 2007 National Biography Award Shortlist. The award is administered and presented by the State Library of New South Wales. The shortlisted works are:

Mr Stuart’s Track by John Bailey No Time for Dances by Gillian Bouras
The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science by Paul Doherty
Arthur Tange by Peter Edwards
East of Time by Jacob B Rosenberg
Margaret Olley: Far from a Still Life by Meg Stewart

The winner of the $20,000 award will be announced on Tuesday 27th March.

UPDATE: The winner is Rosenburg’s East of Time.

Info for writers

Writers who want to know about competitions and events in Western Australia should keep an eye on the Writing WA website. It is regularly updated and includes news on literary events in Western Australia.

Last month, the winner of the T.A.G. Hungerford was announced. It is 26 year old Alice Nelson of Nedlands. She is pictured on the Writing WA website with Tom Hungerford himself, who is doing remarkably well at 92! (Last year he even released a book.)

The competition is for the best unpublished manuscript by a previously unpublished Western Australian writer. Past winners include Gail Jones and Simone Lazaroo. The prize money has gone up to $6000, as well as a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.