The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist 2018

Congratulations to the six authors shortlisted for The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2018. Now in its fifth year, the prize recognises exceptional new contributions to local literature.

Over the past twelve months, the judging panel considered more than ninety books which made for some difficult decisions. The six books listed here represent the most daring new voices in Australian literature. All six books challenge conventional ideas of what the contemporary Australian novel can achieve, whether via experimental prose, surprising plots or exploration of form.


The Town by Shaun Prescott

In this incredibly accomplished debut, a young man investigates the unexplained disappearance of rural towns in regional Australia. Shaun Prescott’s prose is intelligent, surreal and brilliantly perceptive. The Town is both an interrogation of, and response to, the existing literary canon.

You can read more about Shaun Prescott here

You can read our review of the book here


Pulse Points by Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down’s first story collection is a stunning achievement. Connected by a single thematic thread, her short fictions complement each other in subtle, elegant ways. By meticulously depicting the minutiae of everyday life, Pulse Points examines big ideas about death, ageing and love.

You can read more about Jennifer Down here

You can read our review of the book here


Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau

This is a thrilling debut from a remarkable young voice. Jamie Marina Lau experiments with language and form to capture the heady confusion of a teenage girl in a highly digitised world. Pink Mountain on Locust Island has a beautiful strangeness to it that electrifies the reader.

You can read more about Jamie Marina Lau here

You can read our review of the book here


The Fireflies of Autumn by Moreno Giovannoni

Moreno Giovannoni depicts life in the small, little-know Tuscan village of San Ginese through a series of stories that have been shared across generations. With themes of migration, war and love at its heart, this novel has a fable-like quality that is at once charming and gently ironic.

You can read more about Moreno Giovannoni here

You can read our review of the book here


Flames by Robbie Arnott

This weird and gripping work is set in the wilds of Tasmania, and centres on the lives of a single family. Robbie Arnott combines a number of genres and styles to create something entirely distinct. His Tasmania is an island state with magical qualities that will draw you in completely.

You can read more about Robbie Arnott here

You can read our review of the book here


The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen

This warm and heartfelt novel gives a fresh perspective of a key moment in Australia’s past – when the Parkes radio telescope brought pictures of the US moon landing to the world. Lucky the galah is a born storyteller and her wry observations will inspire a new appreciation of birds.

You can read more about Tracy Sorensen here

You can read our review of the book here

The 2018 judging panel includes Deborah Crabtree (Readings Carlton); Mark Luffman (Readings Hawthorn); Jan Lockwood, human resources manager; and Ellen Cregan, marketing and events coordinator. Readings’ managing director Mark Rubbo and celebrated author Tony Birch will join the panel to select the winner.

The winner will be announced online in late October, and will be featured in the November issue of Readings Monthly. They will receive $3000 in prize money.

You can read more about the Prize here. We’re also pleased to have released a bonus episode of the Readings Podcast all about these six great books.

You can buy a specially-priced pack of all six shortlisted books here for $149.99 (was $177.94).

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Robbie Arnott

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