The Dry Takes Out Premier’s Literary Award For An Unpublished Manuscript

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, tonight named St Kilda writer Jane Harper the winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for her work The Dry.

Harper will take home $15,000 for her manuscript, which tells the story of a city policeman who is dragged back to the country township he fled years earlier to investigate a multiple homicide.

Harper’s work was chosen from a shortlist of three unpublished works. The shortlist included Jim McIntyre’s Nikolai the Perfect and Michelle Wright’s Fine. The two runners up will receive a Writers Victoria membership and a place on a course of their choice from the 2015 Writers Victoria program.

Presented during the opening night of the 2015 Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript seeks to uncover new Victorian literary talent.

Previous winners include Miles Allinson in 2014, whose book Fever of Animals will be published later this year. In 2013 Maxine Beneba Clarke won for Foreign Soil, which went on to be nominated for the 2015 Stella Prize. In 2012 Graeme Simsion won for The Rosie Project, since published in more than 40 countries.

The Award for an Unpublished Manuscript is part of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards program, which is administered by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas on behalf of the Andrews Labor Government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley

“Congratulations to Jane, this years’ shortlisted writers and the more than 130 writers who entered. The level and quality in works reflects Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s cultural and ideas capital.”

“Seven years after our designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, our literary culture continues to go from strength to strength.”

“This award has had a great track record of discovering new talent and launching careers. I look forward to reading Jane’s work and wish her continued success in the future.”