Regional authors back in the running for ACT Book of the Year

Joy Burch

JOY Burch has announced a spectacular back flip and authors from the surrounding region will again be eligible for Canberra’s big book prize while her office has another think about what they’re doing with the event.

“The ACT Government will look at ways to improve the ACT Book of the Year prize to give shortlisted and winning authors more opportunities to promote their success” Joy Burch said.

“While this review is underway, I have also decided to defer changes that were due to come into effect for this year’s prize, limiting eligibility to ACT residents. In the past 15 years, the ACT Book of the Year has only been won once by a non-resident, and nominations from regional writers are rare.

“Artists from the immediate region make a valuable contribution to the Canberra arts sector, and have an emotional connection to it. These issues, alongside the standard of nominations we receive for the 2014 prize, will be considered as we look at ways to improve the award in future years.”

The Childers Group have expressed their delight at this decision.

“We’re very pleased that regional writers are again eligible for nomination to the ACT Book of the Year award,” said Childers Group spokesperson David Williams. “The minister has listened to the concerns expressed by the arts community and adjusted the policy as a result. It is a good decision.”

The $10,000 cash prize is open to books published in the calendar year 2013 by authors living in the ACT or those who can demonstrate a strong connection to the ACT. Nominations close this Friday, 1 August.

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