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Crime Writers to Watch - Shelley Burr, James McKenzie Watson and Matthew Spencer

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At the 2023 festival, Anna Downes spoke to three writers about their critically acclaimed debut crime books

Shelley Burr was awarded the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger for Wake, which explores how the unsolved disappearance of a girl continues to haunt a small town. James McKenzie Watson’s Denizen won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize and is informed by his upbringing in regional NSW. Matthew Spencer’s Black River sees a serial killer preying on victims along the banks of the Parramatta River.

The Stories to You podcast series is supported by Create NSW. If you would like to contribute to the valuable work of the festival in fostering a culture of reading and writing, please consider a donation.  

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