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The Committee of the MUD Literary Club is pleased to announce that the winner of the third annual MUD Literary Prize is Master of My Fate, by Sienna Brown.

The MUD Literary Prize is a $3000 prize for the best debut literary novel by an Australian writer, offered by Adelaide philanthropic group MUD Literary Club as part of Adelaide Writers’ Week.

Master of My Fate was chosen from a shortlist that also included The Artist’s Portrait, by Julie Keys; Lifetime of Impossible Days, by Tabitha Bird; Fusion, by Kate Richards, and Heart of the Grass Tree, by Molly Murn.

Sienna Brown, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and grew up in Canada, found the inspiration for her first novel after moving to Sydney. A professional dancer, film editor and documentary director by trade, Sienna learned the story of Jamaican-born Australian convict William Buchanan when she worked at Sydney Living Museums and says she was struck with a sense of fate. “This story of a lost man far from home resonated with my own feelings of displacement,” she says.

Sienna will be presented with her prize during a special award and interview session at Adelaide Writers’ Week, in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, at 3.45pm on Monday, March 2.

Sienna is delighted with the high-profile recognition of her first book. “Winning the MUD prize is such an exciting surprise,” she says. “The idea to write a book only came after uncovering such fascinating research about this subject, and now it's the start of me transitioning into a new career as a writer. This gives me such pleasure. It really has been quite an incredible journey."

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