Tag Archives: text publishing

Melanie Cheng: #Robinpedia

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Melanie Cheng is an Australian writer, born in Adelaide, moved to Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne. She is also a GP, winner of the 2018 Fiction VPLA, and lover of the Emerging Writers Festival.

Now stop it. Stop that sniggering! I do good, honest profiles here. It says VPLA! That’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, not Visible Panty Line Australia. I’m pretty sure the acronym VPL went out in the 80s so just stop it. Furthermore, if any Australian writer was to win the VPL, it’d be me with my love of cottontail. Now back to the profile!

Melanie Cheng’s debut book, Australia Day published through Text, charmed critiques and award judges alike. It was winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, longlisted for an Indie Book Award, longlisted for an ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year Award, longlisted for the Matt Richell New Writer of the Year Award, longlisted for a Dobbie Literary Award, shortlisted for a Readings Prize, and winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It’s safe to say that she has completely nailed the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and it is easy to see why. Her stories are deftly crafted with a hard hitting depth. They speak to that notion of displacement and belonging that everyone faces and therefore can relate to. She writes a vast array of characters that are unified with each other through this yearning for connection and thus likewise bonded with us the reader. But don’t just take my word for it, Australia Day had words of praise provided by the likes of Emily Maguire, Christos Tsiolkas and Alice Pung.

To continue name dropping, Melanie is friends with Jane Harper and emails her for advice. Yes the Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Forces of Nature which have now been picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company. Interestingly, Jane won the Unpublished VPLA the year prior to Melanie. It’s certainly an award good at predicting phenomenal success from talented new writers. Other previous winners include Graeme Simsion and Maxine Beneba Clarke. If you have an unpublished manuscript and are an emerging Victorian writer, might I suggest you enter? Entries open in September.

Melanie has been commissioned to write another book by Text and I will keep you updated on its release. She loves her local library, shout out to Bargoonga Nganjin in Fitzroy North, and is no doubt bunkered down there writing up a storm. She has said that much of her inspiration comes from her work, not just from her patients but from the people she has to deal with whilst advocating for her patients. If you put Melanie on hold for 7,000 hours whilst she was trying to help a patient, well, you have been noted, put through the fiction blender, and reimagined on the page.

Find Melanie Cheng’s website here.

Find Melanie Cheng’s blog here.

Find Melanie Cheng on Twitter here.

Find Australia Day here.

Read more about Robinpediahere.

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author brandinghere.

Buy my shit here.

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NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2018

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Okay, okay, I know what you all want to know, who won the various categories of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, so I’ll just dive right in and give the list.
Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000 — sponsored by Multicultural NSW)
The Permanent Resident by Roanna Gonsalves (UWA Publishing)


Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
Black is the New White by Nakkiah Lui (Sydney Theatre Company)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
JOINT WINNERS:
Deep Water: The Real Story written by Amanda Blue and Jacob Hickey (Blackfella Films)
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Series 2 Episode 4 ‘Birthday’ written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (See-Saw Films)


Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
How to Bee by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)
The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)


Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
Argosy by Bella Li (Vagabond Press)

Indigenous Writers’ Prize ($30,000) — biennial award
Taboo by Kim Scott (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)
Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth by Paul Ham (Penguin Random House Australia)


UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000 — sponsored by UTS)
The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser (Text Publishing)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser (Text Publishing)


People’s Choice Award
The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser (Text Publishing)

Book of the Year ($10,000)
Taboo by Kim Scott (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Find out more about the awards and what the judges thought from Lisa Fleetwood.

Find out what Books + Publishing have to say about the awards.

Find out what Lisa Hill has to say.

Find my Twitter highlights package here.