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The 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards – Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Shortlist

November 13, 2018

This month Better Reading will be delivering you the latest news about The 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards which began in 2008, celebrate outstanding literary talent in Australia, recognising the contribution that Australian writing makes to our nation’s cultural and intellectual identity.

The awards are presented in six categories:

  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • young adult literature
  • children’s literature
  • poetry
  • Australian history

The award boasts a rich history and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It has grown significantly since its humble origins – in 2008 and 2009, only fiction and non-fiction categories were awarded prizes. In 2010, children’s and young adult categories were introduced, followed by the addition of poetry in 2012. Finally, the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History was incorporated into the award, making it one of the most diverse and far-reaching literary prizes in Australia – a true testament to the importance of reading across all ages and genres.

The 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:


  • A Long Way From Home, Peter Carey, Penguin Random House
  • Border Districts, Gerald Murnane, Giramondo Publishing
  • First Person, Richard Flanagan, Penguin Random House
  • Taboo, Kim Scott, Pan Macmillan
  • The Life to Come, Michelle de Kretser, Allen & Unwin


  • Archipelago, Adam Aitken, Vagabond Press
  • Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria, Brian Castro, Giramondo Publishing
  • Chatelaine, Bonny Cassidy, Giramondo Publishing
  • Domestic Interior, Fiona Wright, Giramondo Publishing
  • Transparencies, Stephen Edgar, Black Pepper


  • Asia’s Reckoning, Richard McGregor, Penguin Random House UK
  • Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s, Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Melbourne Publishing.
  • No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces at War in Afghanistan, Chris Masters, Allen & Unwin
  • The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders, Stuart Kells, Text Publishing
  • Unbreakable, Jelena Dokic and Jessica Halloran, Penguin Random House

Australian history

  • Beautiful Balts: From Displaced Persons to New Australians, Jayne Persian, NewSouth Publishing
  • Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney, Paul Irish, NewSouth Publishing
  • Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901,Timothy Rowse, NewSouth Publishing
  • John Curtin’s War: The coming of war in the Pacific, and reinventing Australia, volume 1, John Edwards,Penguin Random House
  • The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, Judith Brett, Text Publishing

Children’s literature

  • Feathers, Phil Cummings and Phil Lesnie, Scholastic Australia
  • Figgy Takes the City, Tamsin Janu, Scholastic Australia
  • Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee!, Lisa Shanahan and Binny Talib, Hachette Australia
  • Pea Pod Lullaby, Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King, Allen & Unwin
  • Storm Whale, Sarah Brennan and Jane Tanner, Allen & Unwin

Young Adult literature

  • Living on Hope Street, Demet Divaroren, Allen & Unwin
  • My Lovely Frankie, Judith Clarke, Allen & Unwin
  • Ruben, Bruce Whatley, Scholastic Australia
  • The Ones that Disappeared, Zana Fraillon, Hachette Australia
  • This is My Song, Richard Yaxley, Scholastic Australia


The prize per category for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award is a staggering $100,000 with the winner receiving $80,000 and shortlisted entries taking home $5,000 (all tax free).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pleased with this year’s shortlist, stating that the Awards reinforce the contribute literary arts make to Australia. ‘We have a wonderful group of talented authors and I welcome the opportunity to share their works with Australians.’

Winners will be announced on the 5th of December.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for winner updates and author interviews.

You can join the conversation by using the hashtag #PMLitAwards, and you can read more about the awards/shortlisted titles here.


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