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Tooting Writer Launches Book Prize

Tooting Writer Launches Book Prize

| by Tooting Newsie | Posted in News
Bridget Lawless
Bridget Lawless

Earlier this year, Tooting-based writer Bridget Lawless launched the Staunch Book Prize in response to the prevalence of violence against women depicted in fiction and the need for this subject to be taken more seriously, especially in the wake of #MeToo.

The prize has received worldwide press coverage and attracted entrants from Australia, the USA and Canada, as well as the UK.

Australian author Jock Serong was announced as the winner of the inaugural prize this week at a ceremony in Central London, for his third novel, On The Java Ridge.

Jock Serong
Jock Serong

Bridget said, “On The Java Ridge brings readers up close to a reality we all think we’re aware of – but turn away from. The detail of the migrants’ ordeal at sea and their hope of sanctuary, often seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old Afghani girl, filled us with anger and shame. Another perspective is offered through Isi, a strong, ordinary woman and skipper of a nearby tourist boat. Suddenly faced with rescuing the injured and dying, she confronts the unimaginable and draws on resources she didn’t know she had. 
“Jock Serong’s first-hand knowledge of the ocean, and the real life scandal of Australia’s treatment of migrants, shows just what happens when desperation, greed and political expediency collide. With his vivid descriptions, raw compassion and expert control of his material, we’re presented with some of the most heart-stopping moments you’ll find in fiction. This is exactly the quality of thriller that Staunch set out to find, and we’re proud to name it as our winner.”
The opening chapters of On the Java Ridge and an interview with Jock Serong can be found at


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