Stories from the Centre acclaimed in literary awards

Central Australian teacher Irena Kobold has won the children’s book category of the 2016 Territory Read Awards for her storybook My Two Blankets (illustrated by Freya Blackwood).

 

My Two Blankets is her first published book and has already won the 2015 Children’s Book Council Award for picture books. It’s also been chosen to be read simultaneously by school children across Australia for Book Week in August.

 

And in the NT Literary Awards Alice Springs poet Leni Shilton has taken out the poetry category for her “Into the West – Bertha Strehlow’s journey to Piltadi”. This forms part of a verse novel that Shilton wrote for her doctoral studies in creative writing. Poems from the verse novel are on display at the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, accompanying a photographic exhibition about Bertha Strehlow.

 

Held every two years, the Territory Read awards have three categories: the best non-fiction book, the best book for children or young adults, and the Chief Minister’s Book of the Year. Eligible books were published during 2014 and 2015. There were 18 entries by 17 authors from across the Northern Territory. The judges were the founding creative director of the writer’s house Varuna, Peter Bishop, and acclaimed novelist Jennifer Mills.

 

Other winners in Territory Read were:

 

Derek Pugh for best non-fiction book, Tambora: Travels to Sumbawa and the mountain that changed the world. Derek Pugh is a teacher and education consultant based in Darwin. He is the author of books and articles in a range of genres: including The Owner’s Guide to the Teenage Brain; Turn Left at the Devil Tree; and Tammy Damulkurra.

 

And two books share the Chief Minister’s Book of the Year: Nona and Me by Clare Atkins, and Highway of Lost Hearts by Mary Anne Butler.

 

Nona and Me is the first novel by Darwin-based Atkins. She wrote it while living in Yirrkala. Nona and Me was an Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.

 

Butler, also from Darwin, earlier this year won the 2016 Victorian Prize for Literature for her play BrokenHighway of Lost Hearts premiered at 2012 Darwin Festival to a sold-out season with a 2013 return season by demand, and in 2014 a three-month Australian tour. Both plays are published by Currency Press.

 

The 2016 literary awards attracted almost 300 entries, narrowed to 24 finalists, across the seven categories, which include poetry, essays, short stories and travel writing as well as theatre scripts, flash fiction and a youth award. The Northern Territory Library has run the awards since 2002, with the support of its sponsors.

 

Apart from Shilton all winners are Darwin-based. They are:

 

ZipPrint Short Story Award: Johanna Bell, Turning back

 

NT Writers Centre Poetry Award: Leni Shilton, “Into the West – Bertha Strehlow’s journey to Piltadi”

 

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award: Fernanda Dahlstrom, God Willing

 

Charles Darwin University Essay Award: Adelle Sefton-Rowston, “Cleansing and Catharsis: The River as Metaphor in Tony Birch’s Ghost River”

 

Kath Manzie Youth Award: Ashleigh Abram, Visiting Hours

 

Browns Mart Theatre Award: Sandra Thibodeaux, The Age of Bones – Jaman Belulang

 

Southern Cross Flash Fiction: Oliver Kent Coulter, Outpatient

 

 

 

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