Victorian writers celebrated at the 2018 Melbourne Prize

Alison Lester - photo courtesy of Affirm PressVictorian writers Alison Lester, Maria Tumarkin and Jamie Marina Lau have been recognised at this year’s Melbourne Prize for Literature.

Children’s book author and illustrator Alison Lester received the top award, the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature. This award honours Lester’s contribution to Australian literature and recognises her work with children in remote indigenous communities and through the Royal Children’s Hospital. This prize is supported by Principal Partner the Vera Moore Foundation, Tallis Foundation and Melbourne Prize Trust.

Maria Tumarkin received the Best Writing Award 2018 for Axiomatic (Brow Books), recognised as ‘a work of outstanding clarity, originality and creativity’. The $30,000 award is supported by The Robert Salzer Foundation.

Early career author Jamie Marina Lau has been awarded the new Readings Residency Award. This Award includes a residency at The University of Melbourne’s Norma Redpath Studio and an affiliation with the School of Culture and Communication, $5,000 supported by Readings, and a $2,500 Qantas travel voucher.

The 2018 winners were selected by the Melbourne Prize judging panel, comprising some of Australia’s most respected literary identities. The 2018 judges included celebrated authors Andrea Goldsmith and Nam Le; Artistic Director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, Marieke Hardy; Writer and Creative Producer, Khalid Warsame and Director of The Wheeler Centre, Michael Williams.

Each of the finalists across all 2018 award categories are still in the running for the publicly-voted $4,000 Civic Choice Award 2018, supported by Hardie Grant Books. For more information and to vote in the Civic Choice Award, visit: for details.

Image: Alison Lester – photo courtesy of Affirm Press

Melbourne Prize for Literature 2018 – Finalists
Tony Birch
Gideon Haigh
Alison Lester – Winner
Christos Tsiolkas
Alexis Wright

Best Writing Award 2018 – Finalists
Judith Bishop
Angus Cerini
Kate Cole-Adams
Briohny Doyle
A. Frances Johnson
Maria Tumarkin – Winner
Sarah Krasnostein
Louise Milligan
Jock Serong
Jeff Sparrow

Readings Residency Award 2018 – Finalists
Jamie Marina Lau – Winner

Micheline Lee
Marlee Jane Ward