Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 8, 2011

2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award winners

Press release from the PM’s Literary Award:

Winners announced

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister, Simon Crean, today announced the winners of the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
Traitor Graffiti Moon The Hard Light of Day: An Artist's Story of Friendships in Arrernte Country Shake a Leg

Stephen Daisley won the fiction prize for his novel Traitor while the award for non-fiction went to Rod Moss for his book The Hard Light of Day.

The young adult fiction category was won by Cath Crowley for Graffiti Moon and the children’s fiction award went to author Boori Monty Pryor and illustrator Jan Ormerod for their picture book Shake a Leg.

Stephen Daisley’s debut novel, Traitor, is a story of war and love, and how each changes everything, forever. It tells the story of two men thrown together by war in the battle-smoke and chaos of Gallipoli – a young New Zealand soldier and a Turkish doctor.

The Hard Light of Day is Rod Moss’ moving memoir of his life in Alice Springs as a young art teacher and his intimate friendship with the traditional owners, the Arrernte people.

Cath Crowley’s book, Graffiti Moon, is a story of graffiti artist Shadow and his friend Poet who haunt the night and the dreams of a girl named Lucy. Told from alternating points-of-view, Crowley perfectly captures the teenagers’ tenderness and their toughness.

Shake a Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and illustrator Jan Ormerod is a book that challenges the boundaries of culture and of what a picture book can be. When three boys go into a pizza shop in far north Queensland they meet a pizza-maker, an Aboriginal man, who reveals not only the secrets of great pizza – but the stories that he draws upon for inspiration.

Now in its fourth year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards recognise and reward excellence in Australian literature.

In 2011 the winner in each category was awarded $80,000 and each shortlisted author received $5000.

For more information visit

Availability (all links are to Fishpond)
Graffiti Moon
The Hard Light of Day: An Artist’s Story of Friendships in Arrernte Country
Shake a Leg


  1. I must admit that I’ve never heard of any of them. Has anyone else? Makes me wonder if the PM’s prize is being used as a marketing platform for books that people haven’t read, rather than recognizing the ones that many people have? If so, I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not.


    • Traitor has been shortlisted for other things (the NSW Premier’s Award) and I certainly know the children’s book, Shake a Leg. It is a wonderful book, great pictures, clever cartoon format and a wonderful positive message about contemporary Aborigines working and going to school while retaining aspects of their culture and sharing it with the rest of us. The cover art is perfect, showing the white kid joining in, watching to see how the dance is done, and everybody having fun together. I’ve used it with my classes and the kids loved it.


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