The Society of Women Writers Victoria (SWWV) has awarded the biennial Nance Donkin Award to Albany-based Western Australian author Dianne Wolfer. Best known for her history-inspired picture books for older readers, Dianne has a diverse arts practice that includes novels for junior to young adult readers.
On its website, the SWWV says the award’s benefactor, Nance Donkin, was a dynamic longtime member who had expressed her wish that the branch validate authors of books for children. Thus the Nance Donkin Award is designed to encourage and make known a good writer for children who is deserving of more recognition.
In her acceptance speech, Wolfer said writing can be a solitary and sometimes frustrating occupation, so the win was wonderfully reaffirming and humbling. Wolfer said, ‘The Society of Women Writers will always hold a special place in my heart. As a nervous, young aspiring author, living away from family and friends on the other side of the country, I joined the WA branch of the Society of Women Writers. A warm circle of kind, wise and supportive women welcomed me. I’d found my tribe.’
Previous recipients have included Dr Ruth Starke, Isobelle Carmody, Cassandra Golds and Rosanne Hawke.
Dianne Wolfer is the acclaimed author of many books for teenagers and young readers spanning multiple genres. Her book Lighthouse Girl served as inspiration for Perth International Arts Festival’s The Giants and has featured in events commemorating the centenary of the departure of the first Australian Imperial Force from Albany. Her latest book with Fremantle Press is In the Lamplight, which is one third of a trilogy that includes Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy.