Unembargoed News

I am now free to tell you the news of which I have not been able to speak:

Magic or Madness is on the shortlist for the 2006 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Specifically for the Ethel Turner Award.

This is huge! I’m being recognised in my home state! I’m up for an award named after the author of one of my fave childhood books: Seven Little Australians!1

Ethel Turner (bit of a spunk, eh?)

Here’s the full shortlist:

    Taghred Chandab & Nadia Jamal The Glory Garage Allen & Unwin
    Bill Condon No Worries University of Queensland Press (excellent book—made me cry!)
    Ursula Dubosarsky Theodora’s Gift Penguin Australia (which I hear is the red hot favourite)
    Justine Larbalestier Magic or Madness Penguin Australia
    James Moloney Lost Property Penguin Australia
    Nicole Plüss Hope Bay Penguin Australia

I’m really looking forward to reading all the other books on the shortlist. And it was a pleasure to get to chat to some of the other nominees at the official announcements today at Gleebooks. (Gleebooks has been one of my favouritest bookshops since I was kneehigh to a grasshopper.) I am giddy.

Now I must get back to work, but tonight I am so drinking champagne. Everyone always says it’s an honour to be shortlisted and they’re dead right. I’m still pinching myself!

  1. Even though the ending made me so ropeable that every time I finished it I’d have to throw the book across the room again. []


  1. Jenny D on #

    MANY congratulations, and yes, shortlisted really is an honour!

  2. Little Willow on #

    CONGRATULATIONS! This is huge! 🙂

  3. Perry Middlemiss on #

    nice one.

    the official website still talks about the upcoming 2005 awards ceremony. doh!

  4. shelly rae on #

    Congratulations! This is so very exciting. I hope it’s good champagne too!

  5. Rachel Brown on #


    What is a spunk?

  6. Sir Tessa on #

    Hell yes! Can and will rock the kazbar!

    (dude. Maaate!)

  7. holly on #

    Congrats!!! Woooo! Rock on, Justine!

  8. Sir Tessa on #

    Help! Help! I’m being repressed! Maaaate!

  9. Perry Middlemiss on #


    here i go getting into all sorts of trouble…

    spunk, n. good-looking young male who is the object of teenage desire.

    can’t think of any examples at present. maybe heath ledger late 1990s?

  10. Justine on #

    Thanks all! I am very very very very happy indeed.

    Perry: It’s supposed to be updated some time later today.

    Shelly Rae: You betcha it’ll be good!

    Rachel: Someone who is attractive.

    Sir Tessa: Evil laugh.

    Perry: Male or female.

  11. Perry Middlemiss on #

    i hadn’t noticed that justine referred to ethel turner as a spunk. blows my definition out of the water. just too old to know better.

  12. Justine on #

    I’ve always used it to refer to girls or boys and have heard many others use it the same way. It is a retro word. Haven’t heard anyone using it seriously in ages, but it always makes me giggle.

  13. Garth Nix on #

    Congratulations, Justine! Fingers crossed for a win.

  14. Judith on #

    Hey Justine, you spunkrat 😉 Good to see you today at the shortlist announcment, and a gazillion congrats on the well-deserved shortlisting. Just finished blogging this myself, with a rather OK photo of you and Ursula and Cassandra. Huzzah! Oh, and I am planning a luncheon with Aussie YA folk mid-May. See you then, again, I hope.


  15. John H on #


  16. John H on #

    by the way, seven little australians is on project gutenberg

  17. Jason Erik Lundberg on #

    Yay Justine! W00t! Crossing all my fingers and toes for you.

  18. barry on #

    Hurray! Hometown recognition is always so extra sweet too!

  19. sara z on #


  20. Dave Schwartz on #

    Congratulations, Justine! Woo-hoo!

  21. niki on #

    yeah sis I’ll be voting for you ! can I vote ?

    BTW spunk in england means something entirely different…


  22. anghara on #

    Cool! Congratulations!

  23. marrije on #

    ooh, splendid news! congratulations!

  24. Diana Peterfreund on #

    Yay, Justine! Congratulations in all official capacities! so happy for you.

    not to detract from fabulous shortlisting, but spunk here is either an attitude… feisty, bold, irrepressible…or, um, male emissions.

  25. John H on #

    yes, saying someone is full of spunk could be really good, or really gross…

  26. Justine on #

    Wow, thanks everyone. I am overwhelmed!

    Judith: Great to meet you, too. Spunkrat! heh heh. That takes me back to the days of Kylie Mole. Good times, good times . . .

    And, people, “spunk” also means those other things here, too. We Aussies are a versatile people who often use words with more than one meaning. Keeps us all on our toes! (I won’t tell you the other meanings for “toes”, though. Too disturbing.)

  27. claire on #

    congratulations, justine! this really is your year, isn’t it? here’s to another one just like it.

  28. innle on #

    Oh, that’s fantastic! Congratulations!

    (Ethel Turner is tops – not only did she write the obvious classics of Australian kidslit, but she was also impressively prolific. The kids’ section of my uni library was composed almost entirely of obscure Ethel Turners. As you’d expect, some of them are unreadably sentimental, but she had a pretty good strike rate. And that is my Ethel Turner story.)

    In summary: yay!

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