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New Talent Shines At Premier’s Literary Awards

01 February 2018

Melbourne-based writer Sarah Krasnostein has scooped Australia’s richest literary prize at the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Ms Krasnostein was presented the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature for her novel The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay and Disaster.

In addition to taking out the top honour, Ms Krasnostein was also awarded the $25,000 Prize for Non-Fiction.

Born in the United States, Krasnostein studied in Melbourne where she now lives and lectures in criminal law at Monash University.

Her debut book tells the true story of Melbourne transgender woman Sandra Pankhurst’s life and career cleaning the scenes of violent crimes.

Melanie Cheng’s short story collection Australia Day was awarded the Prize for Fiction. Demet Divaroren’s novel Living on Hope Street won the Prize for Writing for Young Adults.

Rounding out the all-Victorian winners list – Michele Lee’s political play Rice took out the Prize for Drama and Bella Li’s text and visual hybrid Argosy claimed the Prize for Poetry.

The publicly voted People’s Choice Award went to Alison Evans for Ida.

The Victorian Prize for Literature was awarded from a shortlist of 21 works across the five main categories.

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards celebrate the best contemporary Australian writing and are run by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“This year’s award winners highlight the strength of local writers and publishers – right here in the Creative State.”

“I congratulate all of the winners and finalists. Your storytelling is truly inspiring.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“These are incredible stories told by our best new talent, and most established writers.”

“If you haven’t already, I encourage you to pick up these extraordinary literary works and support our local writers – you’ll be in for a treat.”

Winners of the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Victorian Prize for Literature

The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)

Prize for Fiction

Australia Day by Melanie Cheng (Text Publishing)

Prize for Non-Fiction

The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)

Prize for Drama

Rice by Michele Lee (Playlab)

Prize for Poetry

Argosy by Bella Li (Vagabond Press)

Prize for Writing for Young Adults

Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren (Allen & Unwin)

People’s Choice Award

IDA by Alison Evans (Echo)

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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