2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists announced

Media release
17 Oct 2018
Prime Minister, Minister for Communications and the Arts

The shortlists for this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have today been announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield.

The Awards play an important role in supporting a national appreciation of Australian literature and provide acknowledgement and recognition for authors and illustrators.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Awards reinforce the contribution literary arts make to Australia.

“I am pleased to announce this year’s shortlists. We have a wonderful group of talented authors and I welcome the opportunity to share their works with Australians,” said Prime Minister Morrison.

Minister Fifield said reading has far reaching benefits, it expands our understanding and stimulates our imagination. These Awards reinforce the importance of literature and reading across all ages.

“This year we received more than 500 entries across the six prize categories, an exceptional response from our writers, poets, illustrators and historians,” Minister Fifield said.

“I’d particularly like to acknowledge our panels comprising 15 judges who have read through and shortlisted 30 of this year’s entries.”

For more information about the books, authors and to see the judges’ comments, visit www.arts.gov.au/pmla.

The 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:

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


  • 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, Ricard 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