Bella in the running for an Aurealis Award

Bella and the Wandering House by Meg McKinlay is a finalist in the Children’s fiction category of the 2015 Aurealis Awards. Picked from a field of some 750 entries across 15 categories, McKinlay’s book for junior readers is competing against her other 2015 release: A Single Stone.

Meg McKinlay said to be nominated twice was completely unexpected and she couldn’t help picturing her two main characters Jena and Bella facing off in an arms-folded, death-stare showdown.

‘When I heard I’d been shortlisted twice in the same category, my first thought was, “Wait, what?”’ said McKinlay.

‘I sink inside the story I’m writing and don’t really think much about whether it fits into a certain genre. And so it hadn’t really occurred to me that a book about a house with legs that wanders around at night might possibly fall into the “fantasy” category,’ said McKinlay.

In a statement released by the organisers, judging coordinator Tehani Wessely said the entries were of a very high standard and were subject to much debate among panellists.

‘The competition becomes stronger every year,’ said Wessely.

Winners of the 2015 Aurealis Awards, the Sara Douglass Book Series Award, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, on the evening of Friday 25 March, 2016 as part of the Contact national convention at the Hotel Jen, Brisbane. Details of the evening and a link to the online booking website are available at

Bella and the Wandering House is available from Fremantle Press and free teaching notes are available online. For class sets of Bella and the Wandering House bookmarks, contact

Books discussed
Bella and the Wandering House

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