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2019 Premier’s Literary Prizes longlists

Past winnersFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)2019 JudgesLonglists
The longlists for the 2019 Tasmania Book Prize and Margaret Scott Prize were announced on 18 September 2019.

The lists of high calibre published works demonstrate how our state provides a source of inspiration for some of Australia’s best authors, with entries including histories, fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and science writing.

The longlists, which represent a remarkable range of interests, are also a wonderful starting point for those who want to read some of the best work by Tasmanian writers and Tasmanian stories.

Tasmania Book Prize

For the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre. This $25 000 award recognises the influence Tasmania has had on content or perspective and is sponsored by the Tasmanian Government.

Mary Hoban - An Unconventional Wife Rachel Leary - Bridget Crack Robbie Arnott - Flames Stephanie Parkyn - Into the World Danielle Wood and Ralph Crane - Island Story
Kate Legg - Kindred Paul Richardson - Maatsuyker Through Our Eyes Nic Haygarth - On the Ossie Nick Brodie - Vandemonium War Sarah Day - Towards Light


  • An Unconventional Wife: the life of Julia Sorell Arnold by Mary Hoban (Scribe Publications)
  • Bridget Crack by Rachel Leary (Allen & Unwin)
  • Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
  • Into the World by Stephanie Parkyn (Allen & Unwin)
  • Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text edited by Danielle Wood & Ralph Crane (Text Publishing)
  • Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story by Kate Legge (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Maatsuyker through our eyes: Caretaking on Tasmania’s wild and remote Maatsuyker Island by Paul Richardson & Amanda Walker (Forty South)
  • On the Ossie: Tasmanian osmiridium and the fountain pen industry by Nic Haygarth (Forty South)
  • The Vandemonian War: The secret history of Britain’s Tasmanian invasion by Nick Brodie (Hardie Grant Books)
  • Towards Light & Other Poems by Sarah Day (Puncher & Wattmann)

Margaret Scott Prize

For the best book by a Tasmanian writer. This $5 000 award is sponsored by the University of Tasmania.

James Dryburgh - the Balfour Correspondent Ben Walter - Conglomerate Richard Flanagan - First Person Robbie Arnott - Flames Alice Nunn - Going Down Gordon Brown
Marina Jameson - Miss Lily Minnie Darke - Star Crossed Stephen Nicol - The Curious Life of Krill Kristen Lang - The Weight of Light Robert Dessaix - The Pleasures of Leisure


  • Conglomerate by Ben Walter (A Published Event)
  • First Person by Richard Flanagan (Penguin Random House)
  • Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
  • Going Down Gordon Brown: with poems by Andrew Mackirdy by Alice Nunn (Ginninderra Press)
  • Miss Lily: A portrait of the artist Curzona Allport by Marian Jameson (Fullers Publishing)
  • Star-crossed by Minnie Darke (Penguin Random House)
  • The Balfour Correspondent by James Dryburgh (Bob Brown Foundation)
  • The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World by Stephen Nicol (Island Press)
  • The Pleasures of Leisure by Robert Dessaix (Penguin Random House)
  • The Weight of Light by Kristen Lang (Five Islands Press)

Judges’ comments

The 96 books submitted for the Margaret Scott and Tasmania Book prizes reflect a remarkable range of interests among the writers, a range reflected in the longlists. Among the books longlisted for the Tasmania Book Prize, historical themes dominate, but the manner of their telling is varied and inventive. The preoccupations of writers longlisted for the Margaret Scott Prize are far too diverse to characterise in terms of themes. Their books cross genres and move in different directions through space and time. On both lists are books which are outstanding as material objects, testimony to a high quality of design and photography, adding another dimension to the meaning and impact of text.

Shortlists announcement

The shortlists in all the Premier’s Literary Prizes categories, including the University of Tasmania Prize for an unpublished literary work and the Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship, will be announced at the Weekend of Reading in Hobart on Friday, 11 October 2019.