On 14 November, Susanna was awarded the Society of Women Writers highest honour, the Alice Award, an Oscar type bronze statuette engraved with the seventeen previous winners of this prize. It is awarded for her distinguished long term contribution to Australian literature and the award was presented by Professor Dianne Yerbury AO, LLB, PhD., at the State Library of New South Wales. The luncheon given by the NSW Committee of the Society of Women Writers was attended by writers, editors and librarians from New South Wales and others states.  Other nominees for the award were novelists Helen Garner and Janet Woods. Previous winners of this award have included Dame Mary Durack, Judith Wright, Ruth Park and Kate Grenville.

Susanna's final illustrated book in her women's series Australian Heroines in World War One will be published in April 2013.  Distributed by Dennis Jones of Melbourne it features the diaries, letters and photos taken by seven nurses including one who landed on Gallipoli and worked on a hospital ship taking wounded Anzacs from Gallipoli to Egypt, three nurses working on Lemnos and two on the Western Front as well as the first women war correspondent and two remarkable women artists caught up in the maelstrom of war.

Signed copies can be purchased through Paypal. Blue Ribbons Bitter Bread, the story of Joice Loch is now in its seventh edition and can be purchased direct from Dennis Jones and Associates of Bayswater, Melbourne, phone 03-9762-9100 and Royal Mistresses of the House of Hanover-Windsor can now be purchased through amazon.com

alice award

2012 award of the Australian Society of Women Writers

Susanna is the author of 17 biographies and art histories. Many of her books are Australian books on Australian women have been published by HarperCollins and latterly by Brisbane’s Pirgos Press. Susanna has two international books, The Impressionists Revealed, Masterpieces and Collectors published in three separate editions in the 1990s. She began work on Royal Mistresses of the House of Hanover-Windsor in 1967 when living near Hanover with her first husband, an Army psychiatrist. It contains the stories of 14 royal mistresses from George I and George II to Edward VI and the Duke of Windsor. It took over 40 years to compile and was published in 2012 to glowing reviews from Philip Adams in The Australian and Daphne Guinness in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Raised during World War 2 near London Susanna’s family home was bombed and her playmate killed when she was only seven, Susanna’s mother suffered a nervous breakdown and she was sent to live with elderly childless relatives and reading and books became her consolation. Much of her writing deals with the effects of war including her award-winning biography Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread, the story of Australian Joice Loch who saved a Greek village from starvation and led over 1,000 Polish and Jewish women and children to safety in a rescue operation partly funded by the British Government known as Operation Pied Piper, a female equivalent of Schindler’s Ark.

Heroic Australian Women in War (published in 2006 and still in print) was selected by the literary critic of The Australian as one of the Australian books to be given away in e-book format in November, 2012 with a very favourable review of the 6th edition of what has become an Australian classic book by Mark Day. Australian Heroines of World War One graciously funded by Dame Elizabeth Murdoch will be out in time for Anzac Day 2013.

Editors past and present, friends from Queensland, Canberrra and the New South Wales branch of the Society of Women Writers, established in 1925 filled the Dixon Room of the State Library of New South Wales, honoured by the presence of the State Librarian. The Society has been in existence in New South Wales since 1925 with a growing synergy of women writers helping women writers to achieve their potential. Professor Emerita Dianne Yerbury presented The Alice Award and stated, ‘a great interest and pride in the women of Australia and their achievements resonates throughout the books of Susanna de Vries’.

Many of Susanna's books are available as e-books, audio books and Blue Ribbons in a print on demand book from Dennis Jones Associates, Melbourne.