Victorians have 21 more reasons to warm the soul and invigorate the mind with a good book this winter with the announcement of The Premier's 21 shortlist for the 2011 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.
Speaking at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne this morning, Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu said the books had depth and diversity and reflected outstanding work by Australian authors, poets and playwrights over the last 12 months.
"Readers of these works will be taken on a thrilling journey across the world and the ages," Mr Baillieu said.
"These exciting works come from writers at all stages of their careers and capture the energy and dynamism of contemporary Australian literature, and it is great that more than half the shortlisted writers are from Victoria."
Works have been nominated in five award categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry and Writing for Young Adults, with the winner of each receiving $25,000.
Category winners will also be in the running for a new prize – the Victorian Prize for Literature – which offers a further $100,000 in prize money, making it the richest single literary prize in the country.
2011 also sees the introduction of the first Victorian Premier's Literary Awards People's Choice Award, where the general public for the first time will have the opportunity to have a say and get involved with the awards program by voting for their favourite work on the shortlist.
The Victorian Premier's Literary Awards were established in 1985 to recognise and promote excellence in Australian writing and to encourage a commitment to reading.
The full 2011 Premier's Literary Awards shortlist follows.
For more information and to vote for the People's Choice Award visit www.wheelercentre.com
The Premier's 21: Shortlist for 2011 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
- Five Bells by Gail Jones - published by Vintage
- When Colts Ran by Roger McDonald - Alfred A Knopf
- That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott - Picador
- The Amateur Science of Love by Craig Sherborne - Text Publishing
- Bright and Distant Shores by Dominic Smith - Allen & Unwin
- The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson - Allen & Unwin
The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction
- Good Living Street: The Fortunes of my Viennese Family by Tim Bonyhady - Allen & Unwin
- My Blood's Country by Fiona Capp - Allen & Unwin
- Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences by Cordelia Fine - Allen & Unwin
- A Private Empire by Stephen Foster - Pier 9
- Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania's Forests by Anna Krien - Black Inc
- An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark by Mark McKenna - Melbourne University Publishing
The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
- Do Not Go Gentle by Patricia Cornelius - Fortyfive Downstairs
- Intimacy by Raimondo Cortese - Ranters Theatre
- Sappho...in 9 Fragments by Jane Montgomery Griffiths - Currency Press
The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry
- This Floating World by Libby Hart - Five Islands Press
- The Taste of River Water by Cate Kennedy - Scribe Publications
- Swallow by Claire Potter - Five Islands Press
The Prize for Writing for Young Adults
- Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - Pan Macmillan
- The Three Loves of Persimmon by Cassandra Golds - Penguin Books
- The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher by Doug MacLeod - Penguin Books