ASA awarded the 2015 Residency to Chloe for her novella intriguingly titled Infomercials for mixing bowls and treadmills, a study of the "suffocating effect" of trauma and heroin addiction. It is a dramatic and confronting account, structured through a retelling of the same scene, accreting the reader’s and the protagonist’s understanding about facing the past, the painful present and an uncertain future.
Assessor Judith Ridge noted the assured voice and confidence of Ms Higgins’ work. "The spiralling structure of the story, supported by the powerful intimacy of the narrative voice, draws the reader in to the ever-narrowing world of the protagonist. Ms Higgins balances the minutiae of Nora’s experience with the grander themes of addiction and the desire for oblivion with impressive maturity and technical finesse."
Assessor Lynne Spender drew attention to the writer’s language skills and the immediacy of the images she creates. "It is a compelling and entirely credible work, a sophisticated exploration of addiction and its colonising hold over those in its thrall."
This year the ASA received 25 eligible applications. Applicants came from all over Australia and the wide range of submissions of works-in-progress makes it clear that young writers are professionally and successfully honing their ideas and skills.