Petronella McGovern shortlisted for the 2020 Ned Kelly Crime Awards with her debut thriller ‘Six Minutes’

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We're thrilled to share that AWC alumna Petronella McGovern has made the shortlist for the 2020 Ned Kelly Crime Awards for her thrilling debut novel Six Minutes.

It's an incredible achievement as the awards attracted a large number of entries this year. Australian Crime Writers Association chair Robert Goodman said that the quantity and quality of entries demonstrates that Australian crime writing and reading has never been stronger.

From the Australian Crime Writers website:

“This is not just evident in the number of submissions but the diversity and quality of the entries. Congratulations to all our entry authors.”

“Fiction entries include page turning thrillers, police procedurals, lone detectives and dirty dealings with many fascinating characters across a range of vividly portrayed settings.” Goodman said.

Petronella finished her first draft of Six Minutes while undertaking the Write Your Novel program at the Australian Writers' Centre. Through the course, she gained valuable feedback and made lifelong writing friends.

“We still meet up, support each other and give feedback on our writing. We all write in different styles and in different genres and I think that helps us in critiquing each other. I was so appreciative of their feedback on Six Minutes – in particular, they helped me to sort out some plot issues and make it a better book.”

Two other authors within their group, Margaret Morgan and Frances Chapman, have also been published.

Petronella honed her crime writing skills with the course Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder, which she found fascinating.

“As a result of that course, I decided I needed to do more research into my police character,” Petronella said. “I had interviewed a few police officers in Canberra and I decided I needed to get a bit more detailed information, so I managed to find two more police officers who generously gave me a lot of time and information about their career.”

The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing. First established in 1995 and now in their twenty-fifth year, previous winners include: Peter Temple, Shane Maloney, Gabriel Lord, AWC presenter Candice Fox, Garry Disher, Helen Garner, Duncan McNab and AWC alumna Sarah Bailey.

Congratulations, Petronella, on this thrilling achievement!

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