The shortlist for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced at the Australian Booksellers Association Conference at the State Library of Victoria.

The shortlisted titles are:

goldenboys-hartnett theeyeofthesheep-laguna thegoldenage-london after darkness - christine piper tree-palace

  • Golden Boys (Sonya Hartnett, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Eye of the Sheep (Sofie Laguna, A&U)
  • The Golden Age (Joan London, Vintage)
  • After Darkness (Christine Piper, A&U)
  • Tree Palace (Craig Sherborne, Text).

Each shortlisted author receives $5000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. The Agency’s Chief Executive, Murray St Leger, said: ‘The $5,000 for each of the five shortlisted authors is our way of giving further recognition to their amazing work, helping them to pay the bills and encouraging them to please give us more to read!’

State Library of NSW Mitchell librarian Richard Neville said on behalf of the judging panel: ‘The 2015 Miles Franklin shortlist presents a powerful group of Australian novels with a rich cast of unforgettable characters, and themes ranging from childhood gangs and domestic violence to itinerant thieves, wartime internment and the post-war polio epidemic.’

The longlist was announced in March and the winner who will be awarded $60,000 will be announced on 23 June.

Winners of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced on 18 May by the Acting Premier for NSW and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Troy Grant MP, at the State Library of NSW, with a total of $310,000 presented across 13 prizes.

The People’s Choice Award went to joint winners Joan London for The Golden Age (Random House) and Ceridwen Dovey for her short story collection Only the Animals (Penguin).

thegoldenage-london Only the Animals

The Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000) went to joint winners Tamsin Janu for Figgy in the World and Catherine Norton for Crossing. Jaclyn Moriarty took out the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000) for Cracks in the Kingdom. The Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting went to Jennifer Kent for The Babadook.

figgy-in-the-world Cracks in the Kingdom Jaclyn Moriarty crossing babadook

The inaugural winner of the Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize ($5,000) was Dr Lilit Zekulin Thwaites of La Trobe University (Honorary Research Associate). Her entry was a body of work which included the translation from Spanish of two science fiction novels –Tears in Rain and The Immortal Collection.

Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural NSW, Hakan Harman, said: ‘It is vital for our society that we acknowledge and promote works of literary excellence that reflect our cultural diversity. By proudly supporting the Premier’s Literary Awards, Multicultural NSW seeks to highlight the richness of that diversity.’

In other Awards news, the shortlist for the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award has been announced and the shortlisted titles are:

  • The Dry (Jane Harper)
  • Nikolai the Perfect (Jim McIntyre)
  • Fine (Michelle Wright).

The judges also commended these entries:

  • A Constant Hum (Alice Bishop)
  • The Kafka Papers: the Revised Memoirs of Max Brod (Lucinda Berg)
  • Unhomely Places (Kerry Munnery)
  • Foreign Madam and the White Yogi (Chris Mooney-Singh)
  • The Hidden Drawer (Imbi Neeme).

There were 137 submissions for this year’s award described by the judges as ‘original and energetic’. The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript is worth $15,000 and is for an unpublished fiction manuscript which may be a collection of stories or a novel. The winner will be announced at the Emerging Writers’ Festival opening night on Tuesday 26 May.

The 2015 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing shortlist has been announced. The prize, for an unpublished manuscript by an Australian or New Zealand writer, is in its eighth year. The winner receives a publishing contract with Text and a $10,000 advance against royalties. There were 268 entries this year and the winner will be announced in Melbourne on 28 May.

The shortlist is:

  • Neverland by Margot McGovern
  • Agatha Abel Meets her Maker by Sophie Overett
  • Solstice by Mark Russell
  • The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr.

Apologies for being a bit behind in posting these updates. I was up in the Blue Mountains at the Varuna program of Sydney Writers’ Festival. It’s always my favourite part of SWF. Highlights were Joan London (The Golden Age) in conversation with Tegan Bennett Daylight; Ellen van Neerven (Heat and Light) and John Connell (The Ghost Estate) in conversation with Geordie Williamson; Zia Haider Rahman (In the Light of What We Know) in conversation with Kate Fagan, and Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk) in discussion with Geordie Williamson.

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