Good news at last: shortlist for Text YA Prize

I must say, it’s been a long time since I felt as though I had anything worth writing about. So it was with much joy that I received a phonecall today informing me that I had been shortlisted for this year’s Text Publishing YA Prize, for my novel manuscript, Wildfire.

Wildfire follows the story of Jennifer Kellar whose house burns down in a bushfire on the same day that her father decides to head overseas to the Congo, where he is volunteering with Doctors Without Borders. It’s a story that I began many, many years ago, originally as an entry into the first year of One Book Many Brisbanes (in which it was unsuccessful). At the time, I lived in a house in Mitchelton that actually stood in line of a bushfire, which came so close that at one point I had to seriously contemplate what I would take from the house if, indeed, we were evacuated.

Of course, after this year’s horrible bushfire events in Victoria, the story seems more relevant than ever.

This novel has been submitted on invitation to more agents and/or publishers than I can count without looking up my spreadsheet, and it has received everything from a standard ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter to detailed, constructive feedback and high praise, but has not yet found a home.

And just when I had all but given up on it… the good news phone call came. 🙂

Whether or not Wildfire finds a home at Text Publishing, I am thrilled to finally, truly believe in my heart that it is not the pile of doo doo that I have often imagined that it was. Thanks Text for the vote of confidence!

And I look forward to the phone call 😉


4 comments on “Good news at last: shortlist for Text YA Prize

  1. Wendy says:

    Hi Joanne. I just stumbled on your blog and, as a fellow Australian writer, wanted to say, congratulations on your great news. I know what you mean sometimes when you write “it’s been a long time since I felt as though I had anything worth writing about” – this kind of news is just the sort of pick-me-up you need. Congratulations again and good luck with the prize award itself.

  2. You seriously rock, sista!! xx

  3. chrisbongers says:

    Jo, I am so excited for you. When I read “Not in Mitchelton” I knew you had the juice. This short-listing proves to everyone that you have what it takes – soak it up, you deserve it. xx

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