Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 1, 2019

2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

The 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced yesterday but I was feeling a bit seedy so I didn’t catch up with the news till today.

The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction nominees are:

Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop, see Kate’s review at Books are My Favourite and Best
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser, see my review
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins, see my review
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane, see my review
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton – on my TBR , see Theresa’s review at Theresa Smith Writes

The Douglas Stewart prize for Non-Fiction

Saga Land by Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason, see Simon Caterson’s review at the SMH and Nancy’s at Nancy Elin’s BookBlog
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths, see Rebe Taylor’s review at the SMH
The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters and make sure you read Kate’s at Books Are My Favourite and Best as well.
Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
Tracker by Alexis Wright , see my review

The UTS Glenda Adams Prize for New Writing

Flames by Robbie Arnott, see my review
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
Scrublands by Chris Hammer, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins, see my review
Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau, see Amanda’s review at Whispering Gums and Kim’s at Reading Matters
The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen, see my review

Multicultural NSW Award

The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad
Rainforest by Eileen Chong  see Jonathan’s review at Me Fail? I Fly
Home is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire (Update 5/3/19 On Angela Savage’s recommendation, I’ve ordered this on interlibrary loan: it’s hard to find).
Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by Sisonke Msimang  see my review
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko , see my review
Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic, see my review

NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation

Harry Aveling – I’m barracking for him because I know him from my days as president of VILTA (the Victorian Indonesian Language Teachers Assoc)
Stephen Corcoran
Alison Entrekin
Penny Hueston (I’ve read three of her translations, see here).
Stephanie Smee
Omid Tofighian (highly commended)

Indigenous Writing Prize

Taboo by Kim Scott, see my review
Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling by Larissa Behrendt, see my review
Common People by Tony Birch, see my review
Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss, see my review
The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell

Visit the awards website for all other categories.


  1. Thanks for the mention Lisa. Some great books on this shortlist!


    • You’re welcome:)
      I won’t be surprised if Boy Swallows Universe wins it. I haven’t read it (it doesn’t appeal) but my optometrist was raving about it today, He’s in a book group and he loves to talk books:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you are alright Lisa?

    Wow, the number of books I’ve read – still not many I admit – must be a record for me. Thanks for the links. I’ve been busy and didn’t see these come through at all. How did that happen!?


    • Yesterday was a good day for feeling sorry for myself. En route to do a bit of research in the SLV, I stumbled on a stray bit of paling fence, tore a nail and bled all over my shoe and wrenched my ankle. The bad one, of course. I got myself patched up at Traveller’s Aid at Flinders St and pressed on… and put my back out with four hours of lugging newspaper boxes and poring over them at a desk too low for someone as tall as me. To cap it off, my timing was out for The Spouse to pick me up from the railway station, so I had a ten minute wait in 38 degree heat.
      I’m on the mend today:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lisa , do hope you are much better tonight .
    You know , its interesting how , though must of your readers who read your splendid reviews , will probably never meet you .
    But like me , I bet they felt upset , when they read that you were in pain yesterday .
    Thats the thread that makes humanity exquisite.
    That human emotion that human connection for another human being from any walk of life .


    • Thank you, Mary, that’s very kind of you indeed.


  4. Thanks for the link! I seem to have all these books in my TBR … just need to focus more on reading them! Hope you’re feeling better today 😘


    • Even better than yesterday, thanks. A very hot day yesterday so it was no hardship to rest up and be idle.
      I have a soft spot for The Everlasting Sunday, if you have that one. It’s a lingerer, if you know what I mean…


  5. […] The 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced this week. The State Library of NSW has the full list on its website, but you have to do a lot of clicking back back and forth to read it. Sue at ANZ LitLovers Blog has listed most of the categories in easily readable form – just click here. […]


  6. Some of those books have been around a while. I checked Border Districts for instance and it’s 2017. Hope you’re better today. Will the newspaper research end up in a post?


    • Yes, much better today, thank you…
      The research? well… yes and no. I was looking, to help someone else, for some articles to replace some that had been thrown out – to no avail. But I did find some about a friend of ours and The Spouse (who is reinventing himself as a local historian) might write an article about her for the local historical society. At the moment he is writing about a Major Shaw, resident of Beaumaris at The Point where the Spouse grew up and heard his tales of dogfights with The Red Baron…


  7. […] month’s #6Degrees with Flames by Robbie Arnott because it’s just been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards but instead I’ll jump to another impressive debut, The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins. […]


  8. Hi Lisa – thank so much for your kind words here and in your Six Degrees post (and for your review of my little book in the first place!). Your support is amazing, especially for those of us on small and independent presses. it means the world. So, thank you again!

    (Just quietly, I think your note above about Boy Swallows Universe could be on the money; I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trent win everything in sight. BSU has been such a phenomenon this past year [not to mention Trent being such a lovely, generous and talented chap]. Although, those other big names in the Christina Stead would be no surprise, of course.

    Anyway, thanks again, Lisa.


    • Hello Robert, it’s lovely to hear from you and I am delighted by your shortlisting. Whatever the result (and we all know how capricious these things are now) it has brought your novel into a prominence it deserves. I hope you are working on something new?


      • Thanks Lisa. Yes, it’s more than lovely just to appear in these lists alongside these writers I so admire. And yes, I’ve just ‘finished’ a new novel. Trying to work out what to do with it; it’s very different to the last one. You have to follow your whims though, don’t you? Thanks again for the support.


        • That’s great news, be sure and let me know when it hits the shelves:)


  9. […] the idea of multiculturalism. In the last week or so, it has popped up several times – in Lisa’s post on the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist, in the conversation I attended last Thursday […]


  10. […] ‘Art in Fiction’ but Home is Nearby is much more than that.  Shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award this novel is an homage to the importance of art in our lives, but it’s also a tale of […]


  11. Lisa, I know you appreciate review links.
    Here is my review of Saga Land:

    Here is my review of The Drover’s Wife:


    • Thanks, Nancy… I do think it’s helpful when people are wondering whether or not to chase up these listed books, to have reviews from trusted reviewers. The only problem for me is that often I can’t remember where I saw a review of it, so it is helpful if you drop by and provide the links for the ones I haven’t got.


Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s