2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlists Announced

NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2018 Shortlisted Books - courtesy of State Library of NSWThe State Library of NSW have announced the contemporary works by leading and emerging Australian writers that have been shortlisted for the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Thirty judges considered almost 600 entries across 10 prize categories, with the winners to be announced as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Monday 30 April 2018. $295,000 in prize money will be awarded, making them the richest state funded literary awards in the country.

“The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have a proud history of recognising and rewarding outstanding Australian writing since 1979,” said NSW Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP. “The quality and diversity of this year’s shortlisted works make for compelling reading, and I encourage everyone to enjoy and learn from the works of these talented writers.”

2018 Senior Judge, Suzanne Leal, commented that whether they’re “reconsidering the history of the powerful or bringing to life the voices of the disenfranchised, the forgotten and the unknown, the nominees have produced stunning works that are lyrical and poetic, bold and defiant, witty and empathetic.”

2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlisted Works:

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
Common People by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)
Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark by Catherine Cole (UWA Publishing)
Pulse Points: Stories by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser (Text Publishing)
The Restorer by Michael Sala (Text Publishing)
Taboo by Kim Scott (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)
Victoria: The Woman Who Made the Modern World by Julia Baird (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Enigmatic Mr Deakin by Judith Brett (Text Publishing)
Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth by Paul Ham (Penguin Random House Australia)
The Green Bell: a memoir of love, madness and poetry by Paula Keogh (Affirm Press)
The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton (Penguin Random House Australia)
‘A passion for exploring new countries’ Matthew Flinders & George Bass by Josephine Bastian (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
Archipelago by Adam Aitken (Vagabond Press)
Euclid’s dog: 100 algorithmic poems by Jordie Albiston (Gloria SMH Press)
Bone Ink by Rico Craig (Guillotine Press)
Argosy by Bella Li (Vagabond Press)
Captive and Temporal by Nguyen Tiên Hoàng (Vagabond Press)
These Wild Houses by Omar Sakr (Cordite Books)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrated by Van T Rudd (Hachette Australia)
The Elephant by Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)
Blossom by Tamsin Janu (Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia)
Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin Janu (Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia)
The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear by Margrete Lamond and illustrated by Heather Vallance (Dirt Lane Press)
How to Bee by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)
In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)
The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarsky (Allen & Unwin)
The Ones that Disappeared by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)
A Shadow’s Breath by Nicole Hayes (Penguin Random House Australia)
The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson (Penguin Random House Australia)
Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
The Sound of Waiting by Mary Anne Butler (Brown’s Mart Arts Ltd)
Rice by Michele Lee (Presented by Queensland Theatre and Griffin Theatre Company, published by Playlab)
Black is the New White by Nakkiah Lui (Sydney Theatre Company)
Mark Colvin’s Kidney by Tommy Murphy (Currency Press and Belvoir)
Little Emperors by Lachlan Philpott (Malthouse Theatre)
The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man by Tom Wright (Malthouse Theatre)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
Deep Water: The Real Story by Amanda Blue and Jacob Hickey (Blackfella Films)
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Series 2 Episode 4 ‘Birthday’ by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (See-Saw Films)
Sweet Country by Steven McGregor and David Tranter (Bunya Productions)
Seven Types of Ambiguity, Episode 2 ‘Alex’ by Jacquelin Perske (Matchbox Pictures)
Please Like Me, Series 4 Episode 5 ‘Burrito Bowl’ by Josh Thomas, Thomas Ward and Liz Doran (Guesswork TV)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
No More Boats by Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing)
The Permanent Resident by Roanna Gonsalves (UWA Publishing)
Dark Convicts by Judy Johnson (UWA Publishing)
The Family Law, Series 2 Episode 4 by Benjamin Law and Kirsty Fisher (Matchbox Pictures)
Down the Hume by Peter Polites (Hachette Australia)
Quicksilver by Nicolas Rothwell (Text Publishing)

Indigenous Writers’ Prize ($30,000)
Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling by Larissa Behrendt (University of Queensland Press)
Common People by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)
Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster Australia)
The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press and Belvoir in association with Oombarra Productions)
Taboo by Kim Scott (Pan Macmillan Australia)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000)
The winner will be announced at the awards night on 30 April. There is no shortlist for this category.

People’s Choice Award  
Voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award. The winner will be chosen by the public from the shortlist for the 2018 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. To vote, visit: www.sl.nsw.gov.au

The 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards will be presented on Monday 30 April. For more information, visit: www.sl.nsw.gov.au for details.

Image: NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2018 Shortlisted Books – courtesy of State Library of NSW