Last month I announced that I was one of 16 writers selected from over 850 entrants for the longlist of the Richell Prize, one of Australia’s most prestigious writing prizes.
For the shortlist, announced earlier this month, those 16 writers were whittled back to just five, and I’m honoured to have been included among them.
The judges said of my work:
“Written with great clarity and assurance, this [first-hand account of the global sex trade] is a devastating journey into the darkness of the human soul. Remarkable for the clarity and sophistication of its writing style, the subject matter is sensitive and delicately handled. This is a confronting story and the author maintained both maturity and humility in the narrative voice and shares important information in a gripping and compelling way. Randall is clearly a man on a mission to shine a light on the horrific realities of modern-day slavery. Chilling yet compulsive reading.”
The winner of the Richell Prize will be announced this Thursday 4th November – and whatever the results may be, I’m proud and delighted to have come this far. Thank you to everyone who has supported my work.
I’ve written and released three ‘Sisters for Sale’ books over the past three years, whose sales make a real difference in supporting our ongoing anti-trafficking work. If you haven’t yet checked them out, you can order them globally (digitally or as paperbacks) here on Amazon, or read the first chapters right here.
I’ll leave you with a few quotes from readers:
“Without a doubt one of the most remarkable stories I have ever read.” – Judith Cooper
“Oh My Goodness! It was amazing: I started reading and couldn’t put it down. This story stole my heart.” – Jillian Swisher
“I’m completely enthralled. All the pathos, intrigue and drama of a high-end suspense thriller, only it’s absolutely and terrifyingly true.” – Deborah Lee
“The only human trafficking story that has left me with more hope in humanity. I was ecstatic to read so many amazing stories of strong women. I was covered in goosebumps or close to tears so many times. I loved it, and genuinely could not put it down.” – Brittnay Mayhue
“I literally could not put this book down. Ben is an incredible writer and so generous in his storytelling.” – Kim Miller
“Ben’s writing ties together five lifetimes of experiences, an introspective nature and a focused, photographic eye. His crisp clean style goes to the heart of complex social situations allowing him to depict life with clarity but never simplicity, and his writing is a pleasure to read. The power of Ben’s storytelling is that he balances the complexity of the issues involved with an accessible and compelling narrative.” – Ian Tymms
“I was fascinated with his documentary but Ben’s book really harnessed the passion he has. I can’t even begin to tell you how inspiring it is – I couldn’t put it down, I was riding a wave of excitement the whole time. He’s an inspiration.” – Ryan Hunt Wescott
“Through his remarkable storytelling, Ben shines a light into some of the darkest parts of today’s world. There is suspense, intrigue, raw honesty, friendship and hope within these pages. Definitely a must-read!” – Janie Echt