Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 29, 2015

Joan London wins 2015 Patrick White Award

I am so pleased to see that Joan London has been awarded the 2015 Patrick White award!  I am a bit pressed for time this morning so will content myself with sharing the press release from Perpetual who administer the award, with congratulating the judges on their choice, and with a reminder to read my review of London’s latest novel The Golden Age and a Sensational Snippet if you haven’t already had a chance to enjoy some of the finest writing by any contemporary Australian author.

29 October 2015

Perpetual, as trustee, has announced acclaimed novelist and short story writer, Joan London, as the winner of the 2015 Patrick White Literary Award.

The announcement comes just three months after Perpetual also announced Ms London as the winner of the 2015 Kibble Literary Award and highlights the important role philanthropy is playing in the Australian literary community.

Caitriona Fay, National Manager of Philanthropy & Not For Profit Services, at Perpetual said: “When you consider Joan has won both the Kibble and Patrick White awards this year, it is clear philanthropy is having a significant impact on Australian literary talent.

“Patrick White established the award to create a legacy that would reward Australian writers and help them to continue to flourish. Joan’s double win will help her to do just that and ensure that she’s a name on our reading lists for many years to come.”

Benefitting from the proceeds of the Trust of Patrick White’s 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature, Ms London will receive $24,000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian literature. This follows her $30,000 win at the 2015 Kibble Literary Award earlier this year.

Reflecting on the achievement, Ms London said she was humbled to be bestowed such an honour from a fellow writer.

“I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Patrick White Award. It’s an award that has always intrigued me, embodying, it seems to me, the deepest values of Patrick White himself, who knew all about the highs and lows of the writing life, the anxiety and doubts that only solid, daily hours of application can help overcome.

“He knew also of the advantage of a secure living that enables writers to experiment, take risks, and give the necessary time and care to their work. It’s a writer’s prize to a fellow writer, and I feel very moved in accepting it,” Ms London said.

Joan London is the author of two collections of short stories and three novels, including The Golden Age, for which she recently won the 2015 Kibble Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She was educated at the University of Western Australia and has called the port city of Fremantle her home for almost 40 years. Despite this, travel has been an important part of Ms London’s life and global cities, nomadic characters and journeying infuse her writing.

Commenting on behalf of the 2015 judging panel, Dr Bernadette Brennan said: “The judges are pleased to select Joan London as the 2015 winner of the Patrick White Award. Her quiet, poetic prose opens up worlds, both real and imagined, of travel, desire, loss and love. London’s nomadic characters travel through space and time affirming through their relationships and varied histories a global humanity.”

The 2015 judging panel members comprised Dr Bernadette Brennan (Chair), Professor David Carter and Associate Professor Debra Adelaide.

Ms London will be officially honoured for her contribution to Australian literature at the Patrick White Literary Award celebration at Gleebooks in Sydney on Friday 13 November, 2015. Members of the public are welcome to attend. To book phone 02 9660 2333 or email

The Patrick White Literary Award was established by Mr White to advance Australian literature “by encouraging the writing of novels, short stories, poetry and/or plays for publication or performance”. For the past 42 years it has been bestowed to an author who has made an ongoing contribution to Australian literature, but may not have received due recognition.


  1. Wonderful news


    • The Patrick White award never seems to get it wrong IMO:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, it’s great news. And I agree with the comment about London’s ‘quiet, poetic prose’.


    • Yes, she’s not a showy writer, but a writer of great feeling. I thought The Good Parents was brilliant … and Gilgamesh… it’s just a pity it’s so long between books!


  3. Oh good for her. This came through while I was away so I missed it. Glad to be catching up with the news now!

    Liked by 1 person

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