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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Victorian Premier's Literary Award 2017: This Year's Winners!

I pinched the short list from the Wheeler Centre web site, after reading on the Age web site that the winner of the Fiction award had died and the prize was posthumous. The awards were only handed out this evening.

So much for my going on Twitter to find out these things in time. Sigh!

The only two judges I've heard of are the lovely Alice Pung and Marlee Jane Ward, though I've only heard of the latter because we were both on a panel at last year's Continuum. I did download her YA novel, but haven't got around to reading more than a page or two. I am such a greedy reader, I just can't read it all!

Of the books, I have The Bone Sparrow, which I really must read, because it's bound to be on this year's CBCA shortlist, and The Fighter, which is a wonderful book that deserves an award. But then, I haven't read the others on the list. To be honest I don't read much in the way of adult books.  Non fiction, yes, if it's about a subject that interests me. Genre fiction, yes. But not mainstream and certainly not a book about a woman who gets brain cancer. (The winner) Mind you, teenagers love to sob their hearts out over novels with dying protagonists. So maybe that one will have a new market in a few years, the theme is just not my cup of tea. Sad about the author, though! 

Anyway, here it is, in case you want to follow it up. Enjoy!

The Judges

Fiction: Stella Charls, Alice Pung, Jo Case (convener)

Non-fiction: Bruce Pascoe, Sami Shah, Jordy Silverstein, Michaela McGuire, Sharon Mullins (convener)

Drama: Jane Harrison, Emilie Collyer, John Bailey (convener)

Poetry: Samah Sabawi, Emilie Zoey Baker, Alicia Sometimes (convener)

Writing for Young Adults: Marlee Jane Ward, Davina Bell, Jess Tran (convener)
The shortlist
I've put the winners in bold.

  • Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
  • The Healing Party by Micheline Lee (Black Inc.)
  • Wood Green by Sean Rabin (Giramondo)
  • Waiting by Philip Salom (Puncher and Wattmann)
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)
  • The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe Publications)
  • Songs of a War Boy by Deng Adut with Ben Mckelvey (Hachette Australia)
  • The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
  • The Killing Season Uncut by Sarah Ferguson with Patricia Drum (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth Publishing)
  • Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (Scribe Publications)
  • The Fighter by Arnold Zable (Text Publishing)
  • Girl Shut Your Mouth by Gita Bezard (Black Swan State Theatre Company)
  • Trigger Warning by Zoë Coombs Marr (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
  • The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press)
  • Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
  • Painting Red Orchids by Eileen Chong (Pitt Street Poetry)
  • Bull Days by Tina Giannoukos (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
Writing for Young Adults
  • When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Pan Macmillan Australia). Also won the People's Choice Award. 
  • The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)
  • The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale (Penguin Random House Australia)

Highly commended

· An Isolated Incident by Emily McGuire (Pan Macmillan)
· Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
· After the Carnage by Tara June Winch (University of Queensland Press)
Writing for Young Adults
· Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin)
· Frankie by Shivaun Plozza (Penguin Books Australia)


Lexa Cain said...

It's great you read so many books and pay attention to contest winners. I bet that helps a lot with teaching and recommending books to others. I find I'm not that fond of prize winners or bestsellers. Just not a typical reader I guess. I hope you have a lovely week!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yeah, I have done a few posts on that subject the last few days, haven't I? Well, they all turned up at the same time. Next one, I think, will be the Children's Book Council Awards in April, unless the Aurealises come first. And while I quite often don't agree with the results of that, I do know that the judges are people who work with kids and love books. And it's worth reading them, even if you end up saying, "How did THAT get the prize?" I won't sneer at something for being a bestseller. There are a lot of awful best sellers, but also some amazing stuff. Look at the Harry Potter series. ;-)