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Children’s Literature prize added to Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Already home to the richest literary prize in the country, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards program is set to expand with the introduction of a new award to celebrate children’s literature.

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Ahead of Children’s Week, Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos today visited the world’s oldest children’s bookstore The Little Bookroom in Fitzroy North, announcing the new annual award which will offer $25,000 in prize money to the creators of the best children’s book published in Australia each year.

The Award for Children’s Literature will encompass writing for ages zero to twelve. The first intake for entries will be 2023, with the winner announced at the 2024 awards ceremony.

Joining current categories across Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Indigenous Writing and Writing for Young Adults, the new accolade sits alongside the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and People’s Choice Award.

Each year the winner of the Award for Children’s Literature will also be in the running for the overall Victorian Prize for Literature – worth a further $100,000 the award is the most significant literary prize in the country.

Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos said, ‘This prize recognises the significance of children’s literature and will celebrate the talented writers and illustrators who bring the art of storytelling, the wonder of imagination and a tonne of fun to our lives from the very beginning.’

Inaugurated by the Victorian Government in 1985 to honour literary achievement by Australian writers, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards showcase the breadth and depth of Australian literary talent.

The awards are administered by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.

The Wheeler Centre CEO, Caro Llewellyn said, ‘Reading from a young age is not only vital for improving literacy and language skills, but for enriching the creative and emotional lives of children.

‘As facilitators of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, the Wheeler Centre is pleased to see the introduction of this category for the 2024 awards to recognise, and encourage further engagement with, this thriving sector of Australia’s vibrant literary community.’

Commencing 22 October, Children’s Week celebrates the talents, skills, achievements and rights of children through free family friendly events and activities. For more details visit vic.gov.au/childrens-week.

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