About the Awards

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were inaugurated by The Hon. John Cain, Premier of Victoria in 1985, to mark the centenary of the births of Vance and Nettie Palmer and to honour and reward literary achievement by Australian writers.

The awards have received bipartisan support since their inception. The Victorian government has established the following vision and aims for the Awards:

  • to promote Victorian leadership by honouring Australian literature, ideas, innovation and learning;
  • recognise excellence in Australian writing and in contributions to the development of Australian culture;
  • advance the Victorian community’s appreciation of Australian literature and encourage commitment to reading;
  • assist living authors in their careers and promote Victoria’s literary and publishing industries.

In 2011 the Premier of Victoria and Minister for the Arts, Ted Baillieu, announced the new streamlined awards program, including the creation of a $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature.

There are five annual award categories (Fiction, Non Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Young Adult) each with a prize of $25,000. The winners of each of these five award categories will also be in the running for the major prize, the 2012 Victorian Prize for Literature, the single most valuable literary award in the country.

Winners will be announced at an awards dinner on October 16, 2012.

The 2012 program also includes the annual $15,000 Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, which was awarded during the Emerging Writers Festival in May and the biennial $20,000 Award for Indigenous Writing, which will be announced on Indigenous Literacy Day, Wednesday 5 September.

The Awards are administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.