Madeleine Watts (2007), nominated for 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award

‘The Inland Sea’, the debut novel of Old Girl Madeline Watts (2007) has been nominated for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia’s most prestigious literature prize.

Madeleine’s debut novel describes the unravelling of the novel’s protagonist paralleled against the worsening climate crisis: “Against a backdrop of familiar ecological catastrophe – fires, floods, and the terrifying spectre of the future of a warmed world – a young woman’s life is unravelling in Sydney’s inner west… This is a remarkable, slow-burning book from a writer of great talent. The Inland Sea is a superbly articulated window into the anxiety of living through young adulthood in an age of climate crisis.” (Readings review)

At MLC School, Madeleine demonstrated all-round academic excellence and was one of the top high achieving IB students for 2007. While in Year 10, Madeleine co-wrote and co-directed (and designed, produced, cast, lit and promoted) Working Title, a play about a girl whose life slides between reality and the world of movies. Excelsior 2005 described it as an “impressive original work” with “wonderful performances and script”.

Madeleine went on to complete an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University, NY. Her fiction has been published in The White Review and The Lifted Brow. Her novella, Afraid of Waking It was awarded the 2015 Griffith Review Novella Prize, and her non-fiction has appeared in The Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books. The Inland Sea is her first novel.