Announcing the results of the 2019 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing

The New England Writers’ Centre is delighted to announce the results of the 2019 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing. The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing is a national award for unpublished short-form crime writing in three main categories: Fiction, sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education at UNE; Non-Fiction, sponsored by Boobooks, Armidale; and Poetry, sponsored by Reader’s Companion Bookshop, Armidale. There are also three special awards: New England Award for a writer resident in New England, sponsored by Golden Orb Creative, Armidale; Emerging Author Award, for an unpublished writer over 18, sponsored by Friends of Tamworth Libraries; and Youth Award, for writers under 18, sponsored by the New England Writers’ Centre.

The winners of the 2019 New England Thunderbolt Prize are as follows:

Poetry: Roger Vickery (NSW), for Madden’s Palace.

Fiction: William Bennett (NSW) for A Different Brand of Cat.

Non-Fiction: David Vernon (ACT) for Much depends on the hangman—the death of Thomas Barrett.

New England Award: Yumna Kassab (Oxley Vale) for 25 May, 1870.

Emerging Author Award: lenora cole (Qld) for In the Company of Butchers. 

Youth Award: Caitlyn Dixon, age 15 (NSW) for Darkness has a Voice.

In its seventh year in 2019, the Prize attracted a strong field of entries from all over Australia, by writers both published and unpublished. Fiction was once again well-represented, with the winner of the Fiction category also getting a Commended citation for another entry in this category, but all categories fielded strong entries, and this year both the New England Award and the Emerging Author Award went to entrants in the Poetry category. There were also a number of Highly Commended and Commended citations awarded by judges in every category, with successful entries coming from all over Australia.

The New England Writers’ Centre warmly congratulates all the winners, as well as everyone who received Highly Commended and Commended citations. A full list of winners, as well as all those highly commended and commended, is attached.  Judges this year were John C.Ryan, Poetry; Wendy James, Fiction; Kyle Mulrooney, Non-Fiction; and Sophie Masson, Youth Award. All entries were judged anonymously, and the New England Award and Emerging Author Awards were chosen based on final commendations across all categories. All successful entries, along with judges’ reports, will be published on the New England Writers’ Centre website in December.

The New England Writers’ Centre wishes to thank the hard-working and thoughtful judges and all the generous sponsors of the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing for helping to make 2019 another successful year for the Prize. And a big thank you to all entrants!