Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has thrown down the gauntlet to readers everywhere, announcing the 21 works shortlisted for the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. The titles comprise some of the best fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and writing produced in Australia in the previous year.
The shortlist ranges from a collection of 58 sonnets that grapple with desire, ethics and compassion, to the story of two young Australians who meet at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides. There is a lyrical account of life as a child of black immigrants in the 1980s, an intense thriller about a middle-aged cricket star, and a reimagining of one of Australia’s most celebrated short stories.
The winners of the five award categories – fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and writing for young adults – each receive $25,000 and go on to contest the Victorian Prize for Literature. Worth a further $100,000, the Victorian Prize for Literature is Australia’s richest single literary Award.
The public are encouraged to participate in the awards by voting for their favourite shortlisted work. The winner of the $2,000 People’s Choice Award will be named alongside the general category winners on Tuesday 31 January 2017.
The awards include two further awards – the Unpublished Manuscript Award, won in 2016 by Melanie Cheng for her short-fiction collection Australia Day and the biennial Award for Indigenous Writing, won earlier this year by Tony Birch for his novel Ghost River. For the first time this year, these two additional awards will both be considered among the other five category winners for the Victorian Prize for Literature.
“The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards play a vital role in championing local writers and the local publishing industry, as well as celebrating some of Australia’s most exciting stories and storytellers,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley. “The shortlist contains a diverse and exciting collection of works, from new and emerging writers to some of our best-known and best-loved authors.”
“I congratulate all authors on making the shortlist and for their contribution to not only to our literary and cultural life and to Melbourne as Australia’s only UNESCO City of Literature.”
Administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were established by the Victorian Government in 1985 to honour literary achievement by Australian writers.
For more information, visit: www.wheelercentre.com for details.
Image: 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Fiction Shortlist
The 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist:
Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
The Healing Party by Micheline Lee (Black Inc.)
Wood Green by Sean Rabin (Giramondo)
Waiting by Philip Salom (Puncher and Wattmann)
The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)
The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe Publications)
Songs of a War Boy by Deng Adut with Ben Mckelvey (Hachette Australia)
The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
The Killing Season Uncut by Sarah Ferguson with Patricia Drum (Melbourne University Publishing)
Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth Publishing)
Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (Scribe Publications)
The Fighter by Arnold Zable (Text Publishing)
Girl Shut Your Mouth by Gita Bezard (Black Swan State Theatre Company)
Trigger Warning by Zoë Coombs Marr (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press)
Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
Painting Red Orchids by Eileen Chong (Pitt Street Poetry)
Bull Days by Tina Giannoukos (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
Writing for Young Adults
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Pan Macmillan Australia)
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)
The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale (Penguin Random House Australia)
An Isolated Incident by Emily McGuire (Pan Macmillan)
Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
After the Carnage by Tara June Winch (University of Queensland Press)
Writing for Young Adults
Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin)
Frankie by Shivaun Plozza (Penguin Books Australia)