Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 4, 2017

2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

The 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist were announced today. There are some surprise omissions (links are to my reviews):

Well, ok, they can’t shortlist everything.  But still… I’d have fought hard for some of these if I’d been on the judging panel!

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 1 February 2018.

The shortlist


  • A New England Affair by Steven Carroll (HarperCollins), see my review
  • Australia Day by Melanie Cheng (Text Publishing)
  • The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin), see my review
  • The Choke by Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Restorer by Michael Sala (Text Publishing)
  • Taboo by Kim Scott (Picador Australia), see my review


  • The Museum of Words: A Memoir of Language, Writing and Mortality by Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
  • Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole-Adams (Text Publishing)
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)
  • For a Girl: A True Story of Secrets, Motherhood and Hope by Mary-Rose MacColl (Allen & Unwin)
  • No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson by Jeff Sparrow (Scribe Publications), see my review
  • Tracker by Alexis Wright (Giramondo), on my TBR


  • Rice by Michele Lee (Playlab)
  • Black is the New White by Nakkiah Lui (Sydney Theatre Company)
  • The Rasputin Affair by Kate Mulvany (The Ensemble Theatre)


  • Argosy by Bella Li (Vagabond Press)
  • The Metronome by Jennifer Maiden (Giramondo)
  • redactor by Eddie Paterson (Whitmore Press)

Writing for Young Adults

  • Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ida by Alison Evans (Echo)
  • Because of You by Pip Harry (UQP)

Highly commended


  • No More Boats by Felicity Castagna (Giramondo), see my review
  • Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman (Hachette), see my review
  • Atlantic Black by A.S. Patrić (Transit Lounge), see my review
  • Plane Tree Drive by Lynette Washington (NewSouth Books)


  • They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention edited by Michael Green, André Dao, Angelica Neville, Dana Affleck and Sienna Merope (Allen & Unwin)


  • I Love Poetry by Michael Farrell (Giramondo)
  • Reading for a Quiet Morning by Petra White (GloriaSMH Press)



  1. […] *While I was writing this review the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist was announced, and mildly peeved by some surprising omissions, I’ve listed the ones I would have fought for (including Whipbird) if I’d been a judge. See here.  […]


  2. Good to see the Vic Award giving us sometime to read the shortlists, unlike the Federal Award. I’ll attempt to get to most of the poetry shortlist & interview the poets involved. There is one (nameless) which I will avoid as I have disliked their previous work. Again a bunch of new titles I haven’t read, amazing the amount of published poetry that passes me by (I do have the “highly commended” Michael Farrell though so stay tuned on that front).


    • It’s amazing the way the poetry scene has changed. When I started blogging hardly anyone was publishing poetry collections, and hardly anyone was reviewing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Logical Place.


  4. I have The Restorer on my bedside table and a little birdie has told me I’m getting Taboo for Christmas. Looking forward to both of them. I haven’t read any of them yet…


    • Ooh, lucky you! I’ll be so interested to see what you and Sue make of Sala’s book: I read Sue’s review of The Last Thread ( and then his brother’s and anguished mother’s response to it in the comments – and decided that Sala was not a writer I wanted to read!


      • Oh, I didn’t say I would read the Sala, just that I’d be interested to. I suspect, looking at the pile of books waiting to read, that I won’t get it it, as I don’t have it!


  5. I have Taboo and The Choke but haven’t read either yet. And having read Michael Sala’s first book, I’d be interested to read The restorer.

    These lists are always as interesting for what they include as for what they omit, eh?


  6. I’m reading Taboo now, and I know you liked the Stephen Carroll, but I think your shortlist looks more interesting than theirs.


    • Well, I’ve only read three of their shortlist, (and don’t intend to redress that) so I can’t really judge, but in terms of innovation and style I think my list is very interesting indeed, and if diversity is part of the agenda then my list has some stunning work from Bram, Presser, Brian Castro, Ali Alizadeh and Shokoofeh Azar.


  7. […] fiction are confronting our real history in a creative and respectful way. It’s on the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist and the 2018 Indie Book Awards longlist but it ought to be on […]


  8. […] Click here to see the shortlist… and the notable omissions in what was a stellar year for Australian fiction. […]


  9. […] These are great books, but some terrific books missed out too.  See my post about the shortlist. […]


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