Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist Announced

Shortlisted for the Unpublished Manuscript Prize, Michelle Aung Thin

Shortlisted for the Unpublished Manuscript Prize, Michelle Aung Thin

Victoria’s biggest prize for writing - the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards - has announced the shortlist with judges saying “in their different ways, these authors are masters of their craft.”

In fiction, there were established names like Peter Carey and JM Coetzee, but also newcomer Craig Silvey for his second book Jasper Jones and crime writer Peter Temple for his Miles Franklin winning, Truth.

Non-fiction was dominated by female authors with only Rodney Hall’s Popeye Never Told You the only book from a male author. Kirsten McKenzie (A Swindler’s Progress), Maria Nugent (Captain Cook Was Here), Maria Tumarkin (Otherland) and Brenda Walker (Reading by Moonlight) were all part of the all-woman line-up for non-fiction. The prize for a book of first history and indigenous writing were both all female affairs.

One of the most closely watched prizes is the award for an unpublished manuscript. This year three debut authors made the list: Michelle Aung Thin for her novel set in colonial Burma, Age Short Story winner Peggy Frew and Andrew Nette for his Cambodian based crime novel, which judges called “fast-paced, richly atmospheric spin on the Chandler-esque disillusioned gumshoe”. The full judge’s reports are now online.

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