Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2016

Your definitive guide to Australia’s best writing.

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The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were inaugurated by the Victorian Government in 1985 to honour literary achievement by Australian writers. The awards are administered by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.   

(There are two additional awards not listed below: the Award for Indigenous Writing and the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. More information and key dates can be found here.) 

Photo of winning writers

Back row (left to right): Gerald Murnane, Miles Allinson, Michael Williams, Catherine Andrews, Martin Foley, Alan Loney. Front row: Mireille Juchau, Mary Anne Butler, Marlee Jane Ward — Photo: Matt Della

For 2016, nominations were received for the following awards, which offer $225,000 in prize monies:

  1. The Prize for Fiction – $25,000
  2. The Prize for Non-fiction – $25,000
  3. The Prize for Drama – $25,000
  4. The Prize for Poetry – $25,000
  5. The Prize for Writing for Young Adults – $25,000

Winners were announced at an Awards ceremony on 28 January 2016. Read about it here.

The Winners

Mary Anne Butler

Mary Anne Butler, winner of the Victorian Prize for Literature — Photo: Matt Della

Fiction: The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)
Non-fiction: Something For The Pain by Gerald Murnane (Text Publishing)
Drama: Broken by Mary Anne Butler (Currency Press)
Poetry: Crankhandle by Alan Loney (Cordite)
Writing for Young Adults: Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward (Xoum Publishing)

The Victorian Prize for Literature: Broken by Mary Anne Butler (Currency Press)

Separately, Melanie Cheng won the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

The Judges

Fiction: Thuy On, Jo Case, Toni Jordan (convenor)
Non-fiction: Sam Cooney, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, Jonathan Green, Sharon Mullins, Robyn Annear (convenor)
Drama: Tom Gutteridge, Lorin Clarke, David Ryding (convenor)
Poetry: Jacinta Le Plastrier, Bonny Cassidy, Cassandra Atherton (convenor)
Writing for Young Adults: Emily Gale, Jess Tran, Bec Kavanagh (convenor)
Award for an Unpublished Manuscript: Kate Callingham, Jennifer Down, Maxine Beneba Clarke

Submissions from publishers and writers are open in September each year for titles published between 1 January and 31 December of the same year.

Chat about the shortlisted titles using the #vpla2016 hashtag.

Highly commended works

· Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Random House Australia)
· The Mothers by Rod Jones (Text Publishing)
· Black Rock White City by A.S. Patrić (Transit Lounge Publishing)

· Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami (Hardie Grant Books)
· Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright (Giramondo Publishing)

· I am a Miracle by Declan Greene

· Happiness by Martin Harrison (UWA Publishing)

Writing for Young Adults
· Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
· Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison (Magabala Books) 


The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist