Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 22, 2011

2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

Update 6.4.12

As it turns out, these are the last of these awards to be made. Shortly after the 2012 change of government in Queensland, the new Premier abolished the awards.  The David Unaipon Award for Unpublished Indigenous Writing will continue, albeit without government funding, but the as of this date, the rest of the awards have no future.

Do read this list below, to get a glimpse of the talent has been nurtured by these awards while they existed.


The 2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist have been announced, and I’m pleased to see that works I’ve admired are on the list.  Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers – well done!

Fiction Book Award

  • Geraldine Brooks for Caleb’s Crossing (on my TBR) HarperCollins Publishers Australia
  • Amanda Lohrey for Reading Madame Bovary Black Inc. (See my review)
  • Peter Rose for Roddy Parr HarperCollins Publishers Australia
  • Kim Scott for That Deadman Dance Pan Macmillan Australia (See my review)
  • Ouyang Yu for The English Class Transit Lounge Publishing (See my review).

Kim Scott and Ouyang Yu have both been featured in my Meet an Aussie Author series.

Non-Fiction Book Award

  • John Bradley for Singing Saltwater Country: Journey to the Songlines of Carpentaria Allen & Unwin
  • David Hicks for Guantanamo: my journey Random House Australia
  • Anna Krien forInto the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests Black Inc. (See Sally’s review)
  • Maggie MacKellar forWhen It Rains: A Memoir Random House Australia
  • Mark McKenna for An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark The Miegunyah Press (on my TBR)

History Book – Faculty of Arts, University of Queensland Award

  • Tim Bonyhady for Good Living Street: The Fortunes of my Viennese family Allen & Unwin (my good friend Lurline has just read this and says it’s terrific).
  • Emma Christopher for A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain’s Convict Disaster in Africa and How it Led to the Settlement of Australia Allen & Unwin (I toyed with buying this at the weekend, now I wish I had!)
  • Alan Powell for Northern Voyagers: Australia’s monsoon coast in maritime history Australian Scholarly Publishing
  • Penny Russell for Savage or Civilised?: Manners in Colonial Australia University of New South Wales Press
  • Martin Thomas for The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews: In search of an Australian anthropologist Allen & Unwin

Children’s Book – Mary Ryan’s Award

  • Michael Gerard Bauer for Just a Dog Omnibus Books*
  • Christine Bongers for Henry Hoey Hobson Random House Australia*
  • Luke Edwards for The Staring Owl Omnibus Books
  • Elizabeth Fensham for Bill Rules University of Queensland Press
  • Tina Matthews for Waiting for Later Walker Books Australia

*Links to my thoughts about these chidlren’s books are on my professional blog. Click here.

Young Adult Book Award

  • Cath Crowley for Graffiti Moon Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Ursula Dubosarsky for The Golden Day Allen & Unwin
  • Belinda Jeffrey for Big River, Little Fish University of Queensland Press
  • Barry Jonsberg for Being Here Allen & Unwin
  • Mark Svendsen for To Die For Woolshed Press

Science Writer Award

  • Jo Chandler for Feeling the Heat Melbourne University Press
  • Richard Smith for Voyage to the Planets – Episodes 1, 2 and 3 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Essential Media and Entertainment
  • Cheryll Williams for Medicinal Plants in Australia: Volume 1 Bush Pharmacy Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd
  • John Wrigley and Murray Fagg for Eucalypts: A celebration Allen & Unwin

Poetry Collection – Arts Queensland Judith Wright Calanthe Award

  • Caroline Caddy for Burning Bright Fremantle Press
  • Barry Hill and John Wolseley for Lines for Birds: Poems & Paintings UWA Publishing
  • Ann Shenfield for You Can Get Only So Close On Google Earth Australian Scholarly Publishing
  • John Tranter for Starlight: 150 poems University of Queensland Press

Australian Short Story Collection – Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Award

  • Patrick Holland forThe Source of the Sound Salt Publishing
  • Amanda Lohrey for Reading Madame Bovary Black Inc.  (See my review)
  • Wayne Macauley for Other Stories Black Pepper Publishing
  • Emmett Stinson for Known Unknowns Affirm Press

Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – The Harry Williams Award

  • Anna Krien for Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests Black Inc. (See Sally’s review)
  • David Marr forQuarterly Essay 38: Power Trip – The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd Black Inc.
  • George Megalogenis for Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era Black Inc.
  • Victoria Midwinter Pitt forL eaky Boat Matchbox Pictures
  • Lindsay Tanner for Sideshow: dumbing down democracy Scribe Publications (See my review)

Film Script – Screen Queensland Award

  • Alice Addison for The Hunter Porchlight Films
  • Beck Cole for Here I Am Scarlett Pictures Pty Ltd
  • Shaun Grant for Snowtown Warp Films Australia

Drama Script (Stage) Award – Griffith University Creative Writing Program Award

  • David Burton for April’s Fool Playlab Press
  • Jonathan Gavin for Bang
  • Declan Greene for MOTH
  • Daniel Keene for Life Without Me Currency Press Pty Ltd
  • Alana Valentine for Head Full of Love

Television Script – QUT Creative Industries Award

  • Wain Fimeri for Charles Bean’s Great War 360 Degree Films
  • Jonathan Gavin forO ffspring – Episode 109 Southern Star John Edwards
  • Christopher Lee for Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo – Part 1 Southern Star John Edwards
  • Christopher Lee for Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo – Part 2 Southern Star John Edwards
  • Michael Miller for East West 101 – The Hero’s Standard – Season 3, Episode 14 East West 101 Season 3 Pty Limited

Names to watch out for:

Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award

  • Andrea Dudley for From Winter or River
  • Annah Lee Faulkner for The Beloved
  • Bruce Nash for Empty Beach
  • Sally Piper for At Mother’s Elbow
  • Ross Watkins for The Arc

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – Arts Queensland David Unaipon Award

  • Dylan Coleman for Clear Water White Death: STORM ON THE HORIZON
  • Dylan Coleman for ‘Mazin’ Grace
  • Brenda Saunders for SKIN DEEP


  1. Good Morning Lisa

    David Hicks and his inclusion for the non fiction award is causing quite a stir in the news this morning. The judges obviously have agreed his book has literary merit and no doubt will raise the profile of the award which is a good thing.


    • Yes, that’ll set the cat among the pigeons!


  2. I’ve read Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks – excellent novel.


    • I really like Brooks’ writing style – and I must get round to reading some of her backlist too.


  3. I have two of the fiction on my TBR shelf. Not bad for a Kiwi! See you’re broadening my horizons, Lisa.


    • Not bad at all, Helen! But you’ve been broadening mine too, Helen, so we’re quits LOL


Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: