Searching for the secret river:

UTS Doctor of Creative Arts graduate Kate Grenville has recently released Searching for the Secret River a memoir about writing her bestselling novel The Secret River.

Both publications were submissions for her Doctor of Creative Arts degree in writing which she completed under the supervision of Associate Professors Glenda Adams and Paula Hamilton. Grenville graduated in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences ceremony in May this year.

The Secret River explores conflict between colonial settlers and Indigenous people through the story of a convict family who settled on the Hawkesbury River at the start of the nineteenth century. It was short-listed for the Man Booker prize and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Christina Stead Award and a NSW Premier's Literary Award.

Grenville originally intended to write a non-fiction book about her convict ancestor Solomon Wiseman but turned it into a novel when she realised that the theme of early exchanges between Aborigines and colonial settlers was of greater importance and interest. Searching for the Secret River outlines how the award-winning novel was researched and shaped and maps the painstaking process of writing draft after draft.

Director of the Centre for New Writing, Dr John Dale, says, "Our Doctor of Creative Arts, through the writing area, has produced some of Australia's most respected writers. Examples include Sue Woolfe, Angelo Loukakis, Anna Funder and Kate Lyons."

We have five copies of Searching for the Secret River to give away courtesy of Text Publishing. To win a copy email