Literary prize turns UWS student into published author

Date: 18/09/2009

Kristel Thornell, a PhD student from the University of Western Sydney's Writing and Society Research Group, has been announced as the joint recipient of The Australian/Vogel Literary Award for 2009.

Each year, aspiring authors under the age of thirty-five in Australia are encouraged to submit their unpublished manuscripts to The Australian/Vogel Literary Award.

With the winner being awarded $20,000 and a publishing agreement with Allen & Unwin, the prestigious literary prize is renowned for launching many a literary career - including that of Tim Winton and Brian Castro.

Kristel Thornell was awarded The Australian/Vogel Literary Award for 'Night Street' - a novel that is loosely based on the life of Clarice Beckett, an Australian artist who painted landscapes in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Kristel grew up in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Although currently based in New York, she is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing with the Writing and Society Research Group at UWS.

Professor Nicholas Jose, from the Writing and Society Research Group, says Kristel's novel explores the creative determination of a woman artist who was an original in a world that could not recognise her gifts.

"It comes out of the best kind of creative research by this equally determined and talented new writer," he says.

Sharing the prize for 2009 is Lisa Lang, the author of 'E.W. Cole: Chasing the Rainbow' - a novel based on the life of Edward Cole, who ran Cole's Book Arcade in Melbourne from the late 19th century.

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award was co-founded Allen & Unwin, The Australian and the Vogel bread company in the early 1980s. 'Night Street' and 'E.W. Cole: Chasing the Rainbow' will be released by Allen & Unwin in 2010.



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Danielle Roddick
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