Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 29, 2014

WA Premier’s Book Awards 2014

I’ve been really slack about keeping up with the awards lately, (I blame Masterchef for taking up so much of my time!) but I am so delighted by the WA Premier’s Book Awards shortlists I am hastily putting this together before dinner…

Children’s Books – I’ve read three of these but with apologies to the ones I haven’t read, I am shamelessly barracking for The Swap.  Buy it for a child you love!

Baby Bedtime – Mem Fox; illustrator Emma Quay (Penguin Group Australia)
Light horse Boy – Dianne Wolfer; illustrator Brian Simmonds (Fremantle Press)
My superhero – Chris Owen; illustrator Moira Court (Fremantle Press)
Stay well soon – Penny Tangey (University of Queensland Press)
The Swap – Jan Ormerod; illustrator Andrew Joyner (Little Hare Books)
Violet Vanishes – Ursula Dubosarsky; illustrator Annie White (Hachette Australia)

Fiction (I am very glad I don’t have to choose between the ones I’ve reviewed, they are all brilliant books.)

Coal Creek – Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin) On my TBR
Elemental – Amanda Curtin (UWA Publishing) See my review and a Sensational Snippet and get to know Amanda Curtin through Meet an Aussie Author.
Eyrie – Tim Winton (Penguin Group Australia) On my TBR
The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt – Tracy Farr (Fremantle Press) See my review and get to know Tracy through Meet an Aussie Author.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia) See my review and a Sensational Snippet.
All the birds, singing – Evie Wyld (Random House Australia) Hmpf.  All my regular readers know what I think of this one.  I abandoned it after 50 pages and nothing I’ve read anywhere persuades me to try it again.  But obviously finer minds than mine disagree because it won the Miles Franklin).

Non Fiction

Broken Nation – Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)
Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir – Kristina Olsson (University of Queensland Press)
Citizen Emperor – Philip Dwyer (Bloomsbury Publishing pty ltd)
Night games: sex, power and sport – Anna Krien (Black Inc)
Out of the Mountains: the coming age of the urban guerrilla – David Kilcullen (Scribe Publications)
The forgotten rebels of Eureka – Clare Wright (Text Publishing)  See my review.

Emerging Writers

Fractured – Dawn Barker (Hachette Australia)
Letters to the End of Love – Yvette Walker (University of Queensland Press) See Karenlee’s guest review
Salt Story: of sea-dogs and fisherwoman – Sarah Drummond (Fremantle Press) See my review
Stella’s Sea – Sally-Ann Jones (UWA Publishing) See my review

There are lots of other categories as well, (see the WA Premier’s site) but one book I should mention in the YA category is My Life as an Alphabet – Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin) – my Year 5 & 6 students love this one!


  1. Thanks for presenting the list Lisa.

    Although, given WA Arts funding represents aproximately 0.45% of the state Budget (down from a wopping 1% a few years back), perhaps the State Library – presuming they have a say – could re-think the title of the award.


  2. I’m so pleased to see Elemental on this list – very well-deserved. I didn’t realise you had abandoned ATBS. I’m surprised by the hype this book has generated. I thought it was very clever structurally, but it didn’t move me. I can’t quite get what’s got everyone so excited. As for Narrow Road – ugh! I found this book deeply flawed and it’s really bugging me to see it on so many prize lists when there are so many better books.


    • *chuckle* And doesn’t that just show how hard we readers are to please? We agree about All the Birds, but are poles apart on the Flanagan. I loved that book and while I couldn’t choose between it and Alexis Wright’s Swan Book for the MF, I was devastated that it lost out to ATBS.
      I am thrilled about Elemental, it’s a great book and utterly unforgettable.


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