2002 Davitt Award
Davitt Awards results
Sisters in Crime Australia is proud to once again present – The Davitt – to be awarded for the best crime novel by an Australian woman published in book form in Australia in the previous year.
Last year the award was presented by Victorian Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon.
This year it will be presented by Sharan Burrow, ACTU President and crime buff. Be entertained by a 'hypothetical', hosted by true crime writer and new convenor, Robin Bowles, whose hypothetical at last year's SheKilda convention was rated one of the top events.
Spokesperson, Dr Sue Turnbull, said that The Davitt provides long overdue recognition of Australian women’s crime writers.
"Ten years ago, you could literally count off the number of published Australian women crime writers on one hand. Now you need to be an Indian goddess with multiple limbs to approach the real number. Sisters in Crime has played an instrumental role in overcoming the cultural cringe of many Australian publishers towards women’s crime fiction. Through the Scarlet Stiletto Award, our annual national short story competition established in 1994, we’ve unearthed a great deal of talent.
"Cate Kennedy, won the Scarlet Stiletto Award twice and then went on to win 2001 Age short story competition. Other winners have gone on to have novels published. This is one of the reasons that Sisters in Crime has established the Davitt award to recognise Australian women’s achievements in terms of published novels," she said.
The Davitt will consist of a handsome trophy but there is no cash prize attached.
Sisters in Crime named the award The Davitt in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812-1879) who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud in 1865. Her achievement is extraordinary when it is considered that Wilke’s Collins’ The Woman in White, generally regarded as the first full-length mystery novel, was published only in 1860. Force and Fraud was serialised in the Australian Journal, starting with its very first issue. It begins with a murder and ends with its solution, with red herrings, blackmail, and a dramatic court scene in between:
Born in Yorkshire, Ellen married teacher Arthur Davitt, and emigrated to Australia in 1854. The pair were powerful figures in colonial education and Ellen was also a public lecturer and an exhibited artist. She is vilified in the Australian Dictionary of Biography as having ‘overbearing self-esteem’ (translation: she was confident, a fighter, and not afraid of male authority). Davitt died in poverty, of cancer.
In 1993, Sisters in Crime Australia placed a plaque on her unmarked grave in Geelong cemetery; the same year Force and Fraud was reprinted by Mulini Press. A distant relative, English author Joanna Trollope, unveiled the plaque and spoke movingly about her contribution to Australian literature.
There are three awards in 2002, one for best adult novel, one for best young adult novel and a readers choice award, voted for by Sisters in Crime members.
This years books are:
This year's judges are:
Katrina Beard, Sisters in Crime convenor, and reviewer
Michelle Griffin, crime reviewer and journalist
Anne Coulhurst, crime reviewer; Sisters in Crime member
Rosi Tovey, owner of Chronicles Bookshop, an independent book shop in St Kilda
Media inquiries: Carmel Shute (03) 9209 6163, 0412 569 356
2nd Annual Davitt Award
Note: Bookings need to be made as soon as possible.
7pm, Friday November 1
Presented by Sharan Burrow, President, ACTU
Join Sisters in Crime for the Davitt Awards for the best novel (adult), best novel (young adult) and best novel (readers' choice) by an Australian woman in 2001.
Presented by Sharan Burrow, ACTU President & crime buff. Be entertained by a 'hypothetical', hosted by true crime writer and new convenor, Robin Bowles, whose hypothetical at last year's SheKilda convention was rated one of the top events.
Felix Bar (upstairs), 41 Fitzroy St, St Kilda. Dinner & entrance $40 (includes antipasto; choice of spring vegetable risotto, fish of the day, chicken breast wrapped in proscuitto, roast kangaroo loin and Felix fudge cake or apple & blackberry lattice tart.)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring (03) 9537 2781.