2011: Anita Bell

Queensland writer wins 2011 Norma K. Hemming Award
2011 Norma K Hemming Award presented at Swancon 36

Anita Bell
Anita Bell

The 2011 Norma K Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability given by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation was won by Queensland author Anita Bell for her novel Diamond Eyes, writing as A A Bell.

The Citation (PDF – 418KB) includes comments on the winning novel, a short biography of Norma Kathleen Hemming (after whom the award is named), as well as a brief history of the award and the significance of the Boab tree design etched into the trophy.

CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre Kate Eltham accepted the award on Anita’s behalf at Swancon 36, the fiftieth Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Perth, Western Australia, on Easter Sunday 24th April 2011 and delivered the trophy and citation to Anita on her return home.

On Wednesday 4th May 2011 ABC radio 612 Brisbane announced the award during its 1:00 pm news on Wednesday 4th May 2011:

Queensland writer wins national speculative fiction awardQueensland author Anita Bell has won an Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) award for a psychological thriller set in the state’s south-east. Ms Bell from the Lockyer Valley says it has taken 10 years to write Diamond Eyes, which is based on a young blind woman who can see back in history. She says the story was inspired by her work at a mental health facility and her family’s own experience with vision loss.

“It’s set in and around south-east Queensland and Moreton Bay on a fictional island but based on a number of real islands in Moreton Bay, as well as the health sanctuary where I worked for 10 years,” she said.

The book has won this year’s ASFF Norma K Hemming award and will soon be available in electronic format.

Since then, Anita says, she has had calls coming in from all over the place, including radio presenters, magazine editors and newspaper reporters. Here are Internet links to podcasts of radio interviews with Anita Bell:

ABC Radio on 5th May 2011: http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2011/05/diamond-eyes-with-a-a-bell.html?site=capricornia&program=capricornia_afternoon

4BC Radio on 6th May 2011: http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/4bc-blog/anita-bell/20110506-1eawc.html


Bill Wright – ASFF Awards Administrator (2011)