2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature shortlist announced

Thirty-seven writers from around Australia have today been honoured in one of the nation’s richest and most prestigious literary awards, with the shortlist released for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

The biennial awards offer a total prize pool of $167,500 across six national and five South Australian categories, including the coveted Premier’s Award worth $25,000 for the overall winner. The awards also include three fellowships for South Australian writers worth $15,000 each.

Introduced by the State Government in 1986 and managed by Arts South Australia, the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature celebrate Australia’s writing culture by offering national and state-based literary prizes. Previous winners include Helen Garner, Les Murray, Robert Dessaix, Peter Carey, David Malouf, Dorothy Porter and Tim Flannery.

Among the shortlisted national finalists for 2018 are South Australian writers Vikki Wakefield and Cameron Raynes in the Young Adult Fiction category, Eva Hornung in the Fiction category, Carol Lefevre in the Non-Fiction category and Ali Cobby Eckermann for the John Bray Poetry Award.

Local playwrights Duncan Graham, Emily Steel and Peter Beaglehole are all shortlisted for the Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award, worth $12,500, which supports the commission and development of a new play with the assistance of the State Theatre Company South Australia.

South Australian authors Poppy Nwosu and Annette Marner are shortlisted for the Arts South Australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award, which offers a prize of $10,000 and publication of the winning manuscript by Wakefield Press.

"The high calibre of this year’s shortlist and the strong representation of South Australian authors proves our rich publishing and literary culture continues to thrive," said Arts South Australia Executive Director, Peter Louca.

"These awards are a great opportunity to highlight the very best of our literary landscape – both in South Australia, and nationally – and to reward excellence in the writing community," said Premier and Minister for the Arts Jay Weatherill. "I congratulate all the shortlisted authors on their nominations, and look forward to revealing the winners at Adelaide Writers’ Week in March."

Winners will be announced in a special ceremony at Adelaide Writers’ Week on Saturday, 3 March, as part of the 2018 Adelaide Festival.

National Awards for published works 

Children’s Literature Award - $15,000

  • Rockhopping by Trace Balla (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Fall by Tristan Bancks (NSW) (Random House)
  • How to Bee by Bren MacDibble (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
  • Sister Heart by Sally Morgan (WA) (Fremantle Press)
  • The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh (NSW) (Penguin)

Young Adult Fiction Award - $15,000

  • Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield (SA) (Text Publishing)
  • First Person Shooter by Cameron Raynes (SA) (MidnightSun Publishing)
  • My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
  • Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
  • One Thousand Hills by James Roy and Noel Zihabamwe (NSW) (Scholastic Australia)
  • The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)

Fiction Award - $15,000 

  • Ghost River by Tony Birch (VIC) (University of Queensland Press)
  • The Last Garden by Eva Hornung (SA) (Text Publishing)
  • The World Without Us by Mirelle Juchau (NSW) (Bloomsbury)
  • Some Tests by Wayne Macauley (VIC) (Text Publishing)
  • From the Wreck by Jane Rawson (VIC) (Barry Scott)
  • A Loving Faithful Animal by Josephine Rowe (TAS)(University of Queensland Press)

John Bray Poetry Award - $15,000 

  • Ghostspeaking by Peter Boyle (NSW) (Vagabond Press)
  • Missing Up by Pam Brown (NSW) (Vagabond Press)
  • Year of the Wasp by Joel Deane (VIC) (Hunter Publishers)
  • Inside My Mother by Ali Cobby Eckermann (SA) (Giramondo)
  • Fragments by Antigone Kefala (NSW) (Giramondo)
  • Redactor by Eddie Paterson (VIC) (Whitmore Press)

Non-Fiction Award - $15,000 

  • Quiet City: Walking in West Terrace Cemetery by Carol Lefevre (SA) (Wakefield Press)
  • Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (ACT) (Scribe Publications)
  • Our Man Elsewhere by Thornton McCamish (VIC) (Black Inc)
  • The Boy behind the Curtain by Tim Winton (WA) (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Understory by Inga Simpson (QLD) (Hachette Australia)
  • eat first, talk later by Beth Yahp (NSW) (Random House Australia)

 South Australian Awards and Fellowships

 Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award - $12,500

  • Prodigal Jones by Duncan Graham
  • 19 Weeks by Emily Steel
  • Strata by Peter Beaglehole

Art South Australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award - $10,000 + publication of the winning manuscript by Wakefield Press

  • Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu
  • A New Name for the Colour Blue by Annette Marner

 Unshortlisted Fellowships

  • The Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship - $15,000
  • The Max Fatchen Fellowship - $15,000
  • Tangkanungku Pintyanthi Fellowship - $15,000