Thursday 3 October 2013

A Few Australian Literary Awards

There are so many Book Awards that Australian books & authors are eligible for that it would be impossible for me to feature all of them.

I will focus instead, this year for AusReading Month, on those awards that lend themselves towards "classics". The links provided will take you to the awards home page where you can check out the past winners lists at your leisure.

The above link will take you to the master post for AusReading Month. Add your link(s) so we can check out what Aussie books you've been reading.

The Age Book of the Year is awarded at the opening of the Melbourne Writer's festival. It "celebrates excellence in Australian literature...recognising the best works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry published that year". The awards began in 1974.

The 2012 Winners were:

Non-fiction - 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia by James Boyce

Fiction - Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears

Poetry - The Brokenness Sonnets I-III and Other Poems by Mal McKimmie

The Australian Literary Society Gold Medal

"The ALS Gold Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year. The Medal was inaugurated by the Australian Literature Society, which was founded in Melbourne in 1899 and incorporated into the Association for the Study of Australian Literature in 1982."

The 2013 Winner was Michelle De Kretser for Questions of Travel.

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award is "one of Australia's richest and the most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five.

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award has launched the careers of some of Australia's most successful writers, including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Gillian Mears, Brian Castro, Mandy Sayer and Andrew McGahan."

There was no award given in 2013.

The 2012 winner was Paul D. Carter for Eleven Seasons.

NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Have been awarded since 1979 and are amongst the richest prizes in Australia. They consist of up to 14 separate prizes including the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction, Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and a People's Choice Award.

The 2013 winners for these 4 prizes were Carrie Tiffany for Mateship With Birds, Gideon Haigh for The Office: A Hard Working History, Jaclyn Moriarty for A Corner of White and Aaron Blabey for The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon.

Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

The Victorian Premier's Literary Awards began in 1985. They consist of 5 separate awards - The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry, The Louis Esson Prize for Drama, and The Prize for Writing for Young Adults.

The 2012 winners were Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears, The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage, Armour by John Kinsella, A Golem Story by Lally Katz and The Shadow Girl by John Larkin.

Western Australia Premier's Book Awards

The WA Premier's Literary Awards began in 1996. They have a prize for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's, YA, scripts, digital narrative, WA history AND a people's choice award!

The 2012 winners were Michelle De Kretser Questions of Travel for fiction, Deborah Forster The Meaning of Grace for the People's Choice Award, Roger Averill Exile: The Lives & Hopes of Werner Pelz for non-fiction, Margo Lanagan Sea Hearts for YA, Robert Gray Cumulus for poetry, Steven Herrick Pookie Aleera is not my Boyfriend & Peter Macinnis Australian Backyard Naturalist for children's fiction & non-fiction.

Kibble Literary Award

The Kibble Literary Award consists of two separate awards: the Nita B Kibble Literary Award, which recognises the work of an established Australian female writer, and the Dobbie Literary Award, which is for a newly published female writer. The Awards recognise the works of women writers of fiction or non-fiction classified as 'life writing'. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.

2013 winners were Annah Faulkner for The Beloved and Lily Chan for Toyo: A Memoir.

Queensland Literary Awards

The Queensland Literary Awards began life in 1999 as the Queensland Premier's Literary Award. These were discontinued in 2012. However the Queensland writing community banded together to keep the award going.

The 2013 winners were Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko for fiction, Boy Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson for non-fiction, Like A House on Fire by Cate Kennedy for short stories, A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty for YA, Don't Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen by Narelle Oliver for children's.

Prime Minister's Literary Awards

The PM's Literary Awards only began in 2007 with 4 categories - fiction, non-fiction, YA and children's. In 2012 an award for poetry was added and the former Prize for Australian History was incorporated into it as well.

The 2013 winners were Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser (fiction), The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis (non-fiction), Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe (YA), Red by Libby Gleeson (children's), Farewell Dear People by Ross McMullin (Aust history) and Jam Tree Gully by John Kinsella (poetry).

Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature

The AFLA's began in 1986 & are awarded biennially for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children's. A YA category was added in 2012.

The Premier's Award recognises the most outstanding nominee from all those submitted.

The 2012 winners were That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott (Premier's & fiction), An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark by Mark McKenna (non-fiction), Taj and the Great Camel Trek by Rosanne Hawke (children's), All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield (YA).

The Patrick White Award was established by Patrick White himself with his 1973 Nobel Prize in Literature award money.

The idea is to award a long established Australian writer who has not necessarily received the recognition that they should have for their body of work.

The 2012 winner was Amanda Lohrey.


  1. Anonymous3/10/13

    Thanks so much for the links the hard part begins, which book to read!

  2. How interesting! I hadn't heard of a lot of these awards before. I'll have to keep my eye out for them!
    p.s. Featured you on my blog today for the Classics Club : )

  3. It's so good to see these awards surviving!


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