Sisters star in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing

Victorian Sisters in Crime members – Kerry James (Ballarat) and Richenda Rudman (Kensington) – have won two of the major prizes in the 2020 New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing.


Kerry won the Fiction Prize ($500) for “True Blue” and Richenda won the Poetry Prize ($500) for The River”. Both Kerry and Richenda are serial offenders in the Scarlet Stiletto Awards. Kerry won the Late Starter Award in both 2009 and 2010 and has been highly commended numerous times.

(Pictured here with Catherine McClements who presented the 2009 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.)



Richenda won the 2014 Cross-Genre Award and has also been highly commended on several occasions.

(Richenda is pictured here with Marta Dusseldorp who presented the 2o14 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.)



The other prizes went to:

Non-Fiction ($500) and New England Award ($250): Roderick Makim (NSW) for “The Late Guardian”

Emerging Author Award ($250): Alyssa MacKay (QLD) for “Monster in the Dark: The Murder of Betty Thomson Shanks” (Also received a Highly Commended citation for her piece, in the Non-fiction category.)

Youth Award ($150): Eva Mustapic, age 17 (WA) for “The Dead Thing”.

Now in its eighth year in 2020, the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing attracted a strong field of entries from all over Australia, by writers both published and unpublished.

Judges this year were: Catherine Wright, Poetry; Linda Nix & Bronwyn Clarke, Fiction; Lili Paquet, Non-Fiction; and Jenny Blackford, 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 November.

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