Emma Styles has won the Little, Brown UEA Crime Fiction Award 2020 for her novel, No Country for Girls.
Little, Brown works with the University of East Anglia Creative Writing Crime Fiction MA to provide the award to the best novel by a graduating student. Styles wins £3,000, joining previous winners Bridget Walsh, Femi Kayode and Merle Nygate.
Set in Western Australia, Styles' novel is modern noir thriller about two young women, strangers, who are thrown together when one accidentally kills her sister’s criminal boyfriend, setting the pair off on a road trip to escape those who might come after them.
The judging was led by Sphere Fiction publishing director Ed Wood, who said: "In a particularly strong year, the four judges were hugely impressed with No Country for Girls, a novel that hits the reader with tension and action right from page one and shows us a side of Australia we rarely see in fiction. It’s a taut, well-thought out novel we are proud to pick as a winner."
Styles paid tribute to the UEA course, whose graduating students are the entrant cohort for the award: "No Country for Girls is about the power of landscape to connect us and emerged out of my love of road movies, crime thrillers and the West Australian outback. Without the support of my UEA tutors and fellow students it would be half the book it is now and I’m so grateful to everyone for their encouragement and friendship, and to Little, Brown for their incredible generosity."
Applications are now open for UEA's Creative Writing MA in Crime Fiction 2021.