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Richell prize 2020: Aisling Smith wins $10,000 emerging writers award for ‘evocative’ novel

Melbourne writer’s magical realist work revealed ‘assured new Australian literary voice’, judges said

Australian writer Aisling Smith, winner of the 2020 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. Photograph: Supplied

Australian writer Aisling Smith, winner of the 2020 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. Photograph: Supplied

Last modified on Fri 6 Nov 2020 02.09 GMT

Melbourne writer Aisling Smith has won the $10,000 Richell prize for emerging writers for 2020 for what the judges hailed as an “assured and evocative” novel.

More than 800 entries were submitted for the prize, which is co-presented by publishing company Hachette Australia, the Emerging Writers festival and Guardian Australia. In addition to offering the winner $10,000, it also grants them a 12-month mentorship with a publisher at Hachette Australia.

“Without a doubt, this is the biggest thing to happen to me professionally,” Smith, 32, told Guardian Australia. “I’m super grateful and humbled by the whole thing.”

The Richell prize is awarded annually and open to unpublished writers of long-form adult fiction and adult narrative non-fiction.

Smith’s novel, Petrichor, is a magical realist work that follows the character of a man called Benjamin and the disintegration of his family relationships through the eyes of the women in his life.

Smith said she was inspired to write in the magical realist genre by AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book, and the idea that “the fantastical underlies the world we live in”.

“[Byatt] talks about characters walking around with this awareness that things have visible as well as invisible forms. I like this idea that folklore, the supernatural, the fantastical, gives rise to different possibilities for [ways of] seeing the world that we live in,” she said.

Petrichor is also a work about diaspora, Smith said, with one of the narrators having moved to Australia from Fiji – an experience Smith said she drew on from that of her own family – and about the way Australia has changed over the course of 30 years.

The judges described Smith’s writing as “polished and sophisticated”, saying Petrichor was “a work that reveals an assured and evocative new Australian literary voice using the disintegration of a marriage to explore powerful themes around communication, race, culture and family”.

This year’s prize was judged by Hachette publisher Vanessa Radnidge, author Hannah Richell, Galina Marinov from the Australian Booksellers Association, and Jon Page from Dymocks Sydney.

Melbourne writer’s magical realist work revealed ‘assured new Australian literary voice’, judges said

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10,000 Wins

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    Silvermoon Guardian
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And still only Legend once.

    Angry Chicken
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wow Gg .. what’s your aim then?

Winning!? Nah dawg *Meme-ing!*!! (but also winning)

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@aReSJ I guess just having fun .

I achieved the same lately , but i dont have a specific aim. just doing the quest since beta and tryharding for Legend when i have some time^^ Meeting Pros on ladder is quite fun and challenging.

    Ancient of War
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Legend is 50 dust and an ugly card back (compared to rank 5). Don’t worry too much my man.

    Silvermoon Guardian
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Blizz need to put more achievememt rewards in this game, seriously you hit lv10 or 20 and then you get jack.

That’s a hell of alot of commitment.

    Angry Chicken
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Blizz need to put more achievememt rewards in this game, seriously you hit lv10 or 20 and then you get jack.

That’s a hell of alot of commitment.

Totally agree! You get all the fun achievements on Hearthpwn and a puny card back in the Game. compare this to other Blizzard games with all the badges and Jeweled ranks ..FeelsBadMan

Winning!? Nah dawg *Meme-ing!*!! (but also winning)

    Big Game Hunter
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I checked it now, I have a little bit more than 3500, but the third of it is Ranked Warlock wins. I thought I play with a lot of classes, turns out I only play with Warlock.

    Murloc Raider
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I only have 2546 wins haha.

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I only have 2546 wins haha.

Still impressive though. Got nine gold heroes Yet?

Golden Hero Collections thus far; –
Europe: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior (9/9)
Americas: Druid, Mage, Paladin Shaman (4/9)
Everywhere else: Workin on it.. (0/9)

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I’m close to 2000 wins, tho I play once a day, like 3-4 games

    Silvermoon Guardian
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I have almost 4000 wins, however I have neither claimed the Legend rank (current 4th rank is the highest one), nor get 500 ranked wins on any class (Hunter is the closest one – 347 wins). I started between LoE and WotOG.

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I only have 2546 wins haha.

Still impressive though. Got nine gold heroes Yet?

I hope thats a joke question cause you need at least 4500 ranked wins to get all the gold heroes

That’s Incredible!

    Frostwolf Warlord
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now u can save the world monkaS

    Shield Bearer
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I’m 727 wins away! See you soon

    Big Game Hunter
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I guess I can show my stats as well

    Dread Corsair
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Reading this thread kinda feels like going through a room where everyone is comparing and complimenting dicks 😀 congratulations on your massive schlongs, though. Quite impressive to put that much time and dedication into one thing, no matter what it is .

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    Big Game Hunter
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Reading this thread kinda feels like going through a room where everyone is comparing and complimenting dicks 😀 congratulations on your massive schlongs, though. Quite impressive to put that much time and dedication into one thing, no matter what it is .

The bigger, the better! GachiGasm

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More than 12200 wins here never reached Legend. Don’t feel the need to reach it..too grindy. not my thing. I’m ok with rank 5 once I reach it. I just fool around trying decks just for the fun of it. Presently, I am not even trying to climb anymore. just doing dailies while waiting for all these non interactive decks (created to help average players climb the meta) to disappear, hopefully in April.

    Black Knight
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10,000 wins. And still only Legend once. Damn. ]]>