Select Page

The State Library of NSW has announced the short list of contemporary works by leading and emerging Australian writers for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Thirty judges considered almost 600 entries across 10 prize categories, with the
winners to be announced on the eve of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Monday
29 April 2019. Up to $310,000 in prize money will be awarded including sponsored
awards, making them the richest state-funded literary awards in the country.

State Librarian John Vallance FAHA, said: “This year we celebrate 40 years of the
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Over the past four decades these Awards have
recognised and rewarded hundreds of outstanding Australian writers.”

2019 Senior Judge, Suzanne Leal, commented: “In works that challenge the
boundaries of genre and form, the nominees find wonder in a crisis-filled world.
With wit, compassion, intellectual rigor and careful observation, they consider
the triumphs and shortcoming of the past, the challenges of the present
and their hopes for the future. My congratulations to each of the nominees
for these fine works.”

Voting has also opened for the Peoples Choice Award. The winner will be chosen by
the public from the shortlist for the 2019 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. Vote
today via the State Library of NSW website: The winner will
be announced at the presentation of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards on 29
April 2019.

The shortlists for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards:
(arranged in alphabetical order by author surname)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop (Hachette Australia)
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Life to Come by Michelle De Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins (UQP)
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane (Giramondo Publishing)
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Penguin Random House Australia)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)
Saga Land by Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason (HarperCollins Publishers)
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths (Black Inc.
The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie (Finch Publishing)
Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Brow Books)
Tracker by Alexis Wright (Giramondo)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
Interval by Judith Bishop (UQP)
I Love Poetry by Michael Farrell (Giramondo Publishing)
Things I’ve Thought To Tell You Since I Saw You Last by Penelope Layland (Recent
Work Press)
Wildlife of Berlin by Philip Neilsen (UWA Publishing)
Blindside by Mark Reid (Puncher and Wattmann)
Rondo by Chris Wallace-Crabbe (Carcanet Press)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
Shine Mountain by Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin)
Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl (Walker Books Australia)
Leave Taking by Lorraine Marwood (UQP)
Dingo by Claire Saxby and Tannya Harricks (Walker Books Australia)
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (Hachette Australia)
The Dog with Seven Names by Dianne Wolfer (Penguin Random House Australia)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature ($30,000)
Between Us by Clare Atkins (Black Inc. Books)
Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein (Walker Books Australia)
I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale (Penguin Random House Australia)
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough (Hardie Grant Egmont)
Stone Girl by Eleni Hale (Penguin Random House Australia)
The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot (Text Publishing)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver (Currency Press)
Oil Babies by Petra Kalive (Lab Kelpie)
Going Down by Michelle Lee (Malthouse Theatre)
Lost Boys by Lachlan Philpott (Merrigong Theatre Company)
The Long Forgotten Dream by H Lawrence Sumner (Sydney Theatre Company)
Barbara and the Camp Dogs by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine (Belvoir

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
Picnic at Hanging Rock, Episode 4 by Alice Addison (Fremantle Media Australia)
Jirga by Benjamin Gilmour
Seoul City Sue by Noëlle Janaczewska (ABC Radio National)
Mystery Road, Episode 5 – ‘The Waterhole’ by Timothy Lee (Bunya Productions)
Mystery Road, Episode 1 – ‘Gone’ by Michaeley O’Brien (Bunya Productions)
Riot by Greg Waters (Werner Film Production)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Hachette Australia)
Rainforest by Eileen Chong (Pitt Street Poetry)
Home Is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire (Impress Books)
Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by Sisonke Msimang (Text
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (The University of Queensland Press)
Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic (Penguin Random House)

NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation (biennial award of $30,000)
Harry Aveling
Stephen Corcoran
Alison Entrekin
Penny Hueston
Stephanie Smee
Omid Tofighain (Highly Commended)


UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000)
Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)

Scrublands by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin)
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins (UQP)
Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau (Brow Books)
The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen (Pan Macmillan Australia)