Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 21, 2021

2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Shortlist

What follows is mostly from the Adelaide festival press release…

37 writers from around Australia have been shortlisted for the 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, one of Australia’s richest and most prestigious literary awards.  The biennial awards offer a total prize pool of $167,500 across six national and five South Australian categories, including the coveted Premier’s Award worth $25,000 for the overall winner. The awards also include three fellowships for South Australian writers worth $15,000 each (which have not been shortlisted in the press release).

The 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature shortlist is:

National Awards for published works:

Fiction Award ($15,000)
• Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne (VIC) (Text Publishing), see Brona’s review at This Reading Life a.k.a. Brona’s Books
• Murmurations by Carol Lefevre (SA) (Spinifex Press), see my review
• The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (TAS) (Text Publishing), on my TBR, see Brona’s review at This Reading Life
• Rise and Shine by Patrick Allington (SA) (Scribe Publications), see my review
• Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (NSW) (Hachette Australia), see my review
• The Yield by Tara June Winch (NSW, currently lives in France) (Penguin Random House Australia), see my review

Non-Fiction Award ($15,000)
Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs (WA) (Scribe Publications), see Theresa’s review at Theresa Smith Writes

Fury by Kathryn Heyman (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)

Olive Cotton: A life in photography
by Helen Ennis (ACT) (HarperCollins Publishers), see Jennifer’s review at Tasmanian Bibliophile at Large
In Search of the Woman who Sailed the World by Danielle Clode (SA) (Pan Macmillan
Australia), see my review

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad (NSW) (Melbourne University Publishing)

Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja by Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja (WA) (Magabala Books), see my review

Children’s Literature Award ($15,000)
• Bindi by Kirli Saunders (WA) (Magabala Books)
• How to Write the Soundtrack to Your Life by Fiona Hardy (VIC) (Affirm Press)
• Iceberg by Claire Saxby (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
• The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller (QLD, currently lives in Germany) (Text Publishing)
• Summer time by Hilary Bell (NSW) (UNSW Press)
• We are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad (VIC) (ABC Books: an imprint of HarperCollins

John Bray Poetry Award ($15,000)
Errant night by Jerzy Beaumont (ACT) (Recent Work Press)

by Jordie Albiston (VIC) (Puncher and Wattmann)
A History of What I’ll Become by Jill Jones (SA) (UWA Publishing)

Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (WA) (Magabala Books), see my review

Notes towards the dreambook of endings by Peter Boyle (NSW) (Vagabond Press)

Salute by Ken Bolton (SA) (Puncher and Wattmann)

Throat by Ellen van Neerven (QLD) (University of Queensland Press)

Young Adult Fiction Award ($15,000)
The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)

The Gaps
by Leanne Hall (VIC) (Text Publishing)
Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore (VIC) (Text Publishing)

Off the Map by Scot Gardner (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)

This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (SA) (Text Publishing)

When We Are Invisible by Claire Zorn (NSW) (University of Queensland Press)

South Australian Awards and Fellowships:

Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award ($12,500)
Calendar days by Peter Beaglehole

Recalibrate by Lucy Combe

Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award ($10,000)
Chlorophyll and Casein by Rachael Mead

Clutch Feathers. Draw Breath by Corrie Hosking

The Comforting Weight of Water by Roanna McClelland

The Guggenheim by Heather Taylor-Johnso

Winners, including for the Premier’s Award, will be announced in a special ceremony at Adelaide Writers’ Week on Saturday 5 March 2022 as part of the Adelaide Festival.


  1. There are a few of these I’d like to read. I’ve had Olive Cotton sitting on my shelves awhile. I still have the Rain Heron to get to. So many lovely books. Hopefully having quiet holidays with few people and lovely days to sit outdoors and read instead of 160 kmh winds off Mt Wellington! Have a lovely Christmas.


    • 160km winds?!
      I think all of Australia has heartache over the tragedy in Devonport, with wind-gusts as strong as that, no wonder they have now banned those jumping castles.


  2. Did Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest) review Fathoms? I think she did if you are interested. I’m sure she loved it.

    I still want to read the Olive Cotton. It seems like Cherry Beach has been around for a while but this is a biennial award isn’t it.


  3. Thanks for the link!


  4. Thanks for the Cherry Beach shout out.

    I also read The Rain Heron if you’d like to use that too –

    (And Fathoms and Throat:-)


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