Shortlists announced for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

2017 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction Shortlist - courtesy of State Library of NSWThe State Library of NSW has announced the works of today’s leading Australian writers that have been shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

With $310,000 in prize money to be awarded in 2017, thirty judges considered a record number of over 600 of entries across 11 prize categories, with the winners to be announced on the eve of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Monday 22 May 2017.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting and recognising Australian literary talent through the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards,” said NSW Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP. “The strength and variety of this year’s shortlisted works makes for fascinating reading and reflects the stories and experiences of our diverse society.”

2017 Senior Judge Suzanne Leal commented that: “In their breathtakingly diverse works, the nominees confirm that the world of Australian literature is sparkling. Showcasing storytelling at its finest, these works remind us that words matter and writers deserve to be treasured.”

2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlisted Works:

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)  
Vancouver #3 in the series Wisdom Tree, Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt)
The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
Where the Light Falls, Gretchen Shirm (Allen & Unwin)
After the Carnage, Tara June Winch (UQP)
The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)
Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers, Ryan O’Neill (Black Inc.)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000)  
The Memory Artist, Katherine Brabon (Allen & Unwin)
Letter to Pessoa, Michelle Cahill (Giramondo Publishing)
Dodge Rose, Jack Cox (Text Publishing)
Our Magic Hour, Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh (UQP)
The Bonobo’s Dream, Rose Mulready (Xoum Publishing)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)  
Everywhere I Look, Helen Garner (Text Publishing)
Talking To My Country, Stan Grant (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft, Tom Griffiths (Black Inc.)
Avalanche, Julia Leigh (Penguin Random House)
Our Man Elsewhere: In Search of Alan Moorehead, Thornton McCamish (Black Inc.)
Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire, Shane White (St Martin’s Press)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)  
Ghostspeaking, Peter Boyle (Vagabond Press)
Burnt Umber, Paul Hetherington (UWA Publishing)
Breaking the Days, Jill Jones (Whitmore Press)
Fragments, Antigone Kefala (Giramondo Publishing)
Firebreaks: Poems, John Kinsella (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
Comfort Food, Ellen van Neerven (UQP)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
Magrit, Lee Battersby and Amy Daoud (Walker Books Australia)
Something Wonderful, Raewyn Caisley and Karen Blair (Penguin Random House Australia)
Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli (Walker Books Australia)
Iris and the Tiger, Leanne Hall (Text Publishing)
Figgy and the President, Tamsin Janu (Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia)
Welcome to Country, Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy (Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker Books Australia)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature ($30,000)
Elegy, Jane Abbott (Penguin Random House Australia)
The Ghost by the Billabong, Jackie French (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Sidekicks, Will Kostakis (Penguin Random House Australia)
One Thousand Hills, James Roy and Noël Zihabamwe (Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia)
The Boundless Sublime, Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin)
One Would Think the Deep, Claire Zorn (UQP)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
The Hanging, Angela Betzien (Sydney Theatre Company)
The Drover’s Wife, Leah Purcell (Currency Press and Belvoir in association with Oombarra Productions)
Ladies Day, Alana Valentine (Currency Press in association with Griffin Theatre Sydney)
You and Me and The Space Between, Finegan Kruckemeyer (Terrapin Puppet Theatre / Honolulu Theatre for Youth)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
The Code, Series 2 Episode 4, Shelley Birse (Playmaker Media)
Sucker, Lawrence Leung and Ben Chessell (RKP Productions with Jason Byrne Productions)
Down Under, Abe Forsythe (Riot Film Pty Ltd)
The Kettering Incident, Episode 1, Victoria Madden (Porchlight Films / Sweet Potato Films)
Afghanistan: Inside Australia’s War, Episode 3, Victoria Midwinter Pitt (Essential Media and Entertainment)
Cleverman, Episode 5, Michael Miller (GoalPost Pictures)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)   
The Hate Race, Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru, Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth Publishing)
Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration is Changing the Nation, Peter Mares (Text Publishing)
Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea, Marie Munkara (Penguin Random House)
Promising Azra, Helen Thurloe (Allen and Unwin)
The Fighter: A True Story, Arnold Zable (Text Publishing)

The NSW Premier’s Translation Prize ($30,000)
J.M.Q. Davies
Penny Hueston
Jennifer Lindsay
Royall Tyler

Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize ($5,000)
Jan Owen
Christopher Williams

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 2017 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. To vote, visit:

The 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards will be presented on Monday 22 May. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Christina Stead Prize for Fiction Shortlist – courtesy of State Library of NSW