IBBY Australia Ena Noël Award 2016 Announced

IBBY Australia’s Ena Noël Award is an encouragement award for a young, emerging writer or illustrator. The panel of three judges is happy to announce that this year’s winner is: Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon (Allen & Unwin).

Year 9 student Clementine Darcy is finding life challenging. Her friends want her to diet and exercise more, to emulate fashion models; her brother has become a recluse and locks himself in his room; her mother is preoccupied with being a high profile lawyer; and her beloved older sister is not as perfect as Clementine had thought. And then there’s a new male student who is odd and secretive and somehow makes her question many assumptions.

Writing Clementine is a refreshing and multi-layered story about the lives of believable young people. Although set in North West Tasmania, it could be anywhere in regional or suburban Australia. Kate Gordon writes with insight, sensitivity and humour; her fluid style keeps the reader fully involved in Clementine’s story, as she deals with such
problems as female friendships and bullying, and enjoys embarking on new ventures—a burgeoning romance, and the world of steampunk. Clementine declares that she wants ‘to swim, not float like a dead fish’. Many readers will enjoy following her emergence as she learns to do just that.

See the press release for full details.

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Patricia Wrightson

A recent event of great impact on IBBY Australia was the death of Patricia Wrightson on 15th March. While her passing has been deservedly noticed in the general press and within the literary community, it is significant for us as she was the recipient in 1986 of the Hans Christian Andersen medal. This is awarded every two years by IBBY and judged on the writer’s entire output by a jury of international experts. Only two Australians have ever been honoured in this way, Patricia for writing and Robert Ingpen for illustration. Patricia Wrightson contributed greatly to the development of children’s literature in Australia, as she pioneered the integration of characters and stories from indigenous tradition into novels for contemporary readers. Her Nargun and the Stars became a favourite for many, and the Wirrun trilogy is a major achievement.