August 31, 2018
There's nothing quite like a shortlist to get a much needed hit of writerly validation. And it doesn't get much better than making the shortlist for the Queensland Literary Awards, specifically the 2018 Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer. Thrilled, amazed, chuffed, excited, honoured and humbled. All of those things. My doctoral novel Garrison Town is one of four shortlisted manuscripts for the Emerging Manuscript Award this year and it appears I'm in very good, competitive company. I wouldn't begrudge any of my fellow nominees this win. But for now until the awards night on October 23, I'm going to enjoy this Schrodinger's Cat period where we all have a 25% chance of collecting the $15,000 and a publishing contract with UQP gong, and nobody has yet won or lost. Either way, I'll be dining on out these very lovely judges' comments for some time: Garrison Town is a polished, multi-layered narrative that reveals the simmering tensions in WWII Brisbane between visiting US soldiers and Australian troops. Told through the perspective of several female characters, it is a well-researched historical fiction that expertly weaves epistolary into a modern-day narrative. The author elegantly mirrors the challenges and limitations faced by wartime women with contemporary themes of violence and sexism.