And the shortlist for the 2016 ACT Book of the Year is…

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Education Minister Chris Bourke.

CHRIS Bourke has announced the shortlist for the 2016 ACT Book of the Year Award, recognising five local writers who have published exceptional books in the last year.

“I congratulate this year’s five shortlisted authors – Merlinda Bobis for Locust Girl, Frank Bongiorno for The Eighties, Robyn Cadwallader for The Anchoress, Subhash Jaireth for Moments, and Ann McGrath for Illicit Love – who have once again demonstrated the strength of the local writing scene,” Chris said.

“From emerging writers to seasoned storytellers, this year the ACT Book of the Year judging panel was impressed by the breadth and depth of local writing.

“There were 39 entries across fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This is a fantastic example of the creativity and passion for great storytelling that exists in the Canberra community. Supporting great arts and artists is a key aim of the 2015 ACT Arts Policy.

“To have this many books submitted for consideration this year shows our local writing sector is thriving, and I’m thrilled to be able to announce the shortlist during the Canberra Writers Festival, which kicked off today.

“I encourage everyone to read this year’s five shortlisted books and to enjoy everything from history and intrigue to magical realism and stories of love and loss. You can then vote for your favourite book in the 2016 People’s Choice by visiting the artsACT website from today.

“The shortlisted books can be borrowed from the ACT Libraries – however, if you would like a copy to keep, visit your local bookstore.”

Voting for your favourite book will close in time for the winner of the 2016 ACT Book of the Year Award and People’s Choice to be announced later in the year at the ACT Writers Centre’s awards night.

The ACT Book of the Year Award aims to support the development of ACT-based writers and promote writing in the ACT. It recognises quality contemporary literary works published in the previous calendar year.

For more information on the shortlisted books, visit

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