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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for the Arts Mitch Fifield today announced 30 books by Australian authors have been shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. This year’s shortlist features both emerging writers and established award-winning authors. The list features stories and poetry, books about history and key characters in Australian life, and stories that promise to engage young readers.

The Awards celebrate the immense contribution Australian writers, poets, illustrators and historians make to our cultural landscape. They enlighten, enthral and entertain us with their distinctive storytelling. Now in their ninth year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards recognise the best of Australian writing in fiction, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult fiction, children’s fiction and poetry.

The shortlisted books were selected by expert judging panels from 425 entries. Up to $100,000 is awarded in each category, with $80,000 for each winning entry and $5,000 each for each shortlisted entry. All prizes are tax-free.

Works shortlisted for the Prize for Australian History are:

  • The Story of Australia’s People. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia, Geoffrey Blainey AC (Penguin)
  • Let My People Go: The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89, Sam Lipski and Suzanne D Rutland (Hybrid Publishers)
  • Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose, Peter Monteath and Valerie Munt (Wakefield Press)
  • Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life, Doug Morrissey (Connor Court Publishing)
  • The War with Germany: Volume III—The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, Robert Stevenson (Oxford University Press)

Read the complete shortlist here.

For more information about the shortlisted books and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, visit or