Last night – I am sitting at the State Library of NSW awaiting the announcement of the 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – and I have to say this is pretty cool. This is the first Premier’s Literary Awards I have attended with my fellow book reviewer Angela Long and we are very pleased to be here! What an amazing array of talent we have here in Australia! Congratulations to all nominated.

Firstly, we were welcomed by Dr Alex Byrne, the NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive, followed by respected Gadigal Elder, Uncle Allan Madden, with the traditional Welcome to Country.

Multi-award winning playwright Mr. Ross Mueller, who delivered the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Address, talked of jobs and culture in the arts, and that our freedom of expression is dependent on an independent arts community. He urged the federal government to further support the arts, and the importance of its place in our everyday lives. He commented ‘We’re all in this together, editors, writers, publishers…this is our nation, this is our time.’ 

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards is one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards with a total of $310,000 of prize money presented across 13 categories.

Acting Premier for NSW Troy Grant said: “These Awards celebrate and honour Australia’s greatest living writers, and on behalf of the NSW Government I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted authors and winners for 2015. Through these prestigious awards we also acknowledge the vital work of our translators, and I am thrilled the inaugural Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize is being presented this year.”

2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Award Winners

Book of the Year $10,000

  • The Bush, by Don Watson (Penguin Books Australia)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction $40,000

  • The Snow Kimono, Mark Henshaw (Text Publishing)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing $5,000

  • An Elegant Young Man, Luke Carman (Giramondo Publishing)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non‐fiction $40,000

  • The Bush, Don Watson (Penguin Books Australia) $40,000

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry $30,000

  • Earth Hour, David Malouf (University of Queensland Press)

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

  • Figgy in the World, Tamsin Janu (Omnibus/Scholastic Australia)
  • Crossing, Catherine Norton (Omnibus/Scholastic Australia)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature $30,000

  • The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting $30,000

  • The Babadook, Jennifer Kent (Causeway)

 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting $30,000

  • Black Diggers, Tom Wright (Queensland Theatre Company)

The NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation $30,000 

  • Brian Nelson

Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize $5000

  • Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

2015 Community Relations Commission for Multicultural NSW $20,000

  • Black and Proud: The story of an AFL photo, Matthew Klugman and Gary Osmond (NewSouth Publishing)

Special Award $10,000

  • David Williamson AO

Judges Comment: ‘David Williamson remains our greatest playwright with a prodigious output of more than 40 plays that have shaped how we view ourselves’

Williamson has written scripts for significant Australian films such as Gallipoli, The Club, The Year of Living Dangerously, Phar Lap and Brilliant Lies – some of which have been adapted from his own plays, as well as for mini-series and tele-movies.

Prems Lit Awards

For more information please see the  State Library of NSW.

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