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Announcing the winners of the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Read Thursday, 3 Feb 2022

The 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were announced tonight at a ceremony at MPavilion in Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne, with winners revealed across the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Young Adult and Unpublished Manuscript. The winner of the People’s Choice Award (as chosen by your votes) was announced too – as well as the prestigious overall Victorian Prize for Literature.

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The Victorian Premier’s Literary awards have tonight been announced in a ceremony that celebrated the best Australian writing from the past year. The Hon. Danny Pearson MP and Catherine Andrews awarded the 2022 Victorian Prize for Literature to Veronica Gorrie for her debut work of memoir, Black and Blue: A Memoir of Racism and Resilience. Black and Blue details Gorrie’s ten years spent working as one of the few Aboriginal officers in the Australian Police Force, and offers a first-hand account of the institutional racism and sexism she encountered in a flawed justice system.

The full suite of awards were presented in a ceremony hosted by musician and writer Clare Bowditch at Melbourne’s MPavilion. They were also live-streamed to an online audience around Australia and the world.

In addition to winning the overall Victorian Prize for Literature, Australia’s richest single literary prize worth $100,000, Gorrie received the Prize for Indigenous Writing. The winner of the Fiction, Non-Fiction, Indigenous Writing, Poetry, Drama and Writing for Young Adult categories each receive $25,000. The winner of the Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript receives $15,000. Black and Blue was deemed the most outstanding work across all categories.

The People’s Choice Award, awarded via public vote, went to Rebecca Lim for her Young Adult novel Tiger Daughter. Lim was also shortlisted in the category for Writing for Young Adults and receives $2,000 as People’s Choice.

Winners of the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Victorian Prize for Literature

Black and Blue: A Memoir of Racism and Resilience by Veronica Gorrie (Scribe Publications)

Prize for Fiction

Smokehouse by Melissa Manning (University of Queensland Press)

Prize for Non-Fiction

The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Prize for Drama

Milk by Dylan Van Den Berg (Currency Press and The Street Theatre)

Prize for Poetry

Trigger Warning by Maria Takolander (University of Queensland Press)

Prize for Writing for Young Adults

Girls in Boys’ Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Prize for Indigenous Writing

Black and Blue: A Memoir of Racism and Resilience by Veronica Gorrie (Scribe Publications)

Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript

Fauna of Mirrors by Keshe Chow

People’s Choice Award 

Tiger Daugher by Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)


You can find out more about each winning and shortlisted work, with extracts – and information about the category judges – at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards page. The Awards were inaugurated in 1985 by the late Victorian Premier John Cain to honour literary achievement by Australian writers. They are administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.

You can also purchase all the books from our official VPLA bookseller Readings.

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