Past winners of the Woollahra Digital Literary Award

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2018 Winners

The following winners of the 2018 Woollahra Digital Literary Award were announced at Woollahra Library at Double Bay on Thursday 31 May 2018.

2018 Winner: Non Fiction

Eloise GrillsDiary of a Post-Teenage Girl

Judges comments:

‘Eloise Grills’ series of graphic journal entries for Scum Magazine, published over a twelve-month period, thrive on digital intimacies expressed through a combination of comic art and social media screen shots. Grills is a master of both the visual form and narrative memoir. Her confessions – and they are confessions – are heartfelt and honest. Grills effectively explores demanding contemporary medical practices, alongside the comfort and complexity to be found in relationships. Her diarised contemplations – pushing the personal essay form to its limits – are equally internal and outward looking, engaging with how to live, and develop as an individual, in a busy, chaotic time.’

2018 Winner: Fiction

Stephen WrightA Second Life

Judges comments:

‘Reading Second Life is like watching yourself be dreamed by another. The landscapes of this novella are familiar but disjointed, jumbled, and heavy with surplus associative meaning. The protagonist is, oddly and inexplicably, a real New York punk writer and artist exhumed and given new life in a northern NSW village. In Second Life Wright explores the liminal space between sleeping and waking; fiction writing, memory and dreaming. This novella is like no other I have encountered, though at a stretch it is slightly reminiscent of Ben Lerner’s 10:04, in that at the deep heart of the novella, the protagonist is displaced and renamed; another dreamlike version of herself. Second Life is also reminiscent of Twin Peaks, in that it abides by no logic other than the logic of dreams. Second Life offers a challenging but rewarding reading experience; rich with philosophical insight and magical lyrical turns.’

2018 Winner: Short Fiction

Jane RawsonLake

Judges comments:

‘In this seamless and masterfully concise horror story, a woman finds herself living at the bottom of a lake. Cleverly playing with the device of the double, Rawson takes a bold premise to satisfying extremes.’

To mitigate a conflict of interest, the Short Fiction winner was unanimously selected by all three judges.

2018 Shortlist

The judges of the 2018 Woollahra Digital Literary Award selected the following shortlist of 14 entries, out of 99 entries received:

Non Fiction

Fiction

Flash and Short Fiction

2017 Winners

The following winners of the 2017 Woollahra Digital Literary Award were announced at Woollahra Library at Double Bay on Tuesday 27 June 2017.

2017 Winner: Non Fiction

Vanessa Berry, Excavating St Peters

Judges comments:

'Timely, political, historical, and lucid.'

'Vanessa Berry is an expert tour guide of a Sydney whose lost history is buried just beneath its shiny, new surfaces. In 'Excavating St Peters', Berry roams a misunderstood suburb, giving lyrical depictions of a kind of beauty that others might see as banal, and, in the meantime, gives a documentary-like take on political protests against over-development. This is nonfiction writing of the highest order.'

2017 Winner: Fiction

Melissa Bruce, Picnic at Mount Disappointment

Judges comments:

'A verse novel that charmed in a matter of stanzas. Surprising character development, witty and original observations, honest representation of a prickly teen trying to find her place between worlds. A very enjoyable read.'

2017 Shortlist

Non Fiction

  • Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Bad Writer
  • Vanessa Berry, Excavating St Peters
  • Sam George-Allen, I Put A Spell On You
  • Rory Kennett-Lister, Terrain: An Exploration in Two Parts
  • Suneeta Peres da Costa, A Home in Ananda and the World
  • Matthew Thompson, Night Swimming in Dungog

Fiction

  • Tanya Bird, The Royal Companion
  • Melissa Bruce, Picnic at Mount Disappointment
  • Nick Earls, Gotham
  • Richard Tardif, The Washing Away of Blood
  • Ariella Van Luyn, Bulldozer
  • Danielle de Valera, Dropping Out: A Tree Change Novel-in-Stories
  • Sharon Willdin, Legacy of the Female Factory