Western Australian Indigenous author, Ambelin Kwaymullina, has been shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for her children’s book Crow and the Waterhole.
It is the second time the book has been shortlisted for a major national award in 2008, the first being for the CBC Crichton Award for New Illustrators.
Kwaymullina said she had always wanted to write for children and couldn’t imagine writing for any other audience. She said she drew inspiration for her work most strongly from her culture.
“The Crow story came to me in a dream, and it is not unusual for Indigenous people to receive messages in dreams.
“It is very exciting to have your work recognised, especially when you are just starting out, and it is a great honour to be shortlisted alongside so many terrific books,” said Kwaymullina.
Kwaymullina, who is both the writer and illustrator of Crow and the Waterhole, is the daughter of internationally acclaimed author, Sally Morgan.
“When we released Crow and the Waterhole, we deliberately chose not to tell anyone that Ambelin was Sally Morgan’s daughter.
“We wanted the book to be read and appreciated on its own merits and the fact that it has made two shortlists this year just reaffirms the talent we saw in Ambelin’s work right from the very beginning,” said Fremantle Press Children’s Publisher, Cate Sutherland.
Fremantle Press’ children’s list was established in 1991 due to the overwhelming number of manuscripts for the children’s market submitted annually. CEO, Mary-Anne Paton said Western Australian children’s writing was becoming increasingly recognised and appealing
to an international market
“This year we’ve had success with the sale of international rights of several titles from our children’s list to Korea and North America including Destroying Avalon, In Ecstasy and Miss Llewellyn-Jones,” said Paton.
Crow and the Waterhole is the first of three books by Kwaymullina to be published by Fremantle Press. The second book in the series, The Two-Hearted Numbat, was released this month with a third to follow in 2009.
The winner will be announced on 16 September at the State Library of Queensland. Previous winners of Queensland Premier’s Literary Award include well-known author Paul Jennings.