Emily Bitto is the recipient of the inaugural Tina Kane Emergent Writer Award. She was presented with the award by poet and critic Paul Kane at Mildura Writers Festival.
Emily Bitto’s début The Strays was chosen as the 2015 winner of the Stella Prize. It has been previously shortlisted for the 2015 Dobbie Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and the Indie Awards.
The novel, described by the Stella panel of judges as “reminiscent of Ian McEwan's Atonement or A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book" tells the story of a young girl, Lily Struthers, and her friendship with Eva, the daughter of an infamous avant-garde artist, Evan Trentham, examining the difficult lessons she has to learn as she is increasingly taken in by Eva’s family and friends.
Emily Bitto has a Masters in literary studies and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including The Sydney Morning Herald, Meanjin, Heat, the Australian Literary Review and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. She lives in Melbourne where she co-owns the Carlton winebar, Heartattack & Vine.