PIP 2016 – The Shortlist

Varuna is thrilled to announce the shortlist for the Publisher Introduction Program (PIP 2016).

This year we selected thirty unpublished manuscripts written by new Australian writers to send to our six publishing partners. From these shortlisted manuscripts we have asked our publishing partners to select two manuscripts each to award the writer a PIP Fellowship. We thank each of our Publishing partners for taking the time to consider the work of these writers. We also thank Varuna Consultants Helen Barnes-Bulley, Carol Major, Stephen Measday and Deb Westbury who assessed the 190 manuscripts that writers submitted to Varuna for PIP 2016.

And the writers and their mansucripts are ...


Evidence by Chris Brophy (Fiction)                                                    

A novel about the unreasonable expectations we have of love 

Game Face by Taryn Bashford (Young Adult Fiction)                           

17-year-old tennis pro Harper must let go of her emotional crutches or lose her sister, true love, and the US Open 

The Glitter Man by Tristan Stein (Fiction)                                                    

The lives and loves of two spirited sisters, spanning 50 years and 2 continents.

The Rule by Kate Duff (Fiction)                                                    

A thriller with a satirical edge where echoes from old crimes surface when least expected.

Thicker Than Water by Pamela Baker (Fiction)                                                    

Set in Melbourne and Chicago this novel explores the theme of abandonment



Blinds of Sleep by Jane Jervis-Read  (Fiction)                                                    

An architect on the verge of international success in present-day Berlin is driven by creative and destructive urges

First-Fleet Black by Judy Johnson (Narrative Non-fiction)                        

A memoir focussing on my two ex-slave First Fleet ancestors 

Not Your Revolution by Jim Ditchfield  (Fiction)

The adventures of a young expatriate who becomes embroiled in a revolution, before helping the Tuaregs achieve freedom.

What the (IV)F...? by Dianne Bortoletto (Narrative Non-fiction)                        

What the (IV)F?? is a humorous and heart-breaking memoir about one couple’s challenge to become a family.


What we have become by Melissa Goode (Fiction)                                                    

A woman recovering after the death of her mother and her own divorce and searching for a new life.



Every Atom Belonging to Me by Natalie Kershaw  (Fiction)                                                    

A child struggles to build a family after finding out that her dead mother was a prostitute who helped make the A-bomb.

I Don't Know What You've Been Told by Tessa Lunney (Fiction)                                                    

An Australian soldier goes missing in Afghanistan and his sister, also a soldier, must go through the family history of war service in order to find her brother

Murder in the Time of Fever by Bill Collopy (Fiction)                                                    

Crime thriller set in Melbourne during authentic historical events of 1853

The Circle and the Equator by Kyra Giorgi (Fiction)                                                    

A diverse collection of short stories 

The Future of Food by Nick Smith (Fiction)                                                    

Two very different workers struggle in a dysfunctional food company with implications for their and the company's future



Gap Year Nanny by Goldie Alexander  (Young Adult Fiction)                           

This YA contemporary version of Macbeth follows Merri’s crush on Stuart, his rise to acting CEO of his company and subsequent fall from power.

Lexy and Cho by Madeline Oliver  (Young Adult Fiction)                           

Sydney teenagers Lexy and Cho struggle to make their love real in the face of trouble in both their houses.

My Friend Socrates by Simon Lloyd (Fiction)                                                   

A charismatic but troubled schoolyard prodigy confronts his personal demons as he struggles with a life-changing dilemma

The Book of Eels by Christine Kearney (Fiction)                                                    

East Timor: a new nation with ancient stories, a young UN volunteer and a conflict that threatens the country.

The Long River Of Cat Fisher by Bruce Nash (Fiction)                                                    

An Australian woman recounts her (apocryphal) life as the secret muse and confidante of the world's great writers.



Bone and Beauty by Jeanette Thompson  (Narrative Non-fiction)                        

The story of the Ribbon Boys Rebellion of 1830

half-mongrel by Kay Harrison (Fiction)                                                    

When her father has a fall, Margot comes home to face the trauma of the beach bonfire that drove her away 11 years prior

SPILL by Diana Jenkins (Young Adult Fiction)                           

SA YA novel about college kids, comic books and casting off the creeps

The Alleyways by Sally Hall (Young Adult Fiction)                           

A deadly virus sweeps the world and Ainslie, stuck on a luxury cruise ship, takes drastic measures to reach family.

The Thing of the Stuff by Joanne McClelland (Young Adult Fiction)                           

A YA mock-fantasy following the misadventures of characters dealing with disabilities and learning differences.


UWA Publishing

After the Fall by Mran-Maree Laing (Short story collection)                                           

From the brutal colonial past to dystopian visions of the future, ten dark, ironic stories of youth and middle-age examine the challenges of love, friendship and loss

Broken Rules by Barry Lee Thompson (Short story collection)                                           

A collection of linked short fiction exploring marginalised sexual identity and expression.

Madam Bratovsky vs Naked Moon by Terry Tredrea  (Fiction)                                                    

An historical fiction of the relationship between GB Shaw, Helena Blavatsky, Annie Besant and Oscar Wilde

The life and art of Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri (c1923-1998) by Alec O'Halloran (Authorised Biography)                 

The life story and art career of a Pintupi man who became an award-winning Papunya Tula artist

The Labyrinth by Siang Lu (Fiction)                                                    

A cruel Emperor, an innocent brother exiled, a beautiful woman in a labyrinth: A tale of escape and vengeance.

Vera Costello