Novelist and poet John A. Scott wins David Harold Tribe Fiction Award

2 December 2014

The University of Sydney‘s Department of English was pleased to present the David Harold Tribe Fiction Award 2014 to novelist and poet John A. Scott on Friday evening.
The $12,000 prize for a short work of literature was given to Scott for his piece Picasso: A Shorter Life. The expert judging panel consisted of Director of Creative Writing at the University of Sydney, Associate Professor Kate Lilley, leading Australian novelist Fiona McFarlane, and author and literary journalist Ed Wright.

University of Sydney  Master of Creative Arts
Study at the University of Sydney Faculty of Arts

“The judges agreed that John Scott’s Picasso: A Shorter Life was a worthy winner. Its numbered prose passages form an arresting poetic biography of Picasso and his unfortunate lovers, at once spare and melodramatic, elegant and brutal,” said Associate Professor Kate Lilley.
John A. Scott explains that his winning tale “tells, in a series of vignettes, the story of how the artist destroyed the lives of his wives and mistresses—especially those who were trying to build an artistic profile of their own.
“The more I researched into his activities, the more I disliked him. Mostly, the truth was bizarre enough, but on occasion I introduced lies because he deserved it,” said Scott.
The award is designed to encourage the writing of fiction and promote interest in Australian fiction generally, and was open to writers across the nation.
“The David Harold Tribe Fiction Award is an important step in the daunting journey to visibility,” said Scott. “To win something like the Tribe gives you encouragement—something of which authors receive far too little.
“Getting the news was the most wonderful thing that’s happened for a long while.”
The award was made possible by a donation from David Harold Tribe through the David Harold Tribe Charitable Foundation. The Fiction Award forms part of a comprehensive awards program that supports a diverse range of cultural pursuits at the University of Sydney. The program offers five prizes worth $12,000 each in the areas of fiction, poetry, philosophy, sculpture and symphony. These categories rotate each year to inspire ingenuity in artistic fields that are often overlooked when it comes to charitable support.
This is the second David Harold Tribe Fiction Award, the first of which was awarded to Patrick Mountford in 2009 for his short story Theobald, Tailor.

University of Sydney Master of Creative Writing

New, developing and established writers who wish to explore and develop their skills will enjoy the wide offering of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and screenwriting on offer in the Master of Creative Writing.
This course is also highly suited to teachers who wish to be better able to explain the processes and skills involved in creative writing, and literature scholars of all levels who wish to encounter living writers and to better understand writing processes.
Students will have the opportunity to learn from renowned and award-winning authors, poets and screenwriters in the heart of Australia’s most vibrant writing and publishing community. Units range from introductory to advanced workshops and meet-the-writer units, to more structured and academic opportunities to study contemporary movements in the writing of poetry and prose.
Structuring, writing and editing skills are at the core of the degree, although the course addresses many other aspects of the writing process, from the development of ideas and finding of voice to final publication and questions concerning the role of writers and writing within society.
Program: Master of Creative Writing
Location: Camperdown, Sydney
Semester intake: March and July
Duration: 18 months
Application deadline: January 31 for the March 2015 intake

Apply to an arts program at the University of Sydney!


Would you like to learn more about the University of Sydney’s graduate arts degrees? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Arts Programs Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at for more information about arts programs at Australian universities.