Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 16, 2022

2022 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Awards: Winners, and Shortlist and Longlist for the Prize for Fiction

Update 16/12/22 The winners were announced last night.

Minister for the Arts’ Prize for Books for Young Readers and Children Ella and the Ocean by Lian Tanner, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley (published by Allen & Unwin)
Tim Thorne Prize for Poetry Intimate, low-voiced, delicate things by Esther Ottaway (Puncher & Wattmann)
Premier’s Prize for Non-fiction Flight Lines: across the globe on a journey with the astonishing ultramarathon birds by Andrew Darby (Allen & Unwin)
Premier’s Prize for Fiction The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey (Text Publishing)
University of Tasmania Prize (supported by the University of Tasmania) The Sand by Cameron Hindrum
Margaret Scott Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship Stephanie Jack
Tasmanian Aboriginal Writer’s Fellowship Jennifer Evans

Update 5/12/22.  The shortlist has been announced.

  • Cold Coast by Robyn Mundy (Ultimo Press), see my review
  • The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey (Text Publishing), see my review
  • The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing), see my review
  • Waypoints by Adam Ouston (Puncher & Wattmann), on my TBR

Judges’ comments:

Emerging from an incredibly strong longlist, the four shortlisted novels represent the breadth and quality of contemporary Tasmanian fiction. Each book marks an accomplished experiment in style and form, demonstrating the scope of what fiction can achieve. Although diverse in setting, style, genre, and approach, they are united in their concern with isolation, empathy, and community, and with the place-making made possible by a leap into the imagination. They each in some way work to reconstruct the patterns, tracks and traces of the past, whether personal, historical, or mythic. These novelists show that contemporary Tasmanian writers engage deeply with the world, considering it from a distinct perspective.

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!

Shortlisted titles are in bold in the list below.

The longlist for the Tasmanian Premier’s Prize for Fiction has been announced, and I am pleased to see that I have reviewed most of these.

A History of Dreams by Jane Rawson (Brio Books), see the review at The Conversation
Born Into This by Adam Thompson (University of Queensland Press), see my review
Cold Coast by Robyn Mundy (Ultimo Press), see my review
Fortune by Lenny Bartulin (Allen & Unwin), see my review
Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson (Ventura Press), see my review
The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey (Text Publishing), see my review
The Octopus and I by Erin Hortle (Allen & Unwin), see my review
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing), see my review
Two Sets of Books* by Ruairi Murphy (Ruairi Murphy Publishing), see Meet an Aussie Author
Waypoints** by Adam Ouston (Puncher & Wattmann), on the TBR.

*I’d never heard of Two Sets of Books, you simply must read the description, click the link on the title, but #TriggerWarning for Librarians, bad things happen!

**Waypoints by Adam Ouston, I bought this for Novellas in November. when I was down at Blarney Books in Port Fairy.

About the awards, from their website.

The Tasmanian Literary Awards celebrate excellence in the Tasmanian literary sector, raise the profile of Tasmanian authors and foster and support literary talent in our State.

To support and foster literary talent in Tasmania, the new Tasmanian Literary Awards will now only be open to writers living in Tasmania.

Longlists for the book awards will be announced in October 2022 and shortlists for all the awards will be announced in November 2022.

The winners of the Tasmanian Literary Awards 2022 will be announced in December 2022.

The Tasmanian Literary Awards are administered by Arts Tasmania on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.

There are seven four categories and two fellowships and an award for un unpublished MS.  I can’t find anything about the other categories’ longlists, but expect that they will be available on the website in due course. Update 17/10/22 The longlists are now up on the awards website, and you can see them here.

  • Premier’s Prize for Fiction —$25,000
  • Premier’s Prize for Non-fiction —$25,000
  • Minister for the Arts’ Prize for Books for Young Readers and Children —$25,000
  • Tim Thorne Prize for Poetry —$25,000
  • University of Tasmania Prize for an unpublished MS — $10,000
  • Tasmanian Aboriginal Writer’s Fellowship — $10 000, open to First National authors only
  • Margaret Scott Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship – $5 000 and a publishing opportunity in Island magazine, open only to writers under 30

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!

PS #FunFact: I am very pleased to see that one of the Judges, Matthew Lamb, is working on a bio of the late Frank Moorhouse.


  1. I have now bought a copy of ‘Two Sets of Books’. I may read it while I am in Tasmania from next Saturday ;-)
    #IrrelevantFact: Tim Thorne was a teacher of mine some fifty years ago.


    • Hi Jennifer, good to hear from you, I hope things are not flooded where you are. (So many places now, I can’t keep track of who’s underwater and who’s not.)
      Let me know ASAP if I should get a copy too. I’m not keen on short stories as you know, but will make exceptions for exceptional stories…


      • Hi Lisa, I am currently safe in Canberra, concerned for family and friends in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. I’ll let you know how I get on with the short stories. I am looking forward to 12 days in Tasmania … with a few changed plans due to the floods.


  2. The only one I’ve heard of is The Rain Heron. I have a copy but your reference to the violence against animals has made me hesitate about reading it


    • I think this violence against animals is a trope in novels like this one because authors are trying to shock us into recognising the unacknowledged cruelty of animal extinctions and (some) modern methods of farming.


  3. Lisa: thanks as always for your generous posts. Two Sets of Books by Ruairi Murphy is definitely worth checking out! Ruairi is a strong, sassy writer, a passionate librarian, and an all round fine human being. Congrats to all on this illustrious longlist which includes 3 years of Tas writers and poets published between May 2019 to May 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations Robyn, it’s wonderful to see Cold Coast getting the nominations it so richly deserves!
      Thanks for the recommendation for Two Sets of Books, I expect that it will become more widely available now, even between now and yesterday an online search is more fruitful but it’s not yet available in the bricks-and-mortar shops I like to patronise.


  4. Lisa Hill, it is most disappointing that there is not one short story collection long listed. This prize is for fiction, meaning novels and short stories. It’s impossible to believe that mine (After the Crash and other Tasmanian stories) and other collections including the Smokehouse which has won a prize, (Age, I think) were considered of such poor quality that they couldn’t be long listed. My book has been praised widely within and outside of the writing community, with Peter Hay stating that my work as a short story writer is ‘possibly the best in Australia’. Short stories are where innovation in writing challenges the conventions of literature and should be treated and assessed seriously. I sincerely hope that in the future such collections are.


    • Born Into This is a collection of short stories, but still, I hear you, it must be very disappointing, Carol…
      People who know more about these things than me say that awards are a bit of a lottery and shouldn’t be taken as a reflection of the quality of books that don’t make it onto a longlist. You never really know what the criteria are, or if there are other agendas influencing the judges’ decisions. I have often been really surprised by some choices, and disappointed too when books I’ve admired have missed out.
      It’s no consolation, I know, but I wonder if you would like me to add your book to the Goodreads database? I found it at the Ginninderra Press website and I’m a ‘librarian’ there, so I can do it for you if you like.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I appreciate your reply, Lisa and I would appreciate my collection being reviewd/listed with goodreads
        I also think short story collections need their own category, not up against novels, possibly with collections of essays/articles both fiction and non fiction. I will sound this idea out amongst friends.


  5. Great list, of which I want to read several but have only read one!


  6. So appreciate your posts about Australian literary awards.
    Australia is on the other side of the world…but I enjoy reading Aussie…and Tasmania!


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