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.
At the announcement of the 2013 Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria announced a change in the timing for the rest of year’s awards. From 2014, the Awards will be presented in January rather than September each year. The change, based on industry recommendations, is the latest in a series of reforms implemented over the past two years, which are designed to improve the Awards' processes and profile.
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 2014 Victorian Prize for Literature, the single most valuable literary award in the country.
There are two additional awards - the Premier’s award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and the biennial award for Indigenous Writing (to be awarded in 2014). Entrants to the Indigenous Award are also eligible to enter their work in any of the five general award categories.
The Awards are administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.