2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist announced

Open BookThe Wheeler Centre has announced the 28 works shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, including Australia’s richest single literary prize worth $100,000.

The shortlisted titles comprise some of the best fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, writing for young adults, Indigenous writing and unpublished manuscripts in 2018. For the first time, the Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript and the biennial Prize for Indigenous Writing will be presented alongside the other prizes included in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

The shortlist includes Man Booker Prize longlisted author Gail Jones; Miles Franklin Award-winning novelist Kim Scott; Victorian Premier’s Literary Award-winner Melissa Lucashenko; Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Award-winner Chloe Hooper; Melbourne Prize-winner Maria Tumarkin; Victorian Premier’s Literary Award-winner Michele Lee; award-winning poet Eunice Andrada; and Miles Franklin Award-shortlisted author Tony Birch.

The shortlisted works include a tale of grief and love, stories of war and migration, a powerful real-life thriller, a memoir about speaking up and fighting back, a side-splitting comedic play on the contradictions of Melburnian multiculturalism, an addictive ghost story, and a novel of survival and renewal.

The winners of the fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, writing for young adults and Indigenous writing prize each receives $25,000. The unpublished manuscript winner receives $15,000. All seven of the award categories go on to contest the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature.

The public are encouraged to participate in the awards by voting for their favourite book published in 2018. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be named alongside the general category winners and will receive $2,000.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards on Thursday 31 January 2019 at MPavilion – this year designed by Barcelona-based architect and educator Carme Pinós of Estudio Carme Pinós, in the Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne.

Administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were inaugurated by the Victorian Government in 1985 to honour Australian writing. For more information, visit: www.wheelercentre.com for details.

2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist:

Prize for Fiction
Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
Ironbark by Jay Carmichael (Scribe Publications)
The Fireflies of Autumn: And Other Tales of San Ginese by Morenno Giovannoni (Black Inc. Books)
The Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones (Text Publishing)
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (UQP)
The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida (Faber & Faber)

Prize for Non-Fiction
No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani (Picador Australia)
Staying: A Memoir by Jessie Cole (Text Publishing)
The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House Australia)
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)
Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic (Penguin Random House Australia)
Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Brow Books)

Prize for Drama
The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver (Currency Press, in association with Griffin Theatre Company)
Going Down by Michele Lee (Malthouse Theatre)
Barbara and the Camp Dogs by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine (Currency Press, in association with Belvoir)

Prize for Poetry
Flood Damages by Eunice Andrada (Giramondo Publishing)
Tilt by Kate Lilley (Vagabond Press)
Milk Teeth by Rae White (UQP)

Prize for Writing for Young Adults
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough (Hardie Grant Egmont)
Between Us by Clare Atkins (Black Inc. Books)
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Allen & Unwin)

Prize for Indigenous Writing
Common People by Tony Birch (UQP)
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (UQP)
Taboo by Kim Scott (Picador Australia)
Blakwork by Alison Whittaker (Magabala Books)

Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript
Wedding Cake Island by John Byron
Kokomo by Victoria Hannan
Frontier Sport by Wayne Marshall