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The Judges

Fiction: Stella Charls, Alice Pung, Jo Case (convener)
Non-fiction: Bruce Pascoe, Sami Shah, Jordy Silverstein, Michaela McGuire, Sharon Mullins (convener)
Drama: Jane Harrison, Emilie Collyer, John Bailey (convener)
Poetry: Samah Sabawi, Emilie Zoey Baker, Alicia Sometimes (convener)
Writing for Young Adults: Marlee Jane Ward, Davina Bell, Jess Tran (convener)

The winners

  • Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
  • Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth Publishing)
  • The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press)
  • Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
  • When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The winner of the Victorian Prize for Literature – Australia’s single richest literary prize – is Leah Purcell with The Drover’s Wife. The winner of the People’s Choice Award is Randa Abdel-Fattah with When Michael Met Mina.

The shortlist


  • Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
  • The Healing Party by Micheline Lee (Black Inc.)
  • Wood Green by Sean Rabin (Giramondo)
  • Waiting by Philip Salom (Puncher and Wattmann)
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)
  • The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe Publications)


  • Songs of a War Boy by Deng Adut with Ben Mckelvey (Hachette Australia)
  • The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
  • The Killing Season Uncut by Sarah Ferguson with Patricia Drum (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth Publishing)
  • Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (Scribe Publications)
  • The Fighter by Arnold Zable (Text Publishing)


  • Girl Shut Your Mouth by Gita Bezard (Black Swan State Theatre Company)
  • Trigger Warning by Zoë Coombs Marr (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
  • The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press)


  • Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)
  • Painting Red Orchids by Eileen Chong (Pitt Street Poetry)
  • Bull Days by Tina Giannoukos (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

Writing for Young Adults

  • When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)
  • The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale (Penguin Random House Australia)

Highly commended


· An Isolated Incident by Emily McGuire (Pan Macmillan)
· Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
· After the Carnage by Tara June Winch (University of Queensland Press)

Writing for Young Adults

· Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin)
· Frankie by Shivaun Plozza (Penguin Books Australia)

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.