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The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016

prime-ministers-literary-awardsThe Prime Minister’s Literary Awards began in 2008 and aim to recognise individual excellence and the contribution Australian authors make to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.  The panel of judges make recommendations to the Prime Minister for the shortlists and winners across each of the six categories but it is the Prime Minister who makes the final decision (and in 2014 Tony Abbott famously overruled the judges and made his own choice, The Narrow Road to the Deep North  by Richard Flanagan).

The winner of each category — Fiction, Non-fiction, Australian History, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction and Children’s Fiction — is awarded $80,000, with shortlisted entries each awarded $5,000.

The twelve judges over three judging panels for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards include:

  • Fiction and Poetry panel – Louise Adler AM (Chair), Jamie Grant, Dr Robert Gray and Des Cowley
  • Non-fiction and History panel – Gerard Henderson (Chair), Dr Ida Lichter, Peter Coleman and Professor Ross Fitzgerald
  • Children’s and Young Adult fiction panel – Mike Shuttleworth (Chair), Dr Irini Savvides, Ms Kate Colley and Dr Mark MacLeod

And the shortlisted titles for the The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016 are:







Australian History


Young Adult fiction


Children’s fiction


The winners will be announced later this year. In the meantime keep up-to-date via the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards  website or Facebook page or


‘Youth’ wins out in poetry slam

The title of Blue Mountains Slam Champion last night (Thursday 16th June) went to newcomer 15 year old Chloe Humphrys for her poem Youth, a spirited and brilliant examination of how it feels to be young and on the brink of entering the adult world. Chloe, a student at St Columba’s High School, delivered her poem with assured ‘Slam’ confidence and perfect timing at the Australian Poetry Slam heat in Katoomba Library in front of over 100 audience members.

APS 2016 l-r Chloe Humphrys, Philip Wilcox, Lewis-Alan Trathen

Photo (L-R): Poetry Slam newcomer Chloe Humphrys takes the title for her poem Youth at the Australian Poetry Slam heat in Katoomba Library; with 2015 Slam Champ, Philip Wilcox; and runner up Lewis-Alan Trathen.

Second prize went to local Lewis-Alan Trathen for Sunlit. Lewis, a poet and spoken-word performer, has been slamming for over two years and was a finalist in the 2015 NSW Poetry Slam so the audience was treated to a skilled and electrifying performance.

Overall, in this thrilling yet uncompromising and off-beat competition – where poets must perform their own, original work in front of a live audience for strictly two-minutes or risk penalty – the fourteen competitors enthralled the audience with tales of love-lost, messages to God, skin, Tetrus, eye-pochondria and much more.

But the evening’s highlight was a chance to catch performances from last year’s Slam Champ, Philip Wilcox, and experience the reason why he and other Slam poets continue to draw audiences and advance the standing of poetry and poets from around Australia.

Both Blue Mountains winners will now advance to the Australian Poetry Slam’s State Finals later this year.

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.

Alison’s Picks – February 2016


Debra Adelaide : The Women’s Pages

Mark O’Flynn : The  Soup’s Song: poetry

Elena Ferrante : The Lost Daughter

Carmel Bird : My Hearts are Your Hearts: short stories


Poetry Under the Stars @ Katoomba Library

The highlight of the Library year!


The 4th annual celebration of the wonder, joy and fun of poetry.

Bring a cushion and a picnic (no alcohol) to enjoy an evening’s entertainment.

This year, for the first time ever, our poets will present performances of classic and popular poems that you are sure to recognise.

There will be live acoustic music and then readings of poetry written by our very own local poets, Sandy Holmes, Gregory North, Elouisa West, Jenny Campbell, Tez Mac and Lowell Tarling.

The event is FREE and will be held inside the library if wet.

Friday 27 November 2015

6.30pm to 8.30pm


Katoomba Library

Enquiries on 4780 5750

#poetryread Twitter discussion – March 2015

Twitter logo for RWPchat postsRemember there will be a #poetryread twitter discussion on Tuesday  31 March 2015 starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time.  Or 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.  Use the tags #poetryread and #rwpchat as you discuss #poetryread reading, watching playing so others can join in the conversation.

However you do poetry, join in the discussion this month.


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