Penguin Random House (PRH) Australia has announced that the winner of its inaugural literary prize is Kathryn Hind for her novel Hitch.

ACT-based Hind wins $20,000 (which acts as an advance against royalties), and Hitch will be published in 2019 by Vintage/Knopf publisher Meredith Curnow.

Selected from a pool of 409 submissions, Hitch tells the story of a young woman who ‘stands on a highway in the Australian desert, alone except for her dog and the occasional road train that ignores her raised thumb’. But as she runs further from her past, ‘she moves ever closer to the things she longs to escape’.

The judging panel comprised representatives from PRH Australia and Leading Edge Books. Galina Marinov from Leading Edge said she was ‘blown away’ by the quality of writing submitted to the prize in its inaugural year.

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