27th July, 2015

The Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

UWA Publishing, in partnership with Copyright Agency Limited and 720 ABC Perth, has established a new award for an unpublished manuscript.

The award has been established as a response to the changes to the WA Premier’s Book Awards announced earlier this year. Along with the majority of the Western Australian arts community, UWA Publishing expressed the view that the loss of $65,000 per annum and move to a biennial format undervalues the arts in a state that has produced some of the nation’s finest writers and thinkers.

The aim of the Dorothy Hewett Award is to support literary talent both in and related to Western Australia, and to celebrate the life and writing of a stalwart Australian radical. The award will be an annual fixture designed to be a catalyst for writers beginning or furthering their professional writing careers.

Western Australian writer Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002), in whose honour the award is named.
Western Australian writer Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002), in whose honour the award is named.

Hewett (1923-2002) is considered one of Australia’s leading writers whose work captures her passion and the struggles of everyday life in twentieth century Australia. As a staunch feminist and, for a long time, member of the communist party, Hewett gave voice to the marginalised. In 1986 Dorothy Hewett was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to literature. It is important to note that Hewett won the Western Australian Premier’s Poetry Award in 1994 and 1995 for her collections Peninsula and Collected Poems: 1940-1995.

The Dorothy Hewett Award is open to all writers who have completed a manuscript and are seeking publication. We welcome entries of fiction, narrative nonfiction or poetry, inclusive of hybrid genres. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, courtesy of Copyright Agency Limited, and will be offered a publishing contract by UWA Publishing. The award will be announced at a special event at the Perth Writers Festival 2016.

The prize will be judged by UWA Publishing Director Terri-ann White, poet and niece of Dorothy Hewett, Lucy Dougan, and Melbourne-based academic and writer of narrative non-fiction David Carlin.

The award will be announced on 24th July on 720 ABC Perth’s Afternoons program presented by Gillian O’Shaughnessy. A discussion forum will be hosted by UWA Publishing and ABC Local Radio on 13 August at the East Perth studios to further the conversation on books and writing in and related to Western Australia.

Applications open on 1 August 2015. The shortlist will be released on 11 December 2015 and the winner announced during the Perth Writers Festival, 18-21 February 2016.

Visit the UWA Publishing Awards page for submission guidelines, terms and conditions and to enter.

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