We were stoked to spot a familiar name in the 2018 shortlist for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature. Our very own creative writing AWC presenter, Nicole Hayes, has been recognised for her novel A Shadow’s Breath.
From the State Library of NSW website:
The Ethel Turner Prize ($30,000) is offered for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry written for young people of secondary school level.
A Shadow’s Breath is an exciting book. Dual timeframes embrace the core of the work: how to look back so as to be able to move on. The story is an unusual blend of art and violence. In telling the past story of Tessa and Nick, Hayes explores the emotional depths of accomplished artworks through precise dialogue embracing symbolism and structure. By desperate contrast, then, she describes the violence of the car accident that upends the characters’ lives, leaving them struggling to find a way forward.
Perhaps the best way to review a life is to look at it in a near-death experience. This is exactly what Hayes does in A Shadow’s Breath. It is a device that encourages the reader to appreciate his or her life and to ‘seize the day’. Accomplished and compelling, this is a well-crafted and thought-provoking work.
The 2018 shortlist:
A Shadow’s Breath by Nicole Hayes
In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black
The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarky
The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon
The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson
Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
Winners of the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards will be announced on 30 April 2018.
Congrats again to Nicole! If YOU would love to write for a younger readership, check out How to Write for Children and Young Adults.