Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 27, 2018

Jock Serong wins Staunch Award for a thriller without violence against women

Just a quickie because I am on the fly, but just had to share the news that Jock Serong has won the inaugural (UK) Staunch prize for a thriller that doesn’t feature violence against women.

A thriller in which a group of Australian surfers and a boat carrying refugees are caught in a storm off Indonesia has won the inaugural Staunch prize, which goes to a thriller “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered”.

A reaction to the prevalence of violence against women in fiction, the £2,000 award went to Australian author Jock Serong for his third novel, On the Java Ridge. Taking on Australia’s refugee policy, the thriller sees a group Australians on holiday in Indonesia rescue shipwrecked refugees from stormy waters.

 You can read my review here.

Read more about it here:


  1. What a brilliant initiative. I keep saying we need to change the story; I’ve stopped reading novels where the brutal death of a woman is the plot point.


  2. I’m so pleased to hear that this great novel has taken out this award. Jock Serong is a beautiful writer and masterful storyteller.


  3. If you follow some of the links from the Guardian story you will see that there’s been some disagreement about the purposes of the award, but I think the point is that this book is terrific, and we should shine a light on books that are great stories without the brutal violence to women. But how do we find them, if there isn’t some guidance to balance the overwhelming promotion of violent books by booksellers and publicists?
    Must go, I’ll be late for French!


  4. What a great award – but, like the Barbara Jefferis award with its “positive images” – I guess there are always going to be naysayers.


  5. Hurrah! I’m sick to death of reading about violence meted out to women!


    • Yes, and if the other shortlisted books are as good as this one, they’d be good reading too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good news for the author but what a terrible state of affairs that we have to have an award of this kind in the first place


    • Well, you’re right. Just recently one of our award judges spoke up about this issue of violence against women in books and I think publishers need to take a fresh look at it. An unmitigated diet of books featuring women as victim normalises it, reinforces the idea that women are vulnerable, and IMO contributes to making women fearful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I nearly got this on Reading Group schedule last night BUT not in the end. I can’t have ALL the choices!! However, I did get manage to get Heiss and Dalton on, which I consider a win.


      • Well done!
        Hey, tell your members there’s a book giveaway for the Heiss, I’m drawing it on Monday.

        Liked by 1 person

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