Southern Flinders writer and ABC broadcaster Dr Annette Marner has won the Arts South Australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award.
She received the honour for her novel titled A New Name for the Colour Blue.
At a ceremony at Writers’ Week in Adelaide, Dr Marner accepted the award in front of Governor Hieu Van Le and Premier Jay Weatherill.
“I feel honoured to receive this award and to stand next to the other winners on the day including author and Australian Living Legend Tim Winton,” she said.
“From the time I was a little girl growing up at Wirrabara Forest, I dreamed of writing a novel that would focus on the incredible beauty of our landscapes in the Southern Flinders.
“I was touched when I saw the judges’ comments because they said my novel is ‘a beautiful evocation of place’.
“Sometimes dreams take a long time to come true. One of the key ideas in my novel came to me in 1986 when I was community arts officer at Port Pirie.
“In 2004, I took the manuscript to Flinders University to work on it and I graduated with a doctorate of philosophy in creative writing eight years later so I don’t think I can call myself an overnight success.”
It has been 12 years since Dr Marner’s last book was published.
Her award-winning poetry collection Women With Their Faces on Fire was on the reading list at Flinders University in 2006. “To know that English students were studying my poetry was an extraordinary experience,” she said.
Her book is expected to be available in print within the next 12 months.
Dr Marner’s parents were the late Edgar and Irene Marner. Her father wrote an unpublished autobiography.
Her brothers still own the farm which is leased out.
“The farm fostered my imagination. I found the whole Southern Flinders to be inspiring,” she said.
“I have a doctorate and my parents didn’t even get chance to go to high school.
“I am incredibly grateful to have this level of education.
“I started writing when I was six years old while sitting on a stone looking out at the farm.”