Dorothy Johnston and the Spoons of Utensia


Actually, we were looking for a picture of our friend Dorothy Johnston buried under a pile of books, but we couldn’t resist Dorothy is taken prisoner by the Spoons of Utensia, which we found on the wonderful Old Book Art site which finds treasures like this  in the public domain and makes them freely available to all.

No, Dorothy has not been menaced by spoons, but she is under siege from books books books, the entries in the Barbara Jefferis award, offered by the Australian Society of Authors for ‘the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society’.  Dorothy herself is not short of awards and has nine books to her credit, among them the Canberra-based Sandra Mahoney crime series. The shortlist will be announced in October. Between now and then Dorothy will be staying home with her spoons. You can find her at or check out the Sandra Mahoney Quartet at



6 thoughts on “Dorothy Johnston and the Spoons of Utensia

    1. We certainly did do Nano- without it we never would have written a book. We did it individually the first year and then Gabrielle had the idea of doing it jointly, 100,000 words instead of 50,000. From that came – tarantara, go lights, go sound – the first draft of Crane Mansions, which is still our heart’s darling and which we’re planning to put out in ebook form later this year. So yes, go for it. You just never know what’s in that head of yours.

  1. Thank you, Gert, for mentioning me and my books, and for commiserating over my approaching inundation. Having failed to find ‘utensia’ in the dictionary – archaic plural of utensil? – I feel free to invent some meanings! Perhaps other readers might like to contribute as well?
    My poor dog looks thoroughly cowed, but I look as sprightly and inventive as that other famous ‘Dorothy’ in The Wizard of Oz’.

    1. Judging by the extract I linked to, it seems that the spoons routinely arrest strangers and take them to the King for interrogation. The King is rather reasonable, unlike his counterparts in Alice in Wonderland, of which it reminds me. it was a best- seller in its time – I wonder how well-known it is to American children these days?

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