Australia’s next great storyteller is here: Elizabeth Flann has been revealed as the 2019 Banjo Prize winner for her “unbearably tense” manuscript Beware of Dogs!
Elizabeth’s manuscript was one of three in the 2019 Banjo Prize shortlist, and she’s lucky enough to win a $15,000 advance along with a publishing contract from HarperCollins. The two runners up, Fleur Glenn and Terry Whitebeach, will both receive a written manuscript assessment.
She is the second winner in the history of the Banjo Prize, after Tom Slee won it in 2018 for his novel Taking Tom Murray Home.
A thriller perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter or Harlan Coben, Beware of Dogs is written as the survival diary of one woman, Alix Verhoeven, as she hides from a group of men in a small cave on a remote island off the coast of Australia.
Anna Valdinger, fiction publisher at HarperCollins Australia, said,”Beware of Dogs is exactly the sort of page-turning novel we were looking for, and it was a big favourite among the HarperCollins reading team. In one sense, the survival story is reminiscent of Cast Away or The Martian, as Alix has to rely solely on her wits and bushcraft skills in a hostile environment, but through it all looms the terrifying sense of her being hunted. It’s a truly unputdownable thriller and we are so excited to publish it.’
Elizabeth said, “This story began as a dream about a person caught in a dire circumstance. The dreams continued and gradually Alix formed in my consciousness and her story developed from there. I have become very close to her in the writing, so I’m thrilled and delighted that her story can now go out and be shared by others. Thank you so much to HarperCollins for this wonderful opportunity.”
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Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.
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