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NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

The Kenneth Slessor Prize ($30,000) is offered to a poet for a book of collected poems or for a single poem of substantial length published in book form.

More can be read about each shortlisted collection here.



The Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature

The UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

The UTS Glenda Adams Award ($5,000) looks for outstanding new literary talent and is for a published book of fiction written by an author who has not previously published a book-length work of narrative fiction or narrative non-fiction.  This award is sponsored wholly by the University of Technology, Sydney.

Winners for the 2016 Awards will be announced on Monday 16 May 2016.


In Cold Blood

Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of In True Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by Truman Capote.

In True Blood is considered to be the first narrative non-fiction book, that is a book in which factual matter is presented in a narrative way using literary techniques.

In True Blood details the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas on 15 November 1959. The perpetrators, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were arrested six weeks later, tried and finally executed in April 1965.

Along with his childhood friend, Harper Lee, Truman Capote travelled to Holcomb where they interviewed neighbours and police involved.   Capote also interviewed Hickock and Smith in gaol. He seems to have become pretty close to Perry Smith and there are question marks over the nature of his relationship with the convicted murderer.

In Cold Blood was published in book form in January 1966 by Random House although it had been serialised in The New Yorker beginning in September 1965.  It was an instant success and earned Capote much praise from the literary community, but some critics doubt its veracity and have accused Truman Capote of changing facts, adding scenes that never occurred and re-creating dialogue.

There have been three film and one TV adaptation of In Cold Blood. Most readers will probably best remember Capote (2005)starring Philip Seymour Hoffman who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote.

In True Blood can be found on the Adult Fiction shelves at 364.1523 CAP.

There is an article on In True Blood in Wikepedia which may be of interest to readers.

There are many other good examples of narrative non-fiction, a few I have enjoyed include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.  there are a lot more on this Goodreads webpage.


Podcast with Domini Stuart

Before her author talk at Blaxland Library last week, local journalist, author and speaker Domini Stuart joined us as a guest on our latest podcast episode. Domini spoke to us about her recent book Poor Me! How I stuffed by getting into debt so you don’t have to. Click here to take a listen online, or search for ‘Listeners in the Mist’ in the iTunes store to download our podcast for free.

Poor Me! is a helpful guide for people of all ages who are finding themselves with spiralling debts, and it is also a cautionary tale for young adults looking at getting a credit card, buying their first car or needing to rein in their spending.

You can can follow Domini on her Facebook page here: and be sure to check out all three of her books on her website:

Poor Me!

2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Shortlists

A few days ago the shortlists for the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards was announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke.

From children’s books that excel in the art of storytelling through to revealing works of non-fiction and history, the 29 books on the 2013 shortlists represent the breadth and depth of the Australian story and imagination.

Now in their sixth year, the shortlists recognise the best in Australian fiction, poetry, non-fiction, history, young adult and children’s fiction published in 2012.  A tax free prize of $80,000 will be awarded to the winner of each of the award categories. Shortlisted entries receive $5,000 tax free.

The 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:prem award

Floundering by Romy Ash
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Lost Voices by Christopher Koch
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany

Burning Rice by Eileen Chong
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson
Jam Tree Gully: Poems by John Kinsella
Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden
Crimson Crop by Peter Rose

Bradman’s War by Malcolm Knox
Uncommon Soldier by Chris Masters
Plein Airs and Graces by Adrian Mitchell
The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis
Bold Palates by Barbara Santich

Prize for Australian History 
The Sex Lives of Australians: A History by Frank Bongiorno
Sandakan by Paul Ham
Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking
Farewell, dear people by Ross McMullin
The Censor’s Library by Nicole Moore

Young Adult Fiction 
Everything left unsaid by Jessica Davidson
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson
Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Children’s Fiction 
Red by Libby Gleeson
Today We Have No Plans by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker
What’s the Matter, Aunty May? by Peter Friend and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge by Marianne Musgrove

Have you read any of the shortlisted books? Which would you nominate to win?

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2013 Shortlist

Another shortlist, this time for something close to home; the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2013.  There are several categories of prizes to be awarded.  The winners will be announced on 19 May during the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction – prize money worth $40,000

From the shortlist above, you can have your say in the People’s Choice Awardclick here to vote

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000 prize money)

Keith Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,00 prize money)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)

There is also a $20,000 Community Relations Commission Award, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the NSW Premier’s Translation Prize.

Costa Book Awards

The book world is agog at the shortlist for the 2012 Costa Book Awards.

Of the 20 books nominated, two are graphic novels!

The overall winner, to be announced on January 29, wins £30,000, while the category winners receive £5,000.
Here are the shortlisted books in their categories :
Costa Book of the Year

Days of the Bagnold Summer by Joff Winterhart (Graphic Novel)

Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Heart Broke In by James Meek


First Novel

The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder by J W Ironmonger

Snake Ropes by Jess Richards

The Innocents by Francesca Segal

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood



Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot (Graphic format)

Patrick Leigh-Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper

The Crocodile By The Door: The Story of a House, a Farm and a Family by Selina Guinness

Serving Victoria: Life In The Royal Household by Kate Hubbard


PoetryBee Journal by Sean Borodale

The World’s Two Smallest Humans by Julia Copus

People Who Like Meatballs by Selima Hill

The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie

Costa Children’s Book of the YearMaggot Moon by Sally Gardner

The Seeing by Diana Hendry

What’s Up With Jody Barton? by Hayley Long

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton

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