Awards season is in full swing and there have been oodles of announcements during the past few weeks. These include the longlist for the 2015 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal and the shortlists for the eleven categories of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

The ALS Gold Medal is presented annually by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) for a ‘work of outstanding literary merit’ published in the previous calendar year. Of the ten longlisted titles this year, seven are by women.


amnesia goldenboys-hartnettkeepsThe Golden Age Joan London

drones-and-phantoms earth-hour Favel Parrett, When the night comes ingasimp-nest

merciless-godsEllen van Neerven, Heat and light

The ALS Gold Medal longlist is:

  • Amnesia (Peter Carey, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Golden Boys (Sonya Harnett, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Keeps (L K Holt, John Leonard Press)
  • The Golden Age (Joan London, Vintage)
  • Drones and Phantoms (Jennifer Maiden, Giramondo)
  • Earth Hour (David Malouf, UQP)
  • When the Night Comes (Favel Parrett, Hachette)
  • Nest (Inga Simpson, Hachette)
  • Merciless Gods (Christos Tsiolkas, A&U)
  • Heat and Light (Ellen van Neerven, UQP).

The works were chosen by Lyn McCredden, Sue Martin and Paul Salzman. A shortlist will be announced in May, ahead of the winner announcement at the ASAL conference in July.  The 2014 ALS Gold Medal was awarded to Alexis Wright for The Swan Book (Giramondo).

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlists

The shortlists for this year’s New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards were announced on Friday 24 April 2015. Total prize money in 2015, including sponsored awards, is $320,000.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said: ‘The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have a proud history of recognising and encouraging our nation’s community of authors, translators and writers for screen, stage and radio.’

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said: ‘The awards celebrate the cultural significance of our literary talent and this year’s shortlists include works by established authors as well as new writers who will strengthen Australian writing now and into the future.’

The shortlisted titles in each of the categories are listed below. Click on the category title for more information and judges’ reports. You can search for and read AWW Challenge reviews here.

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction

  • Only the Animals (Ceridwen Dovey, Hamish Hamilton)
  • In Certain Circles (Elizabeth Harrower, Text)
  • Golden Boys (Sonya Hartnett, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Snow Kimono (Mark Henshaw, Text)
  • The Golden Age (Joan London, Vintage)
  • A Million Windows (Gerald Murnane, Giramondo)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

  • The Tribe (Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Giramondo)
  • Foreign Soil (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette)
  • The Strays (Emily Bitto, Affirm)
  • An Elegant Young Man (Luke Carman, Giramondo)
  • Here Come the Dogs (Omar Musa, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Heat and Light (Ellen van Neerven, UQP)

 Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction

  • The Europeans in Australia (Alan Atkinson, NewSouth)
  • Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power 17991815 (Philip Dwyer, Bloomsbury)
  • This House of Grief (Helen Garner, Text)
  • The Reef: A Passionate History (Iain McCalman, Viking)
  • In My Mother’s Hands (Biff Ward, A&U)
  • The Bush (Don Watson, Hamish Hamilton)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

  • A Vicious Example (Michael Aiken, Grand Parade)
  • Devadetta (Judith Beveridge, Giramondo)
  • Kin (Anne Elvey, Five Islands Press)
  • Wild (Libby Hart, Pitt Street Poetry)
  • Unbelievers, or The Moor (John Mateer, Giramondo)
  • Earth Hour (David Malouf, UQP)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature

  • The First Voyage (Allan Baillie, Puffin)
  • Rivertime (Trace Balla, A&U)
  • Figgy in the World (Tamsin Janu, Omnibus)
  • The Duck and the Darklings (Glenda Millard & Stephen Michael King, A&U)
  • Crossing (Catherine Norton, Omnibus)
  • The Adventures of Sir Roderick the NotVery Brave (James O’Loghlin, Pan Macmillan)

 Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature

  • Book of Days (K A Barker, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Road to Gundagai (Jackie French, HarperCollins)
  • Are You Seeing Me? (Darren Groth, Woolshed Press)
  • Razorhurst (Justine Larbalestier, A&U)
  • The Cracks in the Kingdom (Jaclyn Moriarty, Pan Macmillan)
  • Cracked (Clare Strahan, A&U)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting

  • The Code Episode 1 (Shelley Birse, Playmaker Media)
  • Upper Middle Bogan Season 1, Episode 8: The Nationals (Robyn Butler & Wayne Hope, Gristmill)
  • The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Causeway)
  • Fell, Natasha Pincus Story (Kasimir Burgess & Natasha Pincus, Felix Media)
  • Please Like Me Season 2, Episode 7: Scroggin (Josh Thomas)
  • Once My Mother (Sophia Turkiewicz, Change Focus Media)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting

  • Brothers Wreck (Jada Alberts, Currency Press)
  • The Sublime (Brendan Cowell, Melbourne Theatre Company)
  • Jasper Jones (Kate Mulvany, adapted from a novel by Craig Silvey, Barking Gecko Theatre Company)
  • The Trouble with Harry (Lachlan Philpott, TheatreofplucK Belfast/MKA New Writing Theatre)
  • Kryptonite (Sue Smith, Sydney Theatre Company)
  • Black Diggers (Tom Wright, Queensland Theatre Company)

The NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation

  • James Mark Quentin Davies
  • Meredith McKinney
  • Brian Nelson
  • Royall Tyler

Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize

The Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize, worth $5000, will be awarded for the first time in 2015.

  • Ouyang Yu
  • Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

2015 Multicultural NSW Award

  • Jump for Jordan (Donna Abela, Griffin Theatre Company)
  • Black and Proud: The Story of an AFL Photo (Matthew Klugman & Gary Osmond, NewSouth)
  • Refugees (Jane McAdam & Fiona Chong, UNSW Press)
  • I, Migrant: A Comedian’s Journey from Karachi to the Outback (Sami Shah, A&U)
  • The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama (Julie Szego, Wild Dingo Press)
  • Once My Mother (Sophia Turkiewicz, Change Focus Media).

Entries for the 2015 Awards closed on 31 October 2014, and winners will be announced on 18 May as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

In order to be eligible for this year’s awards, all works must have been first published, performed, broadcast or screened between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014. Details about voting for the People’s Choice Award will be announced soon.

About me

I’m a freelance reviewer, journalist, writer and editor. I blog over at Wordsville and can be found in the library (I work in one) and on Twitter @PaulaGrunseit