The Society of Women Writers Tasmania has nominated Launceston writer Robyn Friend for the prestigious Alice Award.
Awarded by the Society of Women Writers from a pool of nominees nationwide every two years, the Alice Award acknowledges a significant contribution to Australian literature.
Friend said she was “chuffed”, surprised and grateful to be Tasmania’s nominee.
"It's nice to know that what you do is known or recognised by people," Friend said.
Friend has had an illustrious literary career spanning decades.
“Coming from my background, being a writer was one of those things you fantasise about but it’s never going to happen...everybody grows up and gets married before they’re 20,” Friend said.
Her imagination inspired her pursuing creative writing, and after moving to war-torn Western Uganda, Africa, she began to write seriously.
She moved to Tasmania in 1980, and defied the conventions of her background when her first novel Eva was published in 1985.
Her second novel, The Butterfly Stalker, was published in 2005 and another is on the publishing marketplace.
She was State Literature Officer for Tasmania in 1989, and received a writing fellowship in 1990 which allowed her to work in aged care facilities across the state.
Friend said the literary landscape has changed significantly since she started out, with the rise of self-publishing and the internet rendering it much harder for young writers to gain attention and get published.
The Society of Women Writers Tasmania president Yvonne Gluyas said Friend, who is not a society member, emerged as the winner of a secretive ballot to choose the Alice Award nominee.
“Her nomination came from one of our members, accompanied by an extensive CV that showed us that she was a perfect choice,” Ms Gluyas said.
“Robyn’s long years of work in mentoring aspiring new writers, especially within the Tasmanian community, as well as providing editing services, manuscript assessments and information to them, while producing her own award-winning works, makes her admirable.
“She has dedicated her life to serving the Australian writing community, serving on boards, working within aged care in teaching staff skills to enhance memoir writing by elderly residents, and within disenfranchised groups.”
The Alice Award dinner will be held in Launceston on August 6.