Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 17, 2021

WA Premier’s Book Awards winners and shortlists

Updated 14/12/22 to include the winners in bold and some reviews.

Thanks to Amanda Curtin for the heads-up: these are the  WA Premier’s Book Awards shortlists…

(These are the 2020 awards I think, even though now it’s 2021.)

The Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer ($15,000)

The Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children ($15,000)

  • How to Make a Bird – Written by Meg McKinlay and Illustrated by Matt Ottley (Walker Books Australia)
  • Littlelight by Kelly Canby (Fremantle Press)
  • Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe by Shirley Purdie (Magabala Books)
  • Across The Risen Sea by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)
  • Willy-willy Wagtail: Tales from the Bush Mob by Helen Milroy (Magabala Books)

The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and YA ($15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books)

  • Home is Calling – Natasha Leslie
  • Dirran – Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler

The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship ($60,000)

I am glad I’m not on the judging panel for this fellowship… I know the works of four of these five authors and I could not possibly choose between them!

The full press release from the State Library of Western Australia here.


  1. It’s very exciting to see these announced! Thanks for posting, Lisa :-) (You’re right: they’re called the 2020 awards because the books shortlisted are 2020 books. It gets a bit confusing when it comes to the Fellowship, which is unconnected to any particular book!)


    • LOL Amanda, I’ve just noticed that I squashed the bookcover images when I reduced the image files to fit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to me that WA has decided to do something very different with their awards in recent year.

    I just saw Madelaine Dickie post on Instagram that she’d been shortlisted – she pitched a “gritty” novel, she said! That’s all I know.


    • I didn’t know you played in the Instagram sandpit!


      • I go where my daughter goes and she went to Instagram so I did too a few years ago.


        • I don’t know how you manage it, I have enough trouble keeping up with Twitter. (I don’t really bother with Facebook, and I’ll abandon it altogether as I did before, once the pandemic is over).


          • Well I rarely do Twitter of Facebook. Just Instagram, the family Telegram and WhatsApp with neighbours and friend groups. I see pretty much no nastiness on Instagram but that may be my feed.


            • I think the Spouse does family stuff with Messenger.
              Tailoring which one to use seems like the best thing to do.


  3. Two prizelists in short order. Did you make the images yourself? Very ambitious of you!


    • LOL The images came with the press release!


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: