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Winners announced for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced tonight at the State Library of NSW, with a total of $305,000 offered across 13 prizes.

Monday, 16 May 2016

NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “Tonight we celebrate our most talented writers and I am thrilled this year’s inaugural Indigenous Prize has been awarded to two of our best Indigenous authors. On behalf of the NSW Government, I congratulate all winners and shortlisted authors of the 2016 Awards whose works exemplify the high standard of Australian literature.”

Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive said: “The State Library of NSW is the home of literature in this great state. Each year it is wonderful to see how these awards celebrate the diversity of ideas of our community of writers. We are proud to manage the Premier’s Literary Awards in association with Arts NSW.”

According to Senior Judge, Ross Grayson Bell: “There were a record number of entries this year and the judges had the difficult task of narrowing down the winners from a strong field. It is pleasing to see first time writers and small publishers awarded tonight.

The 30 judges praise the NSW Government’s unwavering commitment to acknowledging and rewarding Australian writers.”

The prize winners are listed below. Judges’ comments on the winning titles are attached.

Categories and winners:

Book of the Year ($10,000)
Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
Locust Girl. A Lovesong, Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000 – sponsored by UTS)
An Astronaut’s Life, Sonja Dechian (Text Publishing)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non‐fiction ($40,000)
Reckoning: A Memoir, Magda Szubanski (Text Publishing)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
brush, Joanne Burns (Giramondo)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
Teacup, Rebecca Young & Matt Ottley (Scholastic Australia)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)
Laurinda, Alice Pung (Black Inc.)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
The Bleeding Tree, Angus Cerini (Currency Press in association with Griffin Theatre Company)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
Deadline Gallipoli, Episode 4: “The Letter”, Cate Shortland (Matchbox Pictures)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
Good Muslim Boy, Osamah Sami (Hardie Grant Books)

Indigenous Writers Prize ($30,000) (NEW PRIZE)

Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)

Heat and Light, Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)

Special Award ($10,000)
Dr Rosie Scott AM

People’s Choice Award
The Life of Houses, Lisa Gorton (Giramondo)

PDF iconDownload full media release

(PDF 171KB) 

PDF iconDownload judges' comments

(PDF 135KB)