• literature

8 December 2020

Victoria’s summer reading list is sorted with the announcement of the 26 titles shortlisted for the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today announced the shortlist of authors, playwrights and poets whose works have been judged the year’s best, now in contention for Australia’s richest single literary prize, the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature.

Nominated across seven categories encompassing fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, writing for young adults, Indigenous writing and unpublished manuscripts, the shortlist includes acclaimed Victorian singer-songwriter and author Archie Roach AM and Walkley Book Award winner Louise Milligan.

The drama shortlist comprises a fascinating unsolved murder, a play that celebrates the life of one of Australia’s most treasured sporting icons Evonne Goolagong Cawley, and three interwoven stories that are a reminder of the strength in the human voice, the collective will and the need for action.

Three works have been shortlisted, and a further three highly commended, for the Unpublished Manuscript Award, an award open to Victorian writers which has uncovered local talent including Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil), Jane Harper (The Dry) and Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project).

The winners of the fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, Indigenous writing and young adults’ categories each receive $25,000. The unpublished manuscript winner receives $15,000. All seven award categories go on to contest the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature.

The public is encouraged to participate in the awards by voting for their favourite book published in 2020. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be named alongside the general category winners and will receive $2,000.

The winners will be announced at a special digital awards ceremony on Monday, 1 February. The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were inaugurated by the Victorian Government in 1985 to honour Australian writing and are administered by the Wheeler Centre.

For the shortlisted entrants and voting for the People’s Choice Award, go to wheelercentre.com.