Tonight at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, the winner of the prestigious $60,000 Miles Franklin award will be announced.
But eagle-eyed readers of The Australian’s website will already know the winner. Literary editor Stephen Romei’s column, which usually runs in the weekend paper, was accidentally put up a day before it should have been. The column didn’t run in the paper, but it was on the website this morning until 9.30am, when Romei got it taken down. “It’s not [cached] on Google, which is a relief,” he told Crikey. The early publication spoiled the 8.30pm embargo, and marks the second time this week that Crikey has heard whispers of the paper breaking an embargo.
The winner of the Miles Franklin is a closely guarded secret, and it’s hard to see the organisers being anything but livid at the reveal. Luckily for them, though, the column seems to have passed largely without notice on social media, where authors and literary fans are still expressing their excitement at seeing the winner tonight. We in the Crikey bunker have decided not to spoil their surprise.