Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles are:


  • The House of Youssef (Yumna Kassab, Giramondo)
  • Act of Grace (Anna Krien, Black Inc.)
  • Simpson Returns (Wayne Macauley, Text)
  • Damascus (Christos Tsiolkas, A&U)
  • The Yield (Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton)


  • Songspirals: Sharing women’s wisdom of country through songlines (Gay’wu Group of Women, A&U)
  • The Girls (Chloe Higgins, Picador)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse (Jess Hill, Black Inc.)
  • Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune can teach us about digital technology (Lizzie O’Shea, Verso)
  • Tell Me Why: The story of my life and my music (Archie Roach, S&S)
  • Sea People: The puzzle of Polynesia (Christina Thompson, HarperCollins)


  • Yuiquimbiang (Louise Crisp, Cordite Books)
  • Nganajungu Yagu (Charmaine Papertalk Green, Cordite Books)
  • Birth Plan (L K Holt, Vagabond Press)

Young adult

  • How It Feels to Float (Helena Fox, Pan Macmillan)
  • Invisible Boys (Holden Sheppard, Fremantle Press)
  • This is How We Change the Ending (Vikki Wakefield, Text)


  • Them (Samah Sabawi, La Mama Theatre in association with Samah Sabawi and Lara Week)
  • Counting and Cracking (S Shakthidharan & Eamon Flack, Belvoir and Co-Curious)
  • City of Gold (Meyne Wyatt, Currency Press, Queensland Theatre & Griffin Theatre)

Prize for an unpublished manuscript

  • ‘Hovering’ by Rhett Davis
  • ‘In Real Life’ by Allee Richards
  • ‘A Million Things’ by Emily Spurr.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on 30 January 2020. The winners in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and young adult each receive $25,000, while the winner of the unpublished manuscript prize receives $15,000.

The winners of each of the seven award categories go on to contest the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature. A people’s choice award, worth $2000, will also be announced on the night.

Last year, writer, journalist and Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature for his book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador).

For more information about the awards, see the Wheeler Centre website.


Category: Awards Local news