Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 14, 2017

2017 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prize longlists

The Tasmanian Book Prize longlists were released today, and I regret to say that I’ve read only two of the nominated titles.

There are two prizes, encompassing literary fiction, writing about politics and society, travel writing, poetry, histories and graphic novels.  It is interesting to see that so many of the nominations are from small publishers (that I’ve never heard of). I’ll hunt around to see if I can find any reviews of the ones I haven’t read, so bear with me while I do it.  There are still a couple for which I can’t find any reviews…

Tasmania Book Prize – 2017 longlist

This is for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre, and it’s worth $25 000 to the winner.

Margaret Scott Prize – 2017 longlist

This is for the best book by a Tasmanian writer, and it’s worth $5 000 to the winner.

  • The Shape of Water by Anne Blythe-Cooper, published by Forty South Publishing, see Blue Wolf reviews
  • In Brazil by Fran Bryson, published by Scribe Publications, a travel book, see the SMH review
  • Woven Landscape: Connections in the Tasmanian Midlands, written and published by Peter E Davies
  • A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes by Tony Fenton, published by Forty South Publishing, see the audio interview at Across the Coast
  • The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas, published by Walleah Press, see Rochford Street Reviews
  • South Pole: Nature and Culture by Elizabeth Leane, published by Realktion Books, see the review at the SMH
  • Shadows in Suriname by Margaretta Pos, published by Forty South Publishing
  • The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose, published by Allen & Unwin – I’ve read this one too, see my review.
  • Down the Dirt Roads by Rachael Treasure, published by Penguin Random House, this is rural romance, see the review at The Weekly Times
  • Crocoite by Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event, see here.

The shortlists will be announced on Thursday, 14 September 2017 as part of the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival, where there will be two further awards: the $5 000 University of Tasmania Prize for the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer and the $5 000 Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship.  The winners will be announced later this year.

Previous winners of these Tassie prizes include books I’ve read and reviewed:

  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, see my review
  • 1835: The Founding of Melbourne & the Conquest of Australia by James Boyce, see my review
  • The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson, see my review
  • Wanting by Richard Flanagan, see my review
  • Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev by Robert Dessaix (on my TBR)


Click here to read more about the prizes and past winners.

PS #Confession Most of the content of this post was pillaged from the Tasmanian Arts Guide, but I’m sure they don’t mind.


  1. Thanks for posting this Lisa, which are the poetry titles?


    • Good question! There was one, but I’ve forgotten which one it was now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Physick” is the poetry title on the Tasmania Book Prize list. Although the experimental “Fall of the Derwent” classify in the “poetic” genre.(I notice you’ve had a look at it – I did so today, my own personal timed copy produced at 50.7%)


        • Yes, that’s it. Will you review them if you can?


          • Once I’ve completed my buying ban there is a slight chance I’ll look at these. I have a huge backlog of eight poet interviews so I wouldn’t be holding my breath.


            • I know what you mean, I’m behind with mine too because of (a) being offline for the weekend and (b) therefore having more time to read!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I am thrilled to see Katherine Johnson’s ‘The Better Son’ included on the long list. I enjoyed the book very much and Katherine was so lovely stepping in to interview me and help me launch ‘Flame Tip’. ‘Losing Streak’ is also a very interesting read. I’ll have to get my act together and check out some of the others (I might even get to meet some of the authors at the festival). Thanks for posting this Lisa.


    • I am so disappointed not to be going to the festival this year, it looks like a really good program. A special friend is celebrating his 60th birthday that very weekend, and I don’t want to miss that, but it’s a shame about the timing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tasmania is a bit like the ACT and maybe NT? in that their awards tend to be for local writers/publications only? Which is good in supporting their writers, but often means others haven’t read or even heard of the books. At least your post has introduced them more widely (so I’m sure the Tasmanian Arts Guide doesn’t mind!)


    • I was pleased to see that the SMH had reviewed so many of them… we don’t get The Age any more but I had heard that they had cut their reviewing pages, so I wasn’t expecting to find much in the way of reviews that weren’t paywalled.


  4. I am attending the festival. Will be interested to see who wins. So many books I have not read. Numbs my mind😎


    • Ah, we look to you to do a good write-up for us!
      And next year, I’ll be there myself and shout you a coffee as a thank you:)


  5. […] by other things.  It was not until Archipelago of Souls was shortlisted for the biennial 2017 Tasmanian Book Prize that I belatedly ordered a copy and discovered just how good it […]


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