Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Born Into This by Adam Thompson Is the Winner of The Story Prize Spotlight Award

Beyond naming three finalists each year, we also present The Story Prize Spotlight Award to a collection of exceptional merit. Selected books can be promising works by first-time authors, collections in alternative formats, or works that demonstrate an unusual perspective on the writer's craft. The award includes a prize of $1,000. 

We're pleased to announce that the winner for books published in 2021 is Born Into This by Adam Thompson, published by Two Dollar Radio. In these sixteen stories, Thompson examines and deconstructs the conflicts, dilemmas, and unexpected affinities that arise in the shadow of a past filled with atrocity and trauma. With a keen eye for action and conflict, Thompson tracks the lives of aboriginal and non-aboriginal characters as they negotiate the social and economic pressures of modern-day Tasmania. The legacy of oppression and genocide hangs like a dense cloud over this collection, but the stories focus just as much on the everyday aspects of the characters’ lives: silence, solitude, longing, neglect, escape, retribution, forgiveness, sacrifice, duty, and equanimity.  

Adam Thompson is a pakana writer from Launceston, Tasmania. His work has been published by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Kill Your Darlings, and Griffith Review—as well as appearing in several anthologies. Born Into This was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, The Age Book of the Year, and the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. He was named as Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist of the Year in 2019. Adam has written for performance art and television. His episode of Little J and Big Cuz (Shelter) is in Season 3 of the series and will be broadcast in early 2022. Adam is passionate about advancing the interests of the pakana community. He has worked for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre for more than 20 years.

This is the tenth time we've given out The Story Prize Spotlight Award. The nine previous winners were: Drifting House by Krys Lee, Byzantium by Ben Stroud, Praying Drunk by Kyle Minor, Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali by Randa Jarrar, Subcortical by Lee Conell, Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy, The Trojan War Museum by Ayşe Papatya Bucak, and, most recently, Inheritors by Asako Serizawa.

You can find links to all ten books, including Thompson's, on Bookshop, in the list Winners of The Story Prize Spotlight Award.

We'll announce the winner of The Story Prize on April 13 at a private event, which we'll live stream, featuring readings by and interviews with the three finalists: Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King, Let Me Think by J. Robert Lennon, and Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor. And soon we'll post a long list of short story collections published in 2021.