Winner of the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award and shortlisted for the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award & the 2021 Vogel Award, Kgshak Akec's debut novel Hopeless Kingdom is a 'powerful new voice' in Australian fiction.
From first draft to publication
I wrote the first draft of Hopeless Kingdom in March of 2020 and completed it in its entirety by May of 2020. We were in a nation-wide lockdown and I was spending a lot of time sitting with my thoughts and writing them out. I lived at home at the time and leant heavily on my own stories and experiences to build the world between the pages. I was very inspired by the relationship I had with my mother and how it began to evolve as I stepped further into adulthood.
I submitted the first draft to the Vogel Literary Award shortly after finishing and began a second draft later in that same year - which was submitted to the Dorothy Hewwet Award.
Come March of the year, I found out - in the same week - that not only was my first draft of Hopeless Kingdom named a shortlistee of the 2021 Vogel Award, but also the joint winner of the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award - which came with a publishing contract with UWAP. And that was it, my dreams of becoming a published author were right at my fingertips.
2021 - 22
I worked with a group of wonderful women, my publisher Eleanor Hurt, editor Elena Gomez and illustrator Mika Tabata to edit, reshape and bring the book to life from the front cover to the back.
August 1st 2022 the physical copy of Hopeless Kingdom is available in all good bookstores Australia-wide.