Please note the below FAQ’s are in regards to the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards. These will be updated when the 2019 awards are open for entry at the end of the year. Some of the answers may change at this time. 

This award is presented and administered by Magabala Books. Please see their website for all entry details and inquiries.

This award is administered by Magabala Books who focus on indigenous writers and stories. The government and the Library is pleased to support this award aimed at emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers for junior or young adult fiction.

First read the Guidelines, Terms and Conditions. Most of your question are answered in the document. Fill out an online entry form and post in five (5) copies of your work. 

Please note there are three different online entry forms.

• The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship
• The Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer
• The Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children

The Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards are free to enter, however the cost of sending books to the State Library must be covered by the applicant.

You must complete an online entry form by 5pm (WST) on 18 February 2019. Please note there may be a last minute run of entrants and we highly recommend entering early. No late submissions will be accepted.

You must post your works by the 19 February 2019 along with your emailed and printed confirmation letter.

Works must be received by the State Library no later than 5pm (WST) 25 February 2019.

Works may be submitted by authors, publishers or literary agents. Publishers or literary agents must have the permission of the author.

The applicant must be substantively a Western Australian resident for a minimum of 12 months prior to the closing date of nominations in order to enter. Proof of residency may be required. However, The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Indigenous Authors is open Australia wide.

Joint authors must have the permission of the other author/s to enter the work. If a work has joint authorship, one of the joint authors must have been a Western Australian resident for a minimum of 12 months prior to the closing date of nominations. Joint authorship is defined here as meaning co-authors, editors, illustrators, translators etc.

Anthologies of poetry or short stories by more than three different authors and compiled by an editor are not eligible.


Works may be submitted in multiple categories, but an author can only win one category per awards cycle. If entering multiple categories, a separate entry form must be filled out for each category and five (5) books provided per category must be sent e.g. two categories would need two (2) online entries and ten (10) books.

No. You can enter multiple categories but cannot win multiple categories.

Self-published books are ineligible. (this will change in 2019).

Only books published between the 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 are eligible for the Premier’s Prize.

No, you must complete an online entry form. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, your local Library membership will allow free computer access.

Once you have completed an online entry form a confirmation email will be sent to you with a mailing address label.

Postage is preferred but you can hand deliver to the Welcome Desk on the ground floor at State Library of Western Australia during Library opening hours. Please bring all copies of your books and a printed version of the packing receipt emailed to you once the entry form is complete. Incomplete drop off may make your entry ineligible.

Yes. All five copies are needed for the judging process and State Library records.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified via email. Unsuccessful entries will not be advised personally of the results. The shortlist will be announced on the State Library Website and social media.

The winners will be announced during the Disrupted Festival of Ideas in July 2019 at the State Library.

Books and other entered material will not be returned. All published works will become the property of the State Library of Western Australia.

The five (5) books are distributed as follows: four (4) copies to the category Judges assessing the nomination, one (1) copy remains with the State Library as a record. The State Library reserves the right to add these works to the State Library’s collections or donate them to charity.

Due to the lapse in time, the review of the writing sector and the budget situation, no awards will be given for works published in 2016 and 2017.

Western Australia has had literary awards since 1982 and they are considered a significant event in the State’s literary calendar by the writing sector. In 2015 due to budget constraints, the Premier’s Book Awards became biennial.

The McGowan government made a 2017 election commitment to reinstate the “... Premier’s Book Awards (PBA) as the annual literary highlight of the State’s cultural calendar celebrating the State’s literary excellence”.

At the same time a review of the Western Australian writing sector was completed. The final report included several recommendation of relevance to the PBA including Recommendation 3, which called for a distinctive PBA that would:

  • Be an annual event;
  • Increase its profile and that of WA writers;
  • Differentiate itself from other State and national awards; and
  • Examine the delivery of the event through the Perth Writers Week.

While it has proved difficult to coordinate the event with the Perth Writers Week, all other recommendations have been met under the new format.

The 2018 format returns its focus to supporting, recognising and celebrating Western Australian writers. The awards also underscore a commitment to supporting and investing in excellence in emerging Western Australian writers. In choosing to deliver an award for children’s writing, the government is also building on its commitment to literacy and the early years.

Information and enquiries:

Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards
State Library of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre
25 Francis Street

Contact: Karen Farmer
Email: premiersbookawards@slwa.wa.gov.au
Telephone: (08) 9427 3173

Last updated on: 24 October 2019