Two UWAP books longlisted for the Miles Franklin

Awards DHA 2021 Hopeless Kingdom Julie Janson Kgshak Akec Madukka The River Serpent Miles Franklin Literary Award The Miles Franklin Award The Miles Franklin Literary Award

Miles Franklin Literary Award banner featuring all 11 longlisted books

Hopeless Kingdom and Madukka The River Serpent have been longlisted for the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award

UWAP is proud to share that Kgshak Akec's Hopeless Kingdom and Julie Janson's Madukka The River Serpent have both been longlisted for the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award!

This year’s judging panel comprises State Library of NSW Mitchell librarian Richard Neville, critics Bernadette Brennan and James Ley, scholar Mridula Nath Chakraborty, and writer and editor Elfie Shiosaki. Here's what they had to say about the longlist:
‘The 2023 longlist is a reflection of the breadth and depth of contemporary Australian storytelling,’ the judges said. ‘The eleven longlisted novels define Australian literature as a transformative space where writers are singing the songs of the nation today. They reverberate with the cadences of this land where Indigenous sovereignty was never ceded, but also bring to us mellifluous sounds from faraway lands, weaving together literary traditions from around the world.’

Kgshak Akec photographed by Ashot Valentino

Kgshak Akec is a South-Sudanese writer, performing artist, storyteller, and a lover of words. Her debut novel Hopeless Kingdom (UWAP 2022), inspired by her own journey of migrating to Australia, explores the relationship of a mother and daughter as they settle, break, evolve, and adapt in new lands through multiple heartaches and triumphs.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to have Hopeless Kingdom longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. It excites me to think about what this will mean for ethnic communities and diverse stories in Australia." 

 Kgshak Akec 


Julie Janson photographed by Sam MacAdam-Cooper

Julie Janson is a NSW Burruberongal woman of Darug Aboriginal nation and a critically acclaimed novelist, playwright, and poet. Madukka the River Serpent (UWAP 2022) is Julie's first Indigenous crime novel. Benevolence (Magabala Books 2020, HarperVia USA and UK 2022) is an Indigenous historical novel. 

"I am very grateful to have Madukka the River Serpent long-listed for the award. The issues that resonate in this novel are: saving Australian rivers and restorative justice for Aboriginal people." 

Julie Janson

The shortlisted novels will be announced on 20 June, with the winner to be revealed on 25 July. Find out more information from the Miles Franklin Literary Award and Perpetual Limited website.

UWAP warmly congratulations Kgshak and Julie on their well-deserved longlisting.

Kgshak and Julie are available for interviews and events. Please contact for all enquiries.

Both books are available to purchase on our website:

Hopeless Kingdom by Kgshak Akec        Madukka The River Serpent by Julie Janson


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