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Melbourne Prize for Literature, Best Writing Award 2012 finalists announced

The finalists for this year’s Melbourne Prize for Literature and Best Writing Award have been announced.

The finalists for the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature, presented to a Victorian author ‘whose body of published or produced work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature, as well as to cultural and intellectual life’, are:

  • Alison Lester
  • Robert Manne
  • Alex Miller
  • Joanna Murray-Smith
  • Peter Temple


The finalists for the $30,000 Best Writing Award, presented for ‘a piece of published or produced work of outstanding clarity, originality and creativity by a Victorian writer’, are:

  • Blood (Tony Birch, UQP)
  • Piano Lessons (Anna Goldsworthy, Black Inc.)
  • The Children of the King (Sonya Hartnett, Penguin)
  • How to Make Gravy (Paul Kelly, Penguin)
  • The Cook (Wayne Macauley, Text)
  • Outside (David McCooey, Salt Publishing)
  • Past the Shallows (Favel Parrett, Hachette)
  • The Amateur Science of Love (Craig Sherborne, Text)
  • Mateship with Birds (Carrie Tiffany, Picador)
  • The English Class (Ouyang Yu, Transit Lounge). 


The winners of this year’s awards will be announced on 7 November. Each of the finalists will also be eligible for the $5000 Civic Choice Award, which will be voted on by members of the public. Votes can be cast via the Melbourne Prize website or at a public exhibition showcasing each of the finalists, which will be held at Federation Square between 5 and 19 November.

The recipient of the Best Writing Award will also receive a Qantas international travel voucher worth $2500, and one of this year’s recipients will be awarded a residency with the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication.

This year’s finalists were selected by Readings owner Mark Rubbo, writer and academic Brian Matthews, playwright Hannie Rayson, author Christos Tsiolkas and Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams. Melbourne Prize Trust executive director Simon Warrender said in a statement that the number of entries received this year was nearly double the number received the last time the awards were presented, in 2009. As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, the age limit for the Best Writing Award has been removed this year.

For more information about the awards, click here.



Category: Local news