Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 8, 2010

2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award winners announced

Straight from the Press Release, as follows:

Celebrating Australia’s finest authors

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for the Arts Simon Crean today announced the four winners of the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Australia’s richest literary prize.

Eva Hornung, Grace Karskens, Bill Condon and Lorraine Marwood each received $100,000 for their winning books which were selected from a field of over 330 entries.

The Prime Minister congratulated the winners and 29 shortlisted authors for their superb contribution to Australia’s literary and cultural landscape.

The winner of the Fiction award is Eva Hornung for her outstanding novel Dog Boy. This daring novel with ancient folkloric and literary traditions of children lost, then raised and nurtured in the animal world was chosen for its testing but triumphant feat of the imagination.

The winning entry for Non-fiction is Grace Karskens’ The Colony: A History of Early Sydney an intimate account of the transformation of a campsite in a beautiful cove to the town that later became Sydney, was praised by the judges for its high literary quality and originality.

This year the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards included two new categories; Children’s and Young adult fiction. The inaugural Young adult fiction winner is Bill Condon’s Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. This poignant, funny and deeply insightful rite of passage novel is about a student who attends a Catholic boys’ school in 1967. The pain of first love and the morality attached to individual life choices is made contemporary in a work praised by the judges as one of tremendous honesty and integrity.

The Children’s fiction winner is Star Jumps by Lorraine Marwood, a verse novel told through the eyes of a young girl depicting the joys and heartbreaks of a farming family as they struggle to cope with the devastating effects of long-term drought. According to the judges it was the ‘surprise package’ in the list and the voice in which it is written is appealing, authentic and irresistible.

The Prime Minister thanked the judges Peter Pierce, Brian Johns, Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Lyn Gallacher, John Hay, Faye Sutherland, Colin Steele, Mary-Ruth Mendel, and Mike Shuttleworth for their commitment in reading and considering the rich wealth of writing talent we have in this country.

Mr Crean said the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards celebrate the important contribution of Australian literature to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life and reflect the government’s commitment to supporting a strong and vibrant arts community.


  1. Wow, you’re right on top of things Lisa. Thanks for keeping us updated. Interesting winners. I hadn’t heard of either the YA or the children’s winners. And 3 of 4 are girls!


  2. Oh, it’s only because I’m not back at work yet and the news came through on my email. Things will be a bit slower when my leave is over *sigh*.


  3. Do you have an opinion on Dog Boy?


  4. Not yet, Kevin. ANZ LitLovers will be reading it in February…
    I have read something else by the same author when she was known as Eva Sallis, but it was a while ago now and I can’t remember much about it.


  5. You plan your reading four months in advance? I am most impressed — four days is about my limit.


  6. Well yes, and more so! My ANZ LitLovers online book group (out of which this blog emerged) chooses its reading schedule for the following year in November. We’re just voting on it now. This is because many of our members live in remote or rural Australia and for them, getting hold of books isn’t just a matter of driving to the nearest bookshop. Some of our members are on a tight budget (e.g. mums at home on family leave and only one salary coming in) and a long enough lead time also allows for reserving books at the library. (You can see this year’s ANZLL schedule by clicking on the menu at the top of this page, and I’ll shortly be setting up the new one for 2011.)
    But this year I also tried to make a bit of a dent in my great pile of European literature on the TBR (Nobel Prize winners and ones recommended by Dove Grey Reader and classics I ‘should have’ read but haven’t, and I listed 100 books over at Library Thing to try to get through this year. I’ve read about 80 books so far this year but there are still 40 on the original list that I didn’t get to because I got distracted by other things LOL…


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