New talent shines at Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

VPLA Michele Lee, Alison Evans, Sarah Krasnostein, Demet Divaroren, Melanie Cheng and Bella Li - photo by Connor Tomas O'BrienMelbourne-based writer Sarah Krasnostein has scooped Australia’s richest literary prize at the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Ms Krasnostein was presented the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature for her novel The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay and Disaster. In addition to taking out the top honour, Ms Krasnostein was awarded the $25,000 Prize for Non-Fiction.

Born in the United States, Krasnostein studied in Melbourne where she now lives and lectures in criminal law at Monash University. Her debut book tells the true story of Melbourne transgender woman Sandra Pankhurst’s life and career cleaning the scenes of violent crimes.

Melanie Cheng’s short story collection Australia Day was awarded the Prize for Fiction. Demet Divaroren’s novel Living on Hope Street won the Prize for Writing for Young Adults.

Rounding out the all-Victorian winners list – Michele Lee’s political play Rice took out the Prize for Drama and Bella Li’s text and visual hybrid Argosy claimed the Prize for Poetry. The publicly voted People’s Choice Award went to Alison Evans for Ida.

The Victorian Prize for Literature was awarded from a shortlist of 21 works across the five main categories, as well as last year’s Unpublished Manuscript Award winner Christian White for his work, Decay Theory, since renamed The Nowhere Child.

“This year’s award winners highlight the strength of local writers and publishers – right here in the Creative State,” said Premier Daniel Andrews. “I congratulate all of the winners and finalists. Your storytelling is truly inspiring.”

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards celebrate the best contemporary Australian writing and are administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria. For more information, visit: www.wheelercentre.com for details.

Image: Michele Lee, Alison Evans, Sarah Krasnostein, Demet Divaroren, Melanie Cheng and Bella Li – photo by Connor Tomas O’Brien


Winners of the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards:

Victorian Prize for Literature:
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)

Prize for Fiction:
Australia Day by Melanie Cheng (Text Publishing)

Prize for Non-Fiction
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)

Prize for Drama:
Rice by Michele Lee (Playlab)

Prize for Poetry:
Argosy by Bella Li (Vagabond Press)

Prize for Writing for Young Adults:
Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren (Allen & Unwin)

People’s Choice Award:
IDA by Alison Evans (Echo)

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