Local author and University of Newcastle lecturer Dr Karen Hitchcock has taken out the Steele Rudd Award at the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards for her collection of short stories Little White Slips.
"It is the only short-story prize in Australia and is usually won by an established author. It is just beyond me that I have won, I am overwhelmed," she said.
The book comprises 13 stories, many of which form part of Dr Hitchcock's PhD in creative arts.
"Little White Slips is a collection of stories where all the protagonists are women and it explores some taboo issues for women, such as female competitiveness around body image," Dr Hitchcock said.
Dr Hitchcock's win is on the back of her short story collection being short-listed for a NSW Premier Literary Awards and a Dobbie Encouragement Award.
The judges commented that Little White Slips was chosen as the best Australian Short Story Collection "because of its gripping stories based around intense and at times raw portraits of the conflicts and hopes of the characters".