Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2022

Your definitive guide to Australia's best writing.

VPLA 2022 Artwork with rainbow outlines of a book next to the words 'Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2022'

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 on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.

The winners of the main suite of awards – the prizes for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Award for Indigenous Writing and Writing for Young Adults – each receive $25,000. The winner of the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript receives $15,000. 

The winners of the six main suite categories go on to contest the overall Victorian Prize for Literature, worth an additional $100,000. This is the single most valuable literary award in the country.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be named alongside the general category winners, and will receive $2,000. You can vote for the People’s Choice Award here

When casting your vote in the VPLA 2022 People’s Choice Award, you have the chance to go in the running to win a Summer Reading book pack, valued at approximately $300. This pack will include a selection of ten books, carefully curated by the Wheeler Centre team. To read more about the terms & conditions, click here.

The 2022 shortlist is listed below, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 3 February 2022.

The shortlist

Fiction 

  • After Story by Larissa Behrendt (University of Queensland Press)

  • Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)

  • Echolalia by Briohny Doyle (Penguin Random House)

  • The Dogs by John Hughes (Upswell Publishing)

  • Smokehouse by Melissa Manning (University of Queensland Press)

  • Permafrost by S.J Norman (University of Queensland Press)

Non-Fiction

Drama

Poetry

Writing for Young Adults

Indigenous Writing

Unpublished Manuscript



Highly commended

Fiction 

  • The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Hachette Australia)

  • In Moonland by Miles Allinson (Scribe Publications)

  • Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster Australia)

Non-Fiction 

  • Currowan by Bronwyn Adcock (Black Inc. Books)

  • The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy (Text Publishing)

  • Design: Building on Country by Alison Page & Paul Memmott (Thames and Hudson Australia)

Indigenous Writing

  • Permafrost by S.J Norman (University of Queensland Press)

  • Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (Magabala Books)

Drama

  • Dogged by Andrea James and Catherine Ryan (Currency Press and Griffin Theatre Company)

Poetry

  • Gravidity and Parity by Eleanor Jackson (Vagabond Press)

  • m//otherland by Asiel Adan Sanchez (Revarena)

  • Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (Magabala Books)

Young Adult

  • The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (Penguin Random House Australia)

Unpublished Manuscript

  • Orangutan Ballet by C.J. Garrow

  • The Echoes of George Street by Elliot J Han

  • Strange Intersections by Sonja Plitt


The judges

Fiction: Melanie Cheng, Bram Presser, Odette Kelada, Angela Meyer (convenor) 

Non-fiction: Maddison Connaughton, Ghassan Hage, Rebecca Harkins-Cross, Daniel James, Quinn Eades (convenor)

Indigenous Writing: Timmah Ball, Tristen Harwood, Crystal McKinnon (convenor)

Drama: Sonya Suares, Angus Cerini, Rinske Ginsberg (convenor)

Poetry: Susie Anderson, Ren Alessandra, Thuy On (convenor)

Writing for Young Adults: Zana Fraillon, Cath Moore, Karys McEwen (convenor)

Unpublished Manuscript: R.W.R. McDonald, Tresa LeClerc, Ronnie Scott (convenor)


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

Share your favourites and join the conversation about the shortlisted titles using the #vpla2022 hashtag.


View previous Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards:

2021 |2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 |2014 |2012 | 2011

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist