Winners announced for 2021 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

SLNSW-2021-NSW-Premiers-Literary-AwardsWith a total of $305,000 awarded across 13 prizes, the State Library of NSW has announced the winners of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

“For more than four decades, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have provided a benchmark for Australian writing, recognising the year’s greatest achievements by established and emerging authors, playwrights and scriptwriters,” said NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP. I congratulate all the award winners and nominees whose work enriches our lives.”

Established in 1979, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have a proud history, both in celebrating achievement by Australian writers and in helping to establish values and standards in Australian literature, and have recognised hundreds of talented Australian writers: novelists, poets, playwrights, script writers, translators, and authors of non-fiction and children’s books.

Past winners have included such notable writers as Peter Carey, David Malouf AO, Elizabeth Jolley, Thomas Keneally AO and Helen Garner.

“The judges considered more than 600 written works in a dazzling array of genres and styles, many of them raising fundamental questions about authorship and who gets to tell the stories of our country,” said Senior Judge, Jane McCredie.

“The winning writers stand out for their literary skill and the urgency of their themes, whether applied to the most intimate subject matter or larger global narratives.”

Book of the Year ($10,000)
Throat by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville (Text Publishing)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000 – sponsored by UTS)
Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne (Text Publishing)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction ($40,000)
The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire by Kate Fullagar (Yale University Press)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
Throat by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
The Grandest Bookshop in the World by Amelia Mellor (Affirm Press)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)
The End of the World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell (Text Publishing)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
Milk by Dylan Van Den Berg (The Street Theatre)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
FREEMAN by Laurence Billiet (General Strike & Matchbox Pictures)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
Throat by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)

NSW Translation Prize ($30,000) – biennial award – joint winners
Autumn Manuscripts by Tasos Leivaditis, translated by N.N. Trakakis (Smokestack Books)
Imminence by Mariana Dimópulos, translated by Alice Whitmore (Giramondo Publishing)

Special Award ($10,000)
Melina Marchetta

People’s Choice Award
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (Affirm Press)

“Writing and reading keep us alive. I thank the NSW Government for recognising this and congratulate all this year’s Premier’s Literary Award writers and publishers,” said State Librarian John Vallance.

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards are administered by the State Library of NSW in association with Create NSW. The State Library acknowledges the sponsorship of Multicultural NSW and the University of Technology Sydney. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Winning books of the 2021 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – courtesy of the State Library of NSW