Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 6, 2012

2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

Thanks to Book Award Tragic for the latest news and the back story about why the NSW Premier’s Award is six months late this year.

Congratulations to all the authors and publishers!

2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)

Anna Funder, All That I Am (Penguin Group Australia), see my review
Kate Grenville, Sarah Thornhill (Text Publishing Company), see my review
Gail Jones, Five Bells (Random House Australia), see Kim’s review at Reading Matters and one from Kevin from Canada.
Malcolm Knox, The Life (Allen & Unwin)
Kim Scott, That Deadman Dance (Pan Macmillan Australia), see my review
Rohan Wilson, The Roving Party (Allen & Unwin), see my review
Commended: Mark Dapin, Spirit House (Pan Macmillan Australia), see my review

The UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5000)

Peggy Frew, House of Sticks (Scribe Publications)
Anna Funder, All That I Am (Penguin Group Australia) see my review.  (‘New’ writing must mean something different to the judges, Anna Funder is the best selling and award winning author of Stasiland).
Favel Parrett, Past the Shallows (Hachette Australia), see my review.
Edwina Shaw, Thrill Seekers (Cutting Edge) (Ransom Publishing)
Craig Sherborne, The Amateur Science of Love (Text Publishing Company), see my review.
Rohan Wilson, The Roving Party (Allen & Unwin) see my review.

The Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)

Delia Falconer, Sydney: Haunted City (NewSouth Publishing)
Paul Kelly, How to Make Gravy (Penguin Group Australia))
Simon Leys, The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays: Collected Essays (Black Inc)
Mark McKenna, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Melbourne University Publishing) (on my TBR
Alice Pung, Her Father’s Daughter (Black Inc), see Karenlee Thompson’s review
Martin Thomas, The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews: In Search of an Australian Anthropologist(Allen & Unwin)

The Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)

Ken Bolton, Sly Mongoose (Puncher and Wattman)
Susan Hawthorne, Cow (Spinifex Press)
John Mateer, Southern Barbarians (Giramondo Publishing)
Claire Potter, Swallow (Five Islands Press)
Gig Ryan, New and Selected Poems (Giramondo Publishing)
Tracy Ryan, The Argument (Fremantle Press)

The Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)

Kate Constable, Crow Country (Allen & Unwin)
Rosanne Hawke, Taj and the Great Camel Trek (University of Queensland Press)
Glenda Millard, illustrated by Rebecca Cool, For All Creatures (Walker Books)
Jan Ormerod, illustrated by Freya Blackwood, Maudie and Bear (Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont)
Sally Rippin, Angel Creek (Text Publishing Company)
Emily Rodda, illustrated by Craig Smith, Bungawitta (Omnibus Books)

The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)

Bill Condon, A Straight Line to My Heart (Allen & Unwin)
Ursula Dubosarsky, The Golden Day (Allen & Unwin)
Kelly Gardiner, Act of Faith (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Scot Gardner, The Dead I Know (Allen & Unwin)
Penni Russon, Only Ever Always (Allen & Unwin)
Vikki Wakefield, All I Ever Wanted (Text Publishing Company)

The Play Award ($30,000)

Vanessa Bates, Porn.Cake. (Malthouse Theatre)
Angela Betzien, War Crimes (Regional Arts Victoria; Currency Press)
Lally Katz, Neighbourhood Watch (Belvoir Theatre Upstairs)
Verity Laughton, The Sweetest Thing (Arts Radar in association with B Sharp)
Joanna Murray-Smith, The Gift (Melbourne Theatre Company; Currency Press)
Lachlan Philpott, Silent Disco (Griffin Theatre with Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and Hothouse Theatre; Currency Press)

The Scriptwriting Award ($30,000)

Peter Duncan, Rake (Episode 1): R v Murray (ABC TV)
Shaun Grant, Snowtown (Warp Films & Film Victoria)
Michelle Offen, East West 101: The Price of Salvation (Knapman Wyld Television)

The Community Relations Commission for a multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)

Tim Bonyhady, Good Living Street: The Fortunes of My Viennese Family (Allen & Unwin) Raimond Gaita, After Romulus (Text Publishing Company)
Nadine Helmi and Gerhard Fischer, The Enemy at Home: German Internees in World War I Australia (UNSW Press)
Alistair Thomson, Moving Stories (UNSW Press)
Arnold Zable, Violin Lessons (Text Publishing Company)

2012 NSW Premier’s History Awards shortlist

Australian History Prize ($15,000)

Russell McGregor, Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal People and the Australian Nation (Aboriginal Studies Press)
Mark McKenna, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Melbourne University Press)
Brenda Niall, True North: The Story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack (Text Publishing Company)

The General History Prize ($15,000)

Tim Bonyhady, Good Living Street: The Fortunes of My Viennese Family (Allen & Unwin) Ian Donaldson, Ben Jonson: A Life (Oxford University Press)
Paul Ham, Hiroshima Nagasaki (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)

The New South Wales Community and Regional History Prize ($15,000)

Deborah Beck, Set in Stone: A History of the Cell Block Theatre (UNSW Press)
Julia Horne and Geoffrey Sherington, Sydney: The Making of a Public University (Miegunyah Press)
Andrew Moore, Mr Big of Bankstown: The Scandalous Fitzpatrick and Brown Affair (UWA Publishing)

Young People’s History Prize ($15,000)

Anh Do and Suzanne Do, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, The Little Refugee (Allen & Unwin)
Stephanie Owen Reeder, Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea (National Library of Australia)
Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle, Playground (Allen & Unwin)

The Multimedia History Prize ($15,000)

Richard Corfield, Rose Hesp, Wendy Boynton and Andrew Glover, Ernabella: No Ordinary Mission (Compass/ABC TV)
Maree Delofski, Nick Franklin, Mark Gregory and Timothy Nicastry, Isle of Denial: William Cuffay in Van Diemen’s Land (Hindsight/ABC Radio National)
Catherine Freyne, Tit for Tat: The Story of Sandra Wilson (Hindsight/ABC Radio National)


  1. A wonderful collection of prizes & a fantastic resource. Particulary of interest for me is the poetry prize which I shall explore in more detail. Thanks.


    • Does poetry get published much in the UK these days?


  2. Congratulations to all the worthy winners, all who competed and everyone else involved.


  3. great collection of prizes lisa ,and yes there are a few poetry awards over here ,all the best stu


  4. Thanks for these award posts, Lisa, I’d never know about them otherwise.

    Good to see Gail Jones’ making this shortlist (thanks for link to my review). This is also a nice reminder for me to read Deadman Dance — it’s finally been released in the UK. *happy dance*


    • That Deadman Dance, yay, I look forward to you review:)
      BTW The best place to keep up with the award scene is at Book Awards Tragic, subscribe to that and you’ll always know what’s what!


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