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NSW Premier’s Literary Awards winners announced; ‘Ruby Moonlight’ wins Book of the Year

The winners of this year’s New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award were announced in Sydney on 19 May, on the eve of the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Ali Cobby-Eckermann’s verse novel Ruby Moonlight (Magabala Books) was named Book of the Year and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, taking home a combined cash prize of $40,000. Ruby Moonlight was one of the inaugural winners of the kuril dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowships offered through the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Program. The book also won the 2012 Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature in September 2012.

The winners in each of the other book-related categories are:

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)

  • Mateship with Birds (Carrie Tiffany, Picador)


Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction ($40,000)

  • The Office: A Hardworking History (Gideon Haigh, MUP)


Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)

  • A Corner of White (Jaclyn Moriarty, Pan Macmillan)


Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)

  • The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon (Aaron Blabey, Viking)


Community Relations Commission Award ($20,000)

  • Don’t Go Back to Where You Came From (Tim Soutphommasane, NewSouth)


UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5000)

  • The Last Thread (Michael Sala, Affirm Press)


People’s Choice Award

  • Animal People (Charlotte Wood, A&U)


NSW Premier’s Translation Prize ($30,000)

  • Peter Boyle.


This year’s Betty Rowland Prize for Scriptwriting, worth $30,000, was presented to Louise Fox and See-saw Films for Dead Europe, which is based on the novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas (Vintage).

This year’s judges also presented David Ireland with a Special Award, worth $10,000, which is presented ‘under exceptional circumstances … either for an Australian literary work that is not readily covered by existing awards categories or in recognition of an Australian writer’s achievements generally’. Last year, a Special Award was presented to Clive James.

The judges said that Ireland ‘has made a significant contribution to Australian literature’ and the Special Award is ‘a wonderful way of rewarding this extraordinary talent’. Ireland is the author of ten novels, three of which have won the Miles Franklin Literary Award: The Unknown Industrial Prisoner (1971), The Glass Canoe (1976) and A Woman of the Future (1979). Text Publishing has recently published The Glass Canoe and A Woman of the Future as part of its Text Classics series, and an edition of The Unknown Industrial Prisoner will be published in July.

To see the books shortlisted for this year’s awards, click here.



Category: Local news