The winners of this year’s cultural awards from the University of Melbourne’s Australian Centre in the Faculty of Arts were announced on 1 September during the Melbourne Writers Festival.
The $15,000 Peter Blazey Fellowship, presented to a writer in the nonfiction fields of biography, autobiography and life writing, was awarded to Kim Mahood for her manuscript Position Doubtful. The fellowship is presented to a work in progress and Mahood will also receive a residency at the Australian Centre as part of the prize.
The DJ ‘Dinny’ O’Hearn Fellowship for emerging Australian writers was presented to Amy Barker for her manuscript Paradise Earth. The fellowship is worth $5000 and also includes a residency at the Australian Centre. The judges also commended three other entries: The Earth Does Not Get Fat by Julia Prendergast, Monkey Boy by Janine Mikosza, and The Onorati by Joanne Riccioni.
The $25,000 Kate Challis RAKA Award, presented this year to an Indigneous playwright, went to Dallas Winmar for Yibiyung. The judges also commended Tony Briggs for The Sapphires. As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, the 2011 award recognised creative prose by an Indigenous writer and went to Kim Scott for That Deadman Dance (Picador).
The Asher Literary Award and the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize will next be presented in 2013.
The 2012 Ernest Scott Prize for history, also presented by the University’s Faculty of Arts, has been awarded to Damon Ieremia Salesa for Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire (OUP). The prize is worth $12,000 and is presented to a work based on original research which contributes to the history of Australia of New Zealand or to the history of colonisation.
For more information about the awards, visit the University of Melbourne website here.