Michelle See-Tho wins Penguin Literary Prize 2023

AAR-Penguin-Michelle-See-ThoPenguin Random House Australia is thrilled to announce Jade and Emerald by Michelle See-Tho as the winner of the 2023 Penguin Literary Prize.

Chosen from nearly 300 submissions, See-Tho said “I was already speechless that I’d been shortlisted, so when I found out I’d won it was a dream come true! I’ve worked really hard on this novel, and to be recognised by a huge publisher like Penguin is beyond rewarding.”

Jade and Emerald is the story of a lonely girl who forms an unlikely bond with a rich hedonistic socialite. The friendship strains her already-fraught relationship with her strict mother.

The manuscript was selected from a shortlist of six entries, and the judging panel included Meredith Curnow, publisher and Kathryn Knight, senior editor from PRH Australia; Sarah Custer, purchasing manager at Boffins, Alison Huber, head book buyer at Readings; and Ben Hunter, fiction and children’s book specialist from Booktopia.

“We are delighted that the Penguin Literary Prize continues to find new voices and stories that offer different readings of life in Australia. Michelle See-Tho’s Jade and Emerald bristles with life and potential and some powerful commentary, too,” said Meredith Curnow, Publisher.

Michelle See-Tho’s vibrant writing style stood out to me immediately as a fresh new Australian voice. The story she tells in Jade and Emerald explores family, desire, and class in imaginative and innovative ways, and I’m excited to see this work in print,” said Alison Huber from Readings.

See-Tho will be awarded $20,000, with Jade and Emerald to be published by Penguin Random House Australia in 2024. The next round of submissions for the PRH Literary Prize will open later this year.

Now in its sixth year, the Penguin Literary Prize was launched to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. Since its inception the prize has received submissions from across Australia in a variety of genres and subjects.

The previous winners are Hitch by Kathryn Hind, published June 2019, The Spill by Imbi Neeme, published June 2020, The Rabbits by Sophie Overett, published July 2021, Denizen by James McKenzie Watson, published July 2022 and On A Bright Hillside in Paradise by Annette Higgs, published July 2023.

For more information about the Penguin Literary Prize, visit: www.penguin.com.au for details.

Image: Michelle See-Tho – courtesy of Penguin Random House Australia