NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2016 Shortlist

I love the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. As a country boy at heart, I’ve had the best time when I’ve attended the awards dinner, just gawking at the Writers, including the ones I can claim as friends or – once – a relation. This year’s short list was announced this week. You can see the full list with judges’ comments on a pdf press release from the State Library, and you can click through to notes on the list on the State Library’s website here.

In case you missed it in the press (as I did), here it is, not as a dreaded PDF or requiring you to click back and forth, but with added links to my blog posts on the shamefully few I’ve read (or seen).

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
Ghost River, Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)
Locust Girl, A Lovesong, Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press)
Clade, James Bradley (Penguin Random House)
The Life of Houses, Lisa Gorton (Giramondo)
A Guide to Berlin, Gail Jones (Penguin Random House)
The World Without Us, Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000)
Fever of Animals, Miles Allinson (Scribe Publications)
An Astronaut’s Life, Sonja Dechian (Text Publishing)
Relativity, Antonia Hayes (Penguin Random House)
In the Quiet, Eliza Henry-Jones (HarperCollins Publisher)
When There’s Nowhere Else to Run, Murray Middleton (Allen & Unwin)
Hot Little Hands, Abigail Ulman (Penguin Random House)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)
The Nashos’ War: Australia’s National Servicemen and Vietnam, Mark Dapin (Penguin Random House)
One Life: My Mother’s Story, Kate Grenville (Text Publishing)
Across the Seas: Australia’s Response to Refugees: A History, Klaus Neumann (Black Inc.)
Reckoning: A Memoir, Magda Szubanski (Text Publishing)
Island Home, Tim Winton (Penguin Random House)
Small Acts of Disappearance, Fiona Wright (Giramondo)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
Brush, Joanne Burns (Giramondo)
Eelahroo (Long Ago) Nyah (Looking) Möbö-Möbö (Future), Lionel G. Fogarty (Vagabond Press)
The Hazards, Sarah Holland-Batt (University of Queensland Press)
Fainting with Freedom, Ouyang Yu (Five Islands Press)
Terra Bravura, Meredith Wattison (Puncher & Wattmann)
Not Fox Nor Axe, Chloe Wilson (Hunter Publishers

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
Tea and Sugar Christmas, Jane Jolly & Robert Ingpen (National Library of Australia)
A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, Martine Murray (Text Publishing)
The Greatest Gatsby: A Visual Book of Grammar, Tohby Riddle (Penguin Random House
Teacup, Rebecca Young & Matt Ottley (Scholastic Australia)
Flight, Nadia Wheatley & Armin Greder (Windy Hollow Books)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature ($30,000)
Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo, Brian Falkner (Pan Macmillan)
Freedom Ride, Sue Lawson (Black Dog Books)
Laurinda, Alice Pung (Black Inc.)
Welcome to Orphancorp, Marlee Jane Ward (Seizure)
The Peony Lantern, Frances Watts (HarperCollins Publisher)
The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and his Ex, Gabrielle Williams (Allen & Unwin)

2016 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
Boys Will Be Boys, Melissa Bubnic (Sydney Theatre Company)
Broken, Mary Anne Butler (Currency Press)
The Bleeding Tree, Angus Cerini (Currency Press in association with Griffin Theatre Company)
Battle of Waterloo, Kylie Coolwell (Sydney Theatre Company)
Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, Roslyn Oades (Malthouse Theatre)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
Last Cab to Darwin, Reg Cribb & Jeremy Sims (Last Cab Productions)
Deadline Gallipoli, Episode 1, Jacquelin Perske (Matchbox Pictures)
The Secret River, Part 2, Jan Sardi & Mac Gudgeon (Ruby Entertainment)
Deadline Gallipoli, Episode 4: “The Letter”, Cate Shortland (Matchbox Pictures)
House of Hancock, Katherine Thomson (Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man, Abdi Aden & Robert Hillman (HarperCollins Publisher)
The Other Side of the World, Stephanie Bishop (Hachette Australia)
The Principal, Episode 1, Kristen Dunphy (Essential Media and Entertainment)
Good Muslim Boy, Osamah Sami (Hardie Grant Books)
We Are Here, Cat, Thao Nguyen (Allen & Unwin)
Vera: My Story, Vera Wasowski & Robert Hillman (Black Inc.)

Indigenous Writer’s Prize (New Award) ($30,000)
Ghost River, Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)
Inside My Mother, Ali Cobby Eckermann (Giramondo)
Dirty Words, Natalie Harkin (Cordite Publishing Inc.)
Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)
Heat and Light, Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)
Not Just Black and White, Lesley Williams and Tammy Williams (University of Queensland Press)

The awards are announced on 16 May, no longer at a dinner but at an exclusive cocktail event, at the start of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. I’m hoping to have read a couple more by then. It’s a big list.

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