|Best Adult Novel|
t's Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business.
Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil Mountain, she heads to higher ground, taking shelter in Hangman's Hut.
She settles in to wait out Christmas.
A man, alone bushwalker, arrives. Heath is charming, capable, handsome. But his story doesn't ring true. Why is he deep in the wilderness without any gear? Where is his vehicle? What's driving his resistance towards rescue? The closer they become the more her suspicions grow.
But to get off Devil Mountain alive, Sarah must engage in this secretive stranger's dangerous game of intimacy.
|Best Novel: Young Adult|
When a teenage girl disappears, a small town is awash with rumours: everyone is talking about the dress she wore, a midnight-blue dress made from the remnants of other dresses, a dress of stories ...
For her whole life, Rose Lovell has moved from town to town with her alcoholic father. When they wash up in a coastal sugarcane town, Rose wonders if this time it will be different.
At the local high school, Rose meets Pearl Kelly, who is popular, pretty and intent on tracking down her Russian father. When she convinces Rose to be part of the annual Harvest Parade, Rose must find a special dress for the occasion. She seeks the help of the eccentric Edie Baker, who knows all the town's secrets and whose own family is a rich tapestry of stories. When Rose agrees to let Edie teach her to sew, she doesn't realise that nothing will ever be the same again.
Highly commended in this category were:
Every breath by Ellie Marney
A Ring Through Time by Felicity Pulman
|Best True Crime Book|
What does a young footballer do to cut loose? At night, some play what they think of as pranks, or games. Night games with women. Sometimes these involve consensual sex, but sometimes they don't, and sometimes they fall into a grey area.
In the tradition of Helen Garner's The First Stone comes a closely observed, controversial book about sex, consent and power. In Night Games, Anna Krien follows the rape trial of an Australian Rules footballer. She also takes a balanced and fearless look at the dark side of footy culture - the world of Sam Newman, Ricky Nixon, Matty Johns and the Cronulla Sharks.
Both a courtroom drama and a riveting piece of first-person narrative journalism, this is a breakthrough book by one of the leading young lights of Australian writing.
|Best debut novel and Readers choice|
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes.
Only Tóti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’s spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul.
As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’s ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love.
|Best Childrens Novel|
Tan is back in another deliciously spooky adventure! Book 3 in the bestselling series that kids describe as 'seriously hilarious' and 'fabulously funny'. Tan and the Chosen Few have another mystery on their hands... The 'stonies' (stone animal statues) around Peppercorn Valley have been mysteriously disappearing. But who would steal them? What could the thief want with a stone emu or flamingo? This mystery is truly baffling! It's a good thing Tan has the mind of a Great Detective... A brilliant chapter series for fans of Alice-Miranda, Judy Moody and The Famous Five. Ages: 8-12 Congratulations to all the winners.
Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport by Anna Krien
Deadly Australian Women by Kay Saunders