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Researcher's narrative therapy process helps create longlisted crime thriller

Published:04 September 2018

CQUni PhD researcher and Literary and Cultural Studies lecturer Leanne Dodd

A crime thriller written as part of a CQUniversity PhD research project is among 19 novels selected from 660 entries for the 2018 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers Longlist.

The award honours the former CEO of publisher Hachette, Matt Richel, who died tragically in a surfing accident in 2014.

CQUni Literary and Cultural Studies lecturer Leanne Dodd wrote Ebb and Flow as a project for her practice-led PhD, supervised by Professor Donna Lee Brien and Associate Professor Sue Davis.

Ms Dodd has also published a range of academic articles about the research behind its creation, which uses a process of creative life writing for post-traumatic growth framed by narrative therapy.

"Ebb and Flow is a domestic noir crime thriller centring around the abduction of a child, a genre proving to be popular at present, but it might also be classified as women’s general fiction, dealing with issues of domestic and family violence, mental health, motherhood, forgiveness and post-traumatic recovery," Ms Dodd says.

"I feel it is an important story to tell and bring to the world and this recognition in the industry will certainly open doors to help me to do that.

"I also hope to produce a non-fiction book about my writing process for personal transformation, which has great potential to help people to use creative life writing to change their lives.

"It is not lost on me that trauma and loss, the theme of my book, is the very thing that brought about this prize, in honour of a man who died doing something he loved.

"I am very humbled and grateful to be considered for the Richell Prize, regardless of the final outcome."

The shortlist will be announced on 8 October, and the winner on 7 November.

The winner will receive $10 000 in prize money, to be donated by Hachette Australia, and a year’s mentoring with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers.