Sarah Bailey wins Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel

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A HUGE congratulations to AWC Creative Writing Stage 1 graduate, Sarah Bailey  who has won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel, The Dark Lake (2017 Allen & Unwin).

The Dark Lake was a bestseller around the world and her suspenseful storytelling about a police procedural set in country Victoria earned her comparisons with authors such as Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

Sarah also recently won the Davitt (Best Debut Book) for best crime books written by Australian women for the same novel.

Carmel Shute, Sisters in Crime’s secretary, said that it was thrilling to witness women crime writers receiving recognition by the Ned Kelly Awards.

“Sisters in Crime launched the Davitt Awards at SheKilda Women’s Crime Convention in 2001, to give Australian women crime writers the recognition they too often missed out in in the Ned Kelly Awards. It took another decade for women to get a fair go in the crime-writing stakes,” Shute said.

From the Australian Crime Writers website

“The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our published crime fiction and true crime writing.

The awards began in 1995 after a group of crime writers, academics, publishers and journalists hatched the plan over a long Sydney lunch. Among those present were Peter Milne from Abbey’s bookshop, academic Noel King, crime novelist John Dale and Stuart Coupe, journalist and co founder/co editor of Mean Streets crime magazine.

When it came to deciding on a name, co-opting the nation’s most infamous villain seemed a natural fit. Known affectionately as ‘The Neds’, the awards have grown in importance and scope with more categories, more entries and greater acclaim for the winners, who read like a Who’s Who of Australian crime writing.”

Now Sarah Bailey has won both the Ned Kelly and the Davitt – two coveted literary awards. Congratulations Sarah!

For more on Sarah Bailey see here.


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