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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


Man Booker Prize announces 2016 shortlist

manbookershortlist2016These are the six shortlisted novels for this year’s Man Booker prize. The shortlisted books were announced by 2016 Chair of judges, Dr. Amanda Foreman, at a press conference at the offices of sponsor Man Group.

man-booker-thing The shortlist features a variety of voices, from new names to award winners. The books cover a diverse range of subjects, from murder in 19th century Scotland to classical music in Revolutionary China.

The 2016 shortlist of six novels is:

Paul Beatty  – The Sellout   (Read about the book and author here)
Deborah Levy – Hot Milk   (Read about the book and author here)
Graeme Macrae Burnet – His Bloody Project   (Read about the book and author here)
Ottessa Moshfegh – Eileen   (Read about the book and author here)
David Szalay – All That Man Is   (Read about the book and author here)
Madeleine Thien – Do Not Say We Have Nothing   (Read about the book and author here)

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

The 2016 winner will be announced on Tuesday 25 October in London.

The Stella Prize shortlist for 2016

Hard on the heels of the announcement of the 20 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize longlisted titles comes the Stella Prize shortlist for 2016.

Only in its 4th year, the Stella Prize is, like the Bailey’s prize, for women authors.  From an enormous 170+ entries, the last 6 titles have been chosen by the judges – author and academic Brenda Walker (chair); writer and social commentator Emily Maguire; award-winning writer and essayist Alice Pung; literary critic and author Geordie Williamson; and bookseller and founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Suzy Wilson.

Brenda Walker said, “It has been a vibrant year for Australian women’s writing. The books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist are all exceptionally strong: finely composed and compassionate literary investigations of the fate of individuals interacting with the natural world and with social authority; with protection and self-protection in complicated environments; with the hard-won joy of living.”

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Click here for more information about each of the shortlisted titles and their authors.

The winner of the 2016 Stella Prize will be announced in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 19 April.


The Next Great Hotbed of Crime Writing – the 2014 Ned Kelly Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2014 Australian Crime Writers Association Ned Kelly Awards was announced at the Bendigo Writers Festival last weekend. The ACWA award prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing with four categories : Best Fiction, Best First Fiction, True Crime and the Sandra Harvey Short Story Award.

The winners of the 2014 awards will be announced at the Brisbane Writers Festival on Saturday September 6.

Chair of the ACWA, Michael Robotham, said of the 2014 shortlist, “I can’t remember a time when the competition was so fierce and the quality so high. Nordic crime has been huge around the world since the Stieg Larsson trilogy but I think Australia can become the next great hotbed of crime writing.”


Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher

Fatal Impact by Kathryn Fox (7th in the Dr Anya Crichton series)

In the Morning I’ll be Gone by Adrian McKinty (3rd in the Sean Duffy series)

Beams Falling by PM Newton (2nd in the Detective Nhu ‘Ned’ Kelly series)

One Boy Missing by Stephen Orr

The Dying Beach by Angela Savage



Dead Cat Bounce by Peter Cotton

Hades by Candice Fox

Blood Witness by Alex Hammond

Every Breath by Ellie Marney



Disgraced? The Cop at the Centre of Melbourne’s Gangland Wars by Paul Dale

Forever Nine by John Kidman & Denise Hofman

No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff

JFK: The Smoking Gun by Colin McLaren

Outlaw Bikers in Australia by Duncan McNab

Murder in Mississippi by John Safran



Housewarming by Louise Bassett

The Scars of Noir by Darcy-Lee Tindale

Voices of SOI 22 by Roger Vickery

Splinter and Web Design both by Emma Vickic

The full list of shortlisted nominees is now published at:

Judging books by their covers

When I’m not sure what I want to read next the cover really does have to jump out at me. My last random purchase was an edition of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell because it had such a lovely serene cover.

Here are the shortlisted books in the Australian Book Designers Association (ABDA) 2014 Book Design Awards. The categories are Literary Fiction, Nonfiction and Children’s Illustrated Books.

As you can see, some of the book designers have multiple shortlisted designs. Congratulations to all.


Designer : WH Chong

Literary Fiction : The Double by Maria Takolander

Literary Fiction : A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride


Designer : Sandy Cull

Nonfiction : The End by Bianca Nogrady


Designer : Jenny Grigg

Literary Fiction :  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


Designer : Alison Colpoys

Literary Fiction :  Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker

Nonfiction :  Madness: A Memoir by Kate Richards

Nonfiction :  The Coat Route by Meg Lukens Noonan

Nonfiction :  High Sobriety  by Jill Stark


Designer : Peter Long

Nonfiction :  Girt by David Hunt


Designer : Chris McKimmie

Children’s Illustrated Books : Scarlett and the Scratchy Moon by Chris McKimmie


Designers : Natalie Winter and Antonia Pesenti

Children’s Illustrated Books : Alphabetical Sydney by Antonia Pesenti & Hilary Bell


Designer : Ben Sanders

Children’s Illustrated Books : I’ve an Uncle Ivan by Ben Sanders


Designer : Shaun Tan

Children’s Illustrated Books : Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

 What do you think of these covers? Any that pique your interest?


The 2014 Stella Prize shortlist

The judges of the Stella Prize (Kerryn Goldsworthy (chair); Annabel CrabbBrenda WalkerFiona Stager; and Tony Birch) have issued their shortlist of six titles.

Awarded to celebrate Australian women’s writing, the shortlist for this year includes :

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – a novel is based on the true story of the trial and death of the last woman to be executed in Iceland, Agnes Magnúsdóttir.

Kent, Hannah_cover image

Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport by Anna Krien – explores the facts, the claims and the ramifications surrounding a court case in which a Melbourne footballer was tried for the rape of a young woman

Krien, Anna_cover image

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane – an exploration of dementia and ageing

McFarlane, Fiona_cover image

Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson – Kristina Olsson’s story about her half-brother Peter, stolen by his father from his mother’s arms

Olsson, Kristina_cover image

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright – a “brilliantly surreal and inventive novel about imagination and the power of story” set 100 years in Australia’s future

Wright, Alexis_cover image

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright – on the role of women on the Ballarat goldfields in the years leading up to the Eureka Stockade

Wright, Clare_cover image

The 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on Tuesday 29 April.

The winner’s prize is $50,000. The other five shortlisted authors will also receive prize money of $2000, courtesy of the Nelson Meers Foundation.

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