Congrats to AWC alumna Dinuka McKenzie – winner of The 2020 Banjo Prize!

Crime fiction author and Australian Writers' Centre alumna Dinuka McKenzie smiling in floral shirt

The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzieHarperCollins Australia has announced their winner of The 2020 Banjo Prize and we are thrilled it’s Dinuka McKenzie, one of our talented alumni! Dinuka took out the major prize for her manuscript Flood Debris (released in 2022 as The Torrent), winning a publishing contract with HarperCollins and a $15,000 advance.

This is an incredible achievement and we're so excited to see The Torrent hit the shelves.

From the HarperCollins press release:

Flood Debris is the first novel in a crime series featuring Detective Kate Miles. It’s a gripping, pacy police procedural which will appeal to fans of Dervla McTiernan, Susie Steiner, Sarah Bailey and Val McDermid.

Anna Valdinger, Fiction Publisher at HarperCollins, says: ‘Flood Debris is a cleverly plotted, satisfyingly twisty mystery that was a huge favourite with the HarperCollins reading team. I adored it. Dinuka McKenzie is a fabulous writer and Kate Miles is a brilliantly fresh addition to the crime fiction scene: ambitious and determined, while also juggling the demands of family life, with a toddler and a baby on the way. I am so excited to share this book with the thousands of readers who are going to love it as much as we all do.’

Dinuka has completed AWC courses Build Your Author Platform and Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder.

HarperCollins also announced three runners-up – The Tuesday Afternoon Murder Club by Karli Florisson, The List by Megan Albany and Roses of Budapest by Rachael Keene – and we’re delighted that they are all from the AWC community too.

Biggest congratulations to Dinuka and all of the runners-up for this amazing milestone in your author careers!

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