Inaugural Staunch Book Prize winner Serong shortlisted again for 2020 award

Inaugural Staunch Book Prize winner Serong shortlisted again for 2020 award

The first winner of the Staunch Book Prize, Jock Serong, has been shortlisted again for the 2020 award, in a year that sees indie publishers well represented. 

Serong has been named on the six-strong list for the prize, which is awarded annually for a thriller in which "no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered", forThe Burning Island, a sequel to Preservation. The 2020 novel is set in the early years of Australia's colonisation and follows a young woman sailing to the Furneaux Islands with her blind father to track down his nemesis.

Indies represented this year include not for profit outfit Red Hen Press, Oneworld imprint Point Blank, Serpent's Tail, No Exit Press and Text Publishing, 

The list also features an action-adventure thriller by Fiona Erskine, Attica Locke's crime novel set in the wake of Donald Trump's 2016 election, Paul Vidich's post-Nixon cover-up, Ottessa Moshfegh's murder mystery and Aimee Liu's exploration of the Japanese invasion of the Andaman Islands during the Second World War. 

The shortlist comprises Fiona Erskine with adventure thriller The Chemical Reaction (Point Blank); Attica Locke with Heaven, My Home (Serpent's Tail), a crime novel set in the wake of Donald Trump's 2016 election; Paul Vidich's post-Nixon cover-up tale The Coldest Warrior (No Exit Press); Ottessa Moshfegh's murder mystery Death in Her Hands (Vintage); Aimee Liu's exploration of the WW2 Japanese invasion of the Andaman Islands Glorious Boy (Red Hen Press); and The Burning Island by Jock Serong (Text Publishing).

Staunch Book Prize founder Bridget Lawless said: "It's wonderful to see so many well-established authors on this year's list. Their work represents a variety of thriller genres and addresses profound issues in original and exciting ways. These are great story-tellers and we're proud to bring them to wider attention under the Staunch banner."

The prize was made free to enter in 2020 as a gesture of support to authors and publishers in a difficult year. Shortlistees were invited to nominate the publisher's site or a favoured bookshop for the buying links on the Staunch website.

This year's judges were writer and editor Bridget Lawless, editor Elaine Richard, and author and journalist Saima Mir.

The winner of the 2020 prize will be announced on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.