Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 15, 2021

2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Award winners

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards winners for 2021 were announced today. The Awards are presented in six categories—children’s literature, young adult literature, fiction, poetry, non-fiction and Australian history—with a total prize pool of $600,000.  Up to $100,000 is awarded in each category: $80,000 for each winner and $5,000 each for shortlisted entries. All prizes are tax-free.

The winners are:


  • The Labyrinth, Amanda Lohrey, Text Publishing, see my review


  • The Stranger Artist: Life at the Edge of Kimberley Painting, Quentin Sprague, Hardie Grant Publishing

 Australian history

  • People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia, Grace Karskens, Allen & Unwin


  • The Strangest Place, New and Selected Poems, Stephen Edgar, Black Pepper

 Children’s literature

  • Fly on the Wall, Remy Lai, Walker Books Australia
  • How to Make a Bird, Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Matt Ottley, Walker Books Australia

 Young adult literature

  • Metal Fish, Falling Snow, Cath Moore, Text Publishing

You can read the judge’s comments about the winners and the shortlisted titles here, and for more information about the winning and shortlisted works go to

Thanks to Emma Noble from Noble Words Communications and Book Publicity, Melbourne for trusting me with the embargoed press release!


  1. Lohrey has done well this year hasn’t it, which is nice given her body or quality work. I usually like to report on this, but it’s been party central over the last week. Last one was today.


    • Such a hectic time of year, and we are so unused to it, it feels even more exhausting than it usually is!

      Liked by 1 person

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