Announcing the 2023 Winner of the Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

Depth of Field DHA 2023 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript Kirsty Iltners The Dorothy Hewett Award The Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript


UWA Publishing, with thanks to the Copyright Agency, is excited to be announcing the winner of the 2023 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript: Kirsty Iltners for her manuscript Depth of Field.

Kirsty Iltners

Kirsty will receive a publishing contract and manuscript development with UWA Publishing and $10,000 prize money courtesy of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. Depth of Field will be published by UWA Publishing in 2024.


The judging panel for the 2023 Award was Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Astrid Edwards, Thuy On and Kate Pickard. This year the award received over 220 entries from across Australia and the judges were highly impressed, and slightly overwhelmed, by the quantity and quality of entrants to this award. 


The judges describe Depth of Field as ‘a gripping novel where the camera becomes a narrative device for what is known and what escapes the frame. Told through alternating perspectives, Depth of Field asks questions about the reliability of memory. The mechanisms of photography are allowed to falter just enough to expose the fragility of the images and moments that make up life.’


UWA Publishing sends a warm thank you to the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund for its ongoing support for the Dorothy Hewett Award and congratulates Kirsty Iltners on her achievement.


In 2022 the judges announced the winner of the award to be Brendan Ritchie for his manuscript Eta Draconis which was published by UWA Publishing last month. Previous winners include Josh Kemp’s Banjawarn, which won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Fiction and is currently shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer, and Kgshak Akec’s Hopeless Kingdom, which has been longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The inaugural winner was Extinctions (2016) by Josephine Wilson which went on to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award.


Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002) is considered one of Australia’s most important writers, her work challenging the norms of 20th century Australian culture. The Award is open annually to unpublished manuscripts of fiction, narrative nonfiction or poetry and the winner receives a cash prize of $10,000, courtesy of Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, and a publishing contract with UWA Publishing. The award will reopen for submissions in November.


Kirsty Iltners is a writer and freelance photographer. She has a degree in psychology and is currently studying law. She lives in Brisbane with her two daughters, her border collie, and four axolotls.


Depth of Field follows two very different but unknowingly linked characters, both dealing with their own past trauma. It examines how our past impacts our choices and the concept of judgement and perception—how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves.


Download the media release.

Watch the announcement here.

Find out more about the award here.


Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

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