• Tara June Winch. (Supplied.. )Source: Supplied..
Ms Winch said she hoped her win would encourage the next generation of Indigenous voices to pursue a career in the industry.
Hannah Ryan

16 Jul 2020 - 3:48 PM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2020 - 3:48 PM

The prestigious Miles Franklin literary prize has been awarded to Wiradjuri woman Tara June Winch, for her novel The Yield.

The Yield weaves together three stories and deals with themes of Indigenous history, dispossession and storytelling. The judging panel described the novel as "haunting and accomplished". 

Ms Winch's $60,000 win was announced in a YouTube broadcast on Thursday. 

Ms Winch said that she hoped her win would "[encourage] the next generation of Indigenous voices, to know there is a space here for you in the industry, and in the minds and hearts of a new era of readers." 

"We need to hear voices from across the nation to truly immerse ourselves in the song of Australia," she said.

She said her presence with Tony Birch on the shortlist was "historical" and "signals to the publishing industry that we can write our own stories, and that we don't want to be spoken for." 

Richard Neville of the State Library of NSW spoke on behalf of the judging panel and said the book "explores the legacies of colonial violence, shame, inter-generational trauma and environmental destruction.

"Winch celebrates and amplifies the contemporary resurgence and relevance of the Wiradjuri language. The Yield, a story of pain, loss, resilience and hope, is a novel where the past is the present is the future."

Previous Indigenous winners of the Miles Franklin include Melissa Lucashenko, who won in 2019 for Too Much Lip, Alexis Wright and Kim Scott. 

The other shortlisted authors were Peggy Frew, Philip Salmon, Carrie Tiffany and John Hughes.