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2019 Premier’s Literary Prizes shortlists

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The 2019 Premier’s Literary Prizes shortlists were announced on 11 October 2019.

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.

Rachel Leary - Bridget Crack Robbie Arnott - Flames Danielle Wood and Ralph Crane - Island Story Sarah Day - Towards Light


  • Bridget Crack by Rachel Leary (Allen & Unwin)
  • Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
  • Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text edited by Ralph Crane & Danielle Wood (Text Publishing)
  • Towards Light & Other Poems by Sarah Day (Puncher & Wattmann)

Judges’ comments

The shortlisted books come from both established and emerging writers with distinctive ways of looking at Tasmania. The list includes poetry and fiction and an exploration of the interplay between the material culture of the island and its literary heritage. While all four books offer Tasmanians new ways of understanding their home, they address national and transnational audiences at the same time, and in doing so make the island state important to readers elsewhere.

Margaret Scott Prize

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

Ben Walter - Conglomerate Robbie Arnott - Flames Minnie Darke - Star Crossed Stephen Nicol - The Curious Life of Krill


  • Conglomerate by Ben Walter (A Published Event)
  • Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
  • Star-crossed by Minnie Darke (Penguin Random House)
  • The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World by Stephen Nicol (Island Press)

Judges’ comments

There is a decidedly contemporary feel to the books short-listed for the Margaret Scott Prize. Magic realism, marine science, an intelligent romance, a mineral re-composition—the four books couldn’t be more different, and yet each in its own way is a remarkable literary achievement. The variety of voices and of writing is testimony to the richness of Tasmania’s present literary culture. Not surprisingly, all except the romance are deeply engaged with the environmental concerns for which Tasmania is famous, and their take on the issues is in each case innovative and unexpected.

University of Tasmania Prize

This prize is awarded to the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer. This $5 000 award is sponsored by the University of Tasmania.

Stephenie Cahalan Brendan Colley Susie Greenhill


  • The People’s Park by Stephenie Cahalan
  • The Signal Line by Brendan Colley
  • The Clinking by Susie Greenhill

Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship

This prize is awarded to young emerging writers aged 30 years and under. This $5 000 award is supported by private philanthropists.

Priscilla Beck Sam George Allen Hannah Warwarek


  • Priscilla Beck
  • Sam George-Allen
  • Hannah Warwarek

Winners announcement

The winners of the 2019 Premier’s Literary Prizes will be announced at Government House Tasmania on 5 December 2019.