Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Davitt Awards shortlists announced!

This year a record 76 books published in 2013 compete for six Davitts – handsome carved polished wooden trophies – to be presented at a gala dinner, 7pm, Saturday 30 August by leading South African crime writer, Lauren Beukes, after an ‘interrogation’ by Professor Sue Turnbull:
Best Adult Novel; Best Novel Young Adult; Best True Crime Book; Best Debut Book (any category); Readers’ Choice (as voted by the 660 members of Sisters in Crime Australia) and, for the very first time, Best Children’s Novel.
Shortlisted are:
Best Adult Novel
  • Honey Brown, Dark Horse (Penguin Books Australia
  • Ilsa Evans, Nefarious Doings: A Nell Forrest Mystery (Momentum Press)
  • Annie Hauxwell, A Bitter Taste (Penguin Books Australia
  • Katherine Howell, Web of Deceit (Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (Picador Books)
  • Angela Savage, The Dying Beach (Text)
Best Young Adult Novel
  • Karen Foxlee, The Midnight Dress (UQP)
  • Simmone Howell, Girl Defective (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Kim Kane and Marion Roberts, Cry Blue Murder (UQP)
  • Ellie Marney, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin)
  • Felicity Pulman, A Ring Through Time (Harper Collins)
Best Children’s Novel
  • Ursula Dubosarsky, The Perplexing Pineapple: The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta) Book 1 (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ursula Dubosarsky, The Looming Lamplight: The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta) Book 2 (Allen & Unwin)
  • Susan Green, Verity Sparks: Lost and Found (Walker Books)
  • Jen Storer, Truly Tan: Jinxed! (Harper Collins)
  • Jen Storer, Truly Tan: Spooked! (Harper Collins)
Best True Crime Book
  • Anna Krien,Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport (Black Inc)
  • Kay Saunders, Deadly Australian Women (ABC Books)
Best Debut Book (Any category)
  • Livia Day, A Trifle Dead (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Karen Foxlee, The Midnight Dress (UQP)
  • Simmone Howell, Girl Defective (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (Picador Books)
  • Ellie Marney, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin)
Davitt judges’ wrangler, Tanya King-Carmichael, said that the five judges had been stunned by the number of entries in this year’s annual Davitt Awards.
“Australian women crime writers have their gumshoes (or stilettos) on and they’re marching across the literary landscape. This year, the five judges were confronted by an astonishing 76 books to get their blood pumping, including 40 adult novels with characters ranging from the psychic to the psychotic.
“Fourteen years ago, when the Davitts were established, only seven adult crime novels by Australian women were in contention. There’s been a great leap forward,” King-Carmichael said.
King-Carmichael said that for the first time Sisters in Crime was presenting an award for the Best Children’s Crime Novel.
“Previously, children’s crime novels had to compete against young adult crime novels for a joint category award. This was a bit unfair but there weren’t really enough novels written by women for the children’s market. But the spirit of Enid Blyton lives on,” she said.
“This year we were faced with a record 13 children’s crime novels, tipping the Young Adult crime novels by one. It’s hardly if the Young Adult genre is slipping. The quality of the writing for young or ‘new adults’ (as the case may be) shoots up every year. And, for the first time, an e-book has been shortlisted – Ilsa Evans, Nefarious Doings: A Nell Forrest Mystery, published by Momentum Press, Pan Macmillan Australia's new digital-only imprint.
“Australian women’s crime writing is entering an exciting new phase.”
Prior to the award presentations, Sisters in Crime convenor Professor Sue Turnbull will interrogate Lauren Beukes about her life in crime. Beukes is also a scriptwriter, documentary director and comics writer and is in Melbourne to speak at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
Turnbull, who reviewed Beuekes’s first crime novel, The Shining Girls, for Fairfax Media last year said: “By turns brilliant, brutal and riveting, in all its puzzling mystery, The Shining Girls is testimony to the promiscuous hybridity of the contemporary crime novel. Read it and wonder.”
Beukes’s latest crime novel, Broken Monsters, is just out. Her other fiction has also been highly acclaimed — Zoo City won the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award in 2011, and Moxyland was longlisted for both the Sunday TimesLiterary Award and the M-Net Book Prize in 2009.
Turnbull is Professor is Discipline Leader: Creative Industries, University of Wollongong, a Sisters in Crime national co-convenor, and crime columnist for Fairfax Media. Her latest book is The Crime Drama (University of Edinburgh Press).
The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865. The awards cost publishers nothing to enter.

“The Davitts have played a key role in getting women’s crime books better recognised – and in encouraging Australian publishers to take a punt on crime books produced by women locally, instead of just importing the latest blockbusters from overseas. It’s a gamble that has paid off,” King-Carmichael said.

The judging panel for 2014 comprises forensic pathologist Dr Shelley Robertson; Sun Bookshop Deb Force and Sisters in Crime national co-convenor, Jacqui Horwood and former convenors Tanya King-Carmichael and Sylvia Loader.
The previous Davitts have been presented by New Zealand crime writer Vanda Symon (2013); Swedish crime writer Asa Larsson (2012); Singapore crime writer Shamini Flint (2012), Scottish crime writer Val McDermid (2010); Justice Betty King (2010), Judge Liz Gaynor (2008); Walkley-winning investigative journalist Estelle Blackburn (2007); Karen Kissane true crime writer (2006); Debbie Killroy, Sisters Inside (2005); Karin Slaughter, US crime writer (2004); Val McDermid (2003); Sharan Burrow, ACTU President (2002) and Christine Nixon, (then) Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police (2001).
Sisters in Crime Australia was set up 23 years ago, has chapters in different states and holds regular events in Melbourne dissecting crime fiction on the page and screen. It also hosts a popular annual short-story competition, the Scarlet Stiletto Awards.
Venue: Thornbury Theatre, 859 High Street, Thornbury (wheelchair accessible)
The cost of this very special event, which includes dinner and the presentation of the 2013 Davitts Awards, is $60 (no concession). Drinks are available at bar prices.
Seats only (no dinner): $15 (no concession) Bookings close Monday 25 August. All seats are limited so book early — individually or in tables of up to 10. Men or ‘Brothers in Law’ are welcome.
Sisters in Crime members will receive 10% discount on books purchased from the Sun Bookshop stall. All books in contention will be on sale.
Media comment: Tanya King-Carmichael on 0418 574 907 email elicat@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. Craig, I love your Kiwicrime blog & don't want to be mistaken for your copy editor, but I have to alert you to the correct spelling of a noun used several times in this post. The correct spelling of "convenor" is "convener". Many years ago I was guilty of this same error & got corrected by a printer. I had always thought that printers had the same spelling levels as signwriters, but was mortified to find that this was not so. Hence I've been hypersensitive to the spelling of this word ever since. The NZ Herald got it wrong in an editorial recently too.