Cadwallader writes a ‘compelling’ win

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Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay with author Robyn Cadwallader

MURRUMBATEMAN author Robyn Cadwallader has been awarded the $10,000 prize for 2019 ACT Book of the Year, it was announced this morning (February 6) by ACT Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay.

Her winning work, “Book of Colours”, was described as “a tale of creativity that plunges the reader into 14th century London… As it follows three people drawn into the creation of a book of prayers, and the tension between their own desires and ambitions.”

During selection, the panel of judges considered Book of Colours as a vividly realised and absorbing work, creating an emotionally complex and compelling world.

Cadwallader burst onto the writing scene in 2015 with her historical novel “The Anchoress”, published in Australia, Britain, the US and  France. It was awarded a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for fiction, was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards, the Adelaide Festival Literary Awards and the ACT Book of the Year Award.

The author told “CityNews” that although international recognition was gratifying, it was very special to have acknowledgement from her own writing community.

Mr Ramsay acknowledged the rest of the authors this morning, saying: “Every year I am impressed by the skill and breadth of entrants.”

Two $2000 Highly Commended awards went to Ellen Broad for “Made by Humans: The AI Condition” and to Joy McCann for “Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean”, while shortlisted went to Andrew Hutchinson for “One”, Rachel Sanderson for “Mirror Me” and Penelope Layland for her anthology ““Things I’ve Thought to Tell You Since I Saw You Last”. They each received $1000.

Nominations for the 2020 ACT Book of the Year Awards are open until March 31 at

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor


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