Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 5, 2016

2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist

It’s a nice Christmas present for the authors shortlisted for the just-announced Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for 2017, and there are some interesting books for me to chase up, hopefully before the prize is announced on January 31st.

The shortlisted books in each category are:


  • Between a Wolf and a Dog (Georgia Blain, Scribe) See my review
  • The Healing Party (Micheline Lee, Black Inc.), see my review
  • Wood Green (Sean Rabin, Giramondo) See my review
  • Waiting (Philip Salom, Puncher & Wattmann) See my review
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket (Jock Serong, Text) (crime fiction)
  • The Love of a Bad Man (Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Scribe) (short stories)


  • Songs of a War Boy (Deng Adut & Ben Mckelvey, Hachette)
  • The Hate Race (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette)
  • The Killing Season Uncut (Sarah Ferguson & Patricia Drum, MUP)
  • Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru (Madeline Gleeson, NewSouth)
  • Position Doubtful (Kim Mahood, Scribe) See my review
  • The Fighter (Arnold Zable, Text)


  • Carrying the World (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette)
  • Painting Red Orchids (Eileen Chong, Pitt Street Poetry)
  • Bull Days (Tina Giannoukos, Australian Scholarly Publishing)

Young adult

  • When Michael Met Mina (Randa Abdel-Fattah, Pan)
  • The Bone Sparrow (Zana Fraillon, Lothian)
  • The Other Side of Summer (Emily Gale, Random House)


  • Girl Shut Your Mouth (Gita Bezard, Black Swan State Theatre Company)
  • Trigger Warning (Zoë Coombs Marr, Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
  • The Drover’s Wife (Leah Purcell, Currency Press).

Each category winner receives $25,000 and is eligible for the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive $2000.

For more information and to vote for the People’s Choice Award, visit the Wheeler Centre website here.


  1. I have purchased all three shortlisted poetry titles and will read and review them over the coming weeks. Plenty of time to get through them before 31/1/17 – interesting that there are only three poetry titles this year.


    • That’s great, Tony, I’ll link to your reviews as you do them:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just getting though the fiction by Jan 31 would be a challenge for me…


    • I’m not going to try. I’ll leave the crime and short stories to someone else…


  3. […] Healing Party comes with impressive credentials.  It’s been nominated for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and the blurb is by Helen Garner who calls it a wild family drama, shot through with a furious, […]


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