From Unpublished to Published

How satisfying it is to be right about a book! Amy Vought Barker has been awarded the Queensland Premier’s Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript for Omega Park. You might remember Amy from my series of ‘Best Unpublished Books’ posts, and my strong support for her creative, experimental project Remix My Lit, which is still up and running.

Amy had to read from her manuscript during the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, straight after Helen Garner (who took out the Best Fiction award in the QLD Prem’s), and she chose to read the extract that I selected for my post on the book – a strong, emotive passage (check it out). After Amy’s reading, Helen Garner grasped her on the arm, and told her it was ‘terrific’. Amy says the reading was ‘one of the most intense experiences on my life’. She better get used to it!

Photo of Amy Vought Barker courtesy of Tony Phillips for the Queensland Government.

About mid next year I will be able to present to you three published books which were in my unpublished book posts, and hopefully more afterwards, or at least subsequent works from these writers. Not to mention the fact that they have all been picked up by publishers the writers nominated as ideal – UQP, Scribe, and Text. I’m not sure I can mention specifics until they’re closer to release, but keep an eye out for further updates…

I am still looking at doing the ‘Best Unpublished Manuscripts’ again sometime, but holding it as a competition with a prize of not just exposure on LM, but something of use for the writer such as a mentorship, or extract published in a journal. I’ll keep you posted. Any ideas or offers please email literaryminded [at] gmail [dot] com.

Congratulations to Amy and the other writers!

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