PM’s Literary Awards 2012 shortlists announced

The shortlists for this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles in each of the categories are:



  • Ashes in the Air (Ali Alizadeh, UQP)
  • Interferon Psalms (Luke Davies, A&U)
  • Armour (John Kinsella, Picador)
  • Southern Barbarians (John Mateer, Giramondo)
  • New and Selected Poems (Gig Ryan, Giramondo)


  • A Short History of Christianity (Geoffrey Blainey, Viking)
  • Michael Kirby Paradoxes and Principles (A J Brown, Federation Press
  • When Horse Became Saw: A Family’s Journey Through Autism (Anthony Macris, Penguin)
  • Kinglake-350 (Adrian Hyland, Text)
  • An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Mark McKenna, MUP)

Prize for Australian History

  • 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia (James Boyce, Black Inc.)
  • The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia (Bill Gammage, A&U)
  • Breaking the Sheep’s Back (Charles Massy, UQP)
  • Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal people and the Australian Nation (Russell McGregor, Aboriginal Studies Press)
  • Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us (Renegade Films Australia)

Young adult fiction

  • A Straight Line to My Heart (Bill Condon, A&U)
  • Being Here (Barry Jonsberg, A&U)
  • Pan’s Whisper (Sue Lawson, Black Dog Books)
  • When We Were Two (Robert Newton, Penguin)
  • Alaska (Sue Saliba, Penguin)

Children’s fiction

  • Evangeline, the Wish Keeper’s Helper (Maggie Alderson, illus by Claire Fletcher, Viking)
  • The Jewel Fish of Karnak (Graeme Base, Viking)
  • Father’s Day (Anne Brooksbank, Puffin)
  • Come Down, Cat! (Sonya Hartnett, illus by Lucia Masciullo,Viking)
  • Goodnight, Mice! (Frances Watts, illus by Judy Watson, ABC Books).

The winners of each of the categories will receive a tax-free cash prize $80,000, with each shortlistee receiving $5000 tax-free.

As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, this is the first year that a poetry award has been offered as part of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History has also been incorporated into the awards this year.

For more information about the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, click here.