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Magabala Books is excited to announce two wins at the WA Premier’s Book Awards, with Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki winning The Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer, and Mariah Sweetman’s unpublished manuscript 'Robert Runs' taking out the Daisy Utemorrah Award.
In her acceptance speech Elfie said:
"I want to honour the precious and profound voices of Noongar people that are held in this book. My grandmother Helen, her mother Olive Harris, Olive’s father Edward, and his brother and sister William and Mary Alice. Even though some of their stories are more than a century old now I think they reveal beautiful truths of unending love in Noongar families for our children and the heartbreak when they're taken from us.
"For those of us who feel weary, that battle these practices of child removal, I hope that you find in 'Homecoming' some comfort. Even in the oldest archival records you can see our words are never spoken in vain, that they have an agency of their own and that they live beyond our lifetime, and they can bring conviction, courage and comfort to the generations that come after us."
Mariah Sweetman, who's unpublished junior fiction manuscript 'Robert Runs' won the Daisy Utemorrah Award, said in an emotion acceptance speech:
"A Huge thank you to Magabala Books. Most importantly I thank my Ugarapul family back home. Thank you so much for your stories, and I just pray that I honour you with this story I've told."
Mariah will receive $15,000 prize money and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.
The Daisy Utemorrah Award is generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Debesa by Cindy Solonec was also shortlisted for the Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer.