Writer Sharlene Teo won the Deborah Rogers Writers’ Award for her manuscript of Ponti. When presenting the prize, author Ian McEwan praised her work as a “remarkable first novel in the making”. Ponti follows the intertwining lives of three women, touching on friendship and memory, and the things people do on the brink of adulthood that haunt them years later. Amelia Lush meets the young author, who is an exciting new literary voice in the vein of Zadie Smith.

Sharlene Teo (International)

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Sharlene Teo is the winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writer’s Award for Ponti, her first novel. She is a PhD student in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship and David T.K Wong Creative Writing award. She holds fellowships from the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and the University of Iowa International Writing Program and was shortlisted for the 2017 Berlin Writing Prize.

Amelia Lush (Australian)

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Amelia Lush is the manager of Better Read Than Dead in Newtown, Sydney and has been working in bookstores for nearly a decade. In 2016, she was named the Penguin Random House Young Bookseller of the Year, and in 2014 won the Elizabeth Reilly Fellowship for Children's Bookselling.