Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 14, 2016

2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlists

2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlists were announced today (making me wonder why all these awards aren’t coordinated a bit better to spread the publicity).

Update (15/4/16) I’ve now added in the names of the publishers responsible for these beaut books, information not provided on the award website (about which, the less said the better).  Look closely at the extent to which small publishers are punching above their weight in these shortlists, and if you have time, read this (quite long, but interesting) article about small publishing and its displacement of the big publishers as producers of literature in Australia.

The 2016 Christina Stead Prize for fiction shortlist is:

The 2016 Indigenous Writer’s Prize

  • Ghost River by Tony Birch, UQP, 2015 (see my review)
  • Inside my Mother by Alice Cobby Eckerman, Giramondo, 2015 (on my TBR)
  • Dirty Words by Natalie Harkin, Cordite Books, 2015
  • Dark Emu, Black Seeds, agriculture or accident? by Bruce Pascoe, Magabala Books, 2015 (see my review)
  • Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven, UQP, 2015 (see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums)
  • Not Just Black and White by Lesley Williams and Tammy Williams, UQP, 2015 (see my review)

The 2016 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction

  • The Nasho’s War, Australia’s national servicemen and Vietnam by Mark Dapin, Penguin 2015 (on my wishlist)
  • One Life, my mother’s story by Kate Grenville, Text Publishing, 2015 (see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums)
  • Across the Seas, Australia’s response to refugees, a history, by Klaus Neumann, Black Inc, 2015
  • Reckoning, a memoir, by Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing, 2015
  • Island Home, by Tim Winton, Penguin, 2015
  • Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright, Giramondo, 2015 (see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums)

The 2016 Multicultural NSW Award

  • Shining, the story of a lucky man by Abdi Aden and Robert Hillman, Harper Collins, 2015
  • The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop, Hachette, 2015 (see my review)
  • The Principal, Episode 1, by Kristen Dunphy (this is a TV program, not a book) (I don’t know how to source a publisher for this one)
  • Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami, Hardie Grant Books, 2015
  • We are Here, my family’s courageous journey to survive, by Cat Thao Nguyen, Allen & Unwin, 2015
  • Vera, my story, by Vera Wasowski and Robert Hillman, Black Inc, 2015

The 2016 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing (I’m a bit surprised by the omission of Lucy Treloar’s Salt Creek).

  • Fever of Animals by Miles Allinson, Scribe, 2015 (see my review)
  • An Astronaut’s Life by Sonja Dechian, Text, 2015
  • Relativity by Antonia Hayes, Gallery Books, 2015
  • In the Quiet by Eliza Henry Jones, Harper Collins, 2015
  • When There’s Nowhere Else to Run by Murray Middleton, Allen & Unwin, 2015 (see my review)
  • Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman, Penguin, 2015

The 2016 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

  • Battlesaurus, Rampage at Waterloo by Brian Falkner, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
  • Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson, Black Dog Books, 2015
  • Laurinda by Alice Pung, Black Inc, 2014
  • Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward, Xou (Seizure) 2015
  • The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts, ABC Books, 2015
  • The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and his Ex by Gabrielle Williams, Allen & Unwin, 2015

The 2016 Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature

  • Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolley and Robert Ingpen, National Library of Australia, 2014 (see my review at LisaHillSchoolStuff)
  • A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay, Walker Books, 2015
  • Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray, Text, 2015
  • The Greatest Gatsby, a Visual Book of Grammar, Penguin, 2015 by Tohby Riddle
  • Flight by Nadia Wheatley and Armin Greder, Windy Hollow Books, 2015
  • Teacup by Rebeccca Young and Matt Ottley, Scholastic Press, 2015

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!

Update: Brown’s Mart Theatre (see comments below) has brought to my attention that I’ve missed some of the other awards.  I think I must have been accessing the website when not all the connecting links were live:

  • The Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting
  • The Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting
  • The Kenneth Slessor Poetry prize, and
  • The People’s Choice Award.

To see the shortlists for  these awards, click here.



  1. Is it awards season? You’d think the organisers would space the, out through the year more


    • Well, yes, especially with the Man Booker International shortlist coming out on the same day…


  2. Thanks for the link, Lisa. If you are interested, I’ve also read Ellen van Neerven’s Heat and light, and Kate Grenville’s One life.

    These prizes are so extensive aren’t they, like the Queensland Literary Award. It’s good to see so many areas being recognised. The fiction awards are interesting – not a lot of crossover with the Miles Franklin longlist. Only Ghost River and The world without us.


    • LOL I’m actually kind pleased that with my tired old brain cells I remembered as many of your reviews as I have. I think some of my other blogging chums have reviewed some of the others too, but I’ve been distracted by phone calls and haven’t had time to search yet. (I’m also finishing off a review of Patrick Holland’s fabulous new novel ‘One’ but I’m not going to publish it today because it would just get swamped by all the other book news. I’ll be surprised if it’s not on shortlists for next year.)


      • Haha, Lisa, indeed, you did very well! I’ll be interested to see your Patrick Holland review.


  3. All very interesting, and it is a pity that the awards nominations come out so close to each other. It is very surprising that Lucy Treloar’s Salt Country is not nominated, I wonder if it was a slip up. The Douglas Stewart Prize for non-fiction prize will provide a few headaches for the judges. The nominations are very impressive. I would be happy to see Ghost River win the MF or the Christine Steed prize; and Heat and Light win the Indigenous Prize.


    • I’ll be reading The Nasho’s War, it looks interesting in its own right, but it also looks like essential reading for my little writing project about the heroes of the Draft Resisters’ movement.


      • Mark Dapin discussed it a little at the NSW Writer’s Centre group he ran a few weeks ago. It’s on my TBR as a result. (Just as an aside – gosh, he’s a funny man! It was a lovely talk.)


        • I really liked his Spirit House which was shortlisted for something a while back:)


  4. Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting:

    Boys Will Be Boys (Melissa Bubnic, Sydney Theatre Company)
    Broken (Mary Anne Butler, Currency Press)
    The Bleeding Tree (Angus Cerini, Currency Press in association with Griffin Theatre Company)
    Battle of Waterloo (Kylie Coolwell, Sydney Theatre Company)
    Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday (Roslyn Oades, Malthouse Theatre)

    Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting:

    Last Cab to Darwin (Reg Cribb & Jeremy Sims, Last Cab Productions)
    Deadline Gallipoli, Episode 1 (Jacquelin Perske, Matchbox Pictures)
    The Secret River, Part 2 (Jan Sardi & Mac Gudgeon, Ruby Entertainment)
    Deadline Gallipoli, Episode 4: ‘The Letter’ (Cate Shortland, Matchbox Pictures)
    House of Hancock (Katherine Thomson, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder).


    • Thanks for this… I thought I’d missed something but the website didn’t seem to have a master page with all the awards on it.
      I’ve found it now – I’ll add the link.
      (There’s still no press release in my inbox with info that can be quickly copied and pasted, which is really annoying).


  5. Thanks for the link to my Gail Jones’ review, Lisa.

    Excuse my ignorance, but is the 2016 Indigenous Writer’s Prize new?


    • Ah, I don’t know. .. will go scout around and see what I can find….
      Yes, it is, new this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] 2015 — Murray Middleton, When There’s Nowhere Else to Run, see my review […]


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