Penguin Literary Prize 2022 winner announced

Penguin Random House (PRH) Australia announced On a bright hill in paradise by Sydney-based writer Annette Higgs as the winner of the 2022 Penguin Literary Prize for an unpublished manuscript.

Higgs’ winning novel centers on a family of convict descendants in Tasmania and the changes wrought when Christian Brethren evangelists arrive to hold revival meetings in local barns. The author receives $20,000 and a publishing deal with PRH Australia.

Managing Editor Justin Ractliffe said: “On a bright hill in paradise triumphed with its distinctive voice, its innovative structure, its lucid prose and the clear evocation of a time, place and experience so close to our own and yet so distant. It tackles big issues of faith and family, but is still grounded in the dreams and endeavors of its beautifully drawn characters.

The winning manuscript was chosen from 240 submissions and a shortlist of six. “Winning the Penguin Literary Prize is such an honor,” said Higgs. “I’m so thrilled, my feet haven’t touched the ground yet. I spent years writing the novel, getting so immersed in it and wondering all the time if anyone would ever read it. To have this story launched out into the world, and with such recognition, is the culmination of all my dreams for it.

The judging panel for this year’s award included Ractliffe, Meredith Curnow, publisher of PRH Australia, Kate Mayor, national category manager Dymocks (fiction and travel), Alexander Okenyo, owner of Black Swan bookstore, and Genevieve Kruyssen, manager events at Where the Wild Things Are in Brisbane.

Now in its fifth year, the Penguin Literary Prize was launched to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. Previous winners are Coupling by Kathryn Hind, The spill by Imbi Neeme, Rabbits by Sophie Overett, and inhabitant by James McKenzie Watson, to be published in July 2022.

PRH Australia will publish On a bright hill in paradise in 2023.

Category: Awards Local News

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