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Winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary awards announced

From an account of an artist community living on a Greek island to a tale of four kids and their teacher solving a decades-old mystery, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for 2019 celebrate the diversity of Australian writing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher handed down the Awards today which recognise the significant contribution literature, history and poetry make towards shaping our Australian identity.

“Congratulations to the outstanding winners of this year’s Awards. We are fortunate to have such remarkable authors, poets, illustrators, creators and historians committed to bringing Australian stories to life,” said the Prime Minister.

“This year’s short list showcases the diversity of our great country.  I really encourage Australians of all ages to pick up a copy of one of this year’s excellent entries.”

Minister Fletcher reinforced the Government’s commitment to supporting Australian literature, history and poetry through the annual Awards.

“These Awards have recognised individual excellence in Australian literature for more than a decade,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Literature is vital in a civilised society. There is something very special about a book as the fruit of sustained and disciplined artistic and intellectual effort. With these awards the Prime Minister on behalf of the nation is recognising outstanding works by Australian authors – as well as acknowledging the importance of literature in the life of our nation, and expressing the Government’s gratitude to every author.”

The Awards are presented in six categories – children’s literature, young adult literature, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history – with a total prize pool of $600,000.

For more information about this year’s winning and shortlisted books, authors and judges’ comments visit www.arts.gov.au/pmla.

Winners | 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards


  • The Death of Noah Glass, Gail Jones, Text Publishing


  • Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964, Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell, Monash University Press

Australian history

  • The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, Meredith Lake, NewSouth Publishing


  • Sun Music: New and Selected Poems, Judith Beveridge, Giramondo Press

Children’s literature

  • His Name Was Walter, Emily Rodda, Angus & Robertson

Young adult literature

  • The Things That Will Not Stand, Michael Gerard Bauer, Omnibus Books


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