Three years later, struggling to pay her expenses, she entered a competition for young writers. Her A$500 second place prize led to the 2006 publication of her debut novel, Swallow the Air, an exploration of belonging told through the story of an Aboriginal brother and sister. The novel drew astonishing praise and several major Australian literary awards, including the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writers. The Sydney Morning Herald named Winch among the Best Young Australian Novelists of 2007. She is currently studying for her Masters degree in Poetry.
Now 25, Winch wants to continue to draw from her Aboriginal identity for her writing. She hopes that with Wole Soyinka’s guidance, she will “add to the wealth of indigenous literature, to bring voice, loud and honest, to my people, who for far too long have been silenced”.