Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 8, 2016

2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards winners

Tonight the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced.  Three of the categories went to joint winners, sharing the love, but halving the prize money.  But it’s good to see the smaller indie publishers do so well!

*drum roll*

The joint winners of the Fiction Prize are

The winner of the Poetry Prize is

The joint winners of the Non-Fiction Prize are

  • On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Melbourne University Press, 2015, see the review at The Guardian
  • Thea Astley: Inventing her own Weather, Karen Lamb, UQP, 2015, see my review

The joint winners of the Australian History Prize are

  • The Story of Australia’s People. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia, Geoffrey Blainey AC, Viking Penguin, 2015, see the review at the SMH
  • Let My People Go: The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89, Sam Lipski and Suzanne D Rutland, Hybrid Publishers, 2015, see the review at the Sydney Institute

The winner of the YA Prize is

The winner of the Children’s Fiction Prize is

These are the remaining titles from the shortlists,


Forever Young, Steven Carroll, Harper Collins, 2015, see my review
The World Repair Video Game, David Ireland AM, Island Magazine, 2015, (I wanted this, but it was a limited edition and with postage as well, too expensive for my budget), see the review at the SMH.  Update 1/12/16, see my review, thanks to the generosity of Tony from Messenger’s Booker
Quicksand, Steve Toltz,  Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2015, see my review


(I don’t review poetry, but Tony at Messenger’s Booker does, so these are all his reviews)

Net Needle, Robert Adamson, Black Inc, 2015, see Tony’s review at Messenger’s Booker
Cocky’s Joy, Michael Farrell, Giramondo, 2015, see Tony’s review and an interview with the poet at Messenger’s Booker
Waiting for the Past, Les Murray AO, Black Inc, 2015, see Tony’s review at Messenger’s Booker
The Ladder, Simon West, Puncher & Wattmann, 2015, see Tony’s review at Messenger’s Booker

Australian History

Red Professor:  The Cold War Life of Fred Rose, Peter Monteath and Valerie Munt, Wakefield Press, 2015
Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life, Doug Morrissey, Connor Court, 2015
The War with Germany: Volume III—The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, Robert Stevenson, Oxford University Press, 2015


Tom Roberts and the Art of Portraiture, Julie Cotter, Thames & Hudson, 2015
Second Half First, Drusilla Modjeska, Penguin, 2015 
Island Home
, Tim Winton, Penguin, 2015

Children’s Fiction

Adelaide’s Secret World, Elise Hurst, Allen & Unwin, 2015
Perfect, Danny Parker and Freya Blackwood, Hardie Grant Egmont, 2015
The Greatest Gatsby: A visual book of grammar, Tohby Riddle, Penguin, 2015
Mr Huff, Anna Walker, Penguin Books, 2015

Young Adult Fiction

Becoming Kirrali Lewis, Jane Harrison, Magabala Books, 2015
Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Allen & Unwin, 2015
Inbetween Days, Vikki Wakefield, Text publishing, 2015
Green Valentine, Lili Wilkinson, Allen & Unwin, 2015

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!

PS You can read the media release and visit for more information about the shortlisted books and to see the judges’ comments.

PPS Thanks for ArtsWorks for a user friendly media release!


  1. Wow! That was quick posting!!


    • Easy as, with WordPress. I used Copy a Post to copy my shortlist post, and then just tweaked it as the winners came through on Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for being the first to alert us! At Hybrid we’re thrilled to have been involved in publishing ‘Let My People Go’, the joint winners of the Australian History Prize.


    • It’s wonderful news, I hope it brings bountiful sales:)


  3. Both of the fiction winners sound good based on your reviews. Do you agree with the judges selection?


    • I suspect I would have voted for the World Repair Video game if I’d been able to read it, and I would have preferred Quicksand over The Natural Way of Things, but I really liked The Life of Houses.


  4. Again I am really pleased for Charlotte, but then I am biased, we have the same publisher (oh, look at those coattails, flapping in the breeze, can I hang on?) But seriously, I thought her speech excellent and she is such a lovely person and so deserving of all the awards. And it’s so sad that her mother-in-law died (suddenly, it seems) in the last week. Life with its ups and downs can be terrible and great almost all at once.


  5. I’ve heard that the Thea Astley bio is good, and I’m tempted but I have to finish her fiction first.


    • Yes, it is, I liked it very much. Literary bios are my favourite kind…


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