Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

Key facts

Genres / categories


Prize money: $80,000

Key dates

Winner(s) announced: 04/12/2018

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards celebrate outstanding literary talent in Australia and the valuable contribution Australian literature and history makes to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.

The 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards mark 10 years of celebrating great contemporary Australian literature.

Up to $100,000 is awarded in each category: $80,000 for each winner and $5,000 for each shortlisted entry. All prizes are tax-free.

There are six categories:
Australian history
Young adult literature
Children’s literature

2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards:


Winner: Border Districts by Gerald Murnane
A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey
First Person by Richard Flanagan
Taboo by Kim Scott
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser 


Winner: Asia’s Reckoning by Richard McGregor
Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s by Sheila Fitzpatrick
No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces at War in Afghanistan by Chris Masters
The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells
Unbreakable by Jelena Dokic and Jessica Halloran

Australian history

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


Winner: Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria by Brian Castro
Archipelago by Adam Aitken
Chatelaine by Bonny Cassidy
Domestic Interior by Fiona Wright
Transparencies by Stephen Edgar

Young Adult literature

Winner: This is My Song by Richard Yaxley
Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren
My Lovely Frankie by Judith Clarke
Ruben by Bruce Whatley
The Ones that Disappeared by Zana Fraillon

Children’s literature

Winner: Pea Pod Lullaby by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King
Feathers by Phil Cummings and Phil Lesnie
Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin Janu
Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee! by Lisa Shanahan and Binny Talib
Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan and Jane Tanner