Western Australian focus on new Premier’s Book Awards

Thursday 20 December 2018

Western Australian writers across all genres will be the beneficiaries of the revamped Premier's Book Awards, which were announced today by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman.

The new format will see the awards reinstated as an annual event and feature three separate Western Australian awards and one national indigenous award.

The three Western Australian awards will be:

  • The Western Australian Writing Fellowship valued at $60,000, designed to assist a Western Australian writer, in any genre, to develop their writing practice;
  • The Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer valued at $15,000. This prize will be for the first published work, in any genre, by an author residing in Western Australia; and
  • The Premier's Prize for Writing for Children valued at $15,000. This award will recognise quality writing for children (0-12), in any genre by an author residing in Western Australia. 

The $15,000 national Daisy Utemorrah Award - for an unpublished manuscript award for junior or young adult fiction by an indigenous author has been created, as a result of a partnership between the Government of Western Australia and Broome-based national indigenous publisher, Magabala Books.

The winners of the Premier's Book Awards will be announced during the 'Disrupted Festival' at the State Library of Western Australia in July 2019. Entries will open on January 2, 2019 and close on February 11, 2019. For information about how to apply for the awards, consult the State Library of Western Australia's website at http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au  

Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

"We have some amazing and celebrated Western Australian writers already but we must nurture new and emerging talent to ensure we have our stories told into the future.

"The major prize this year is a fellowship that will work to provide concrete support to a Western Australian writer in developing his or her skills, providing them precious time to write.

"I am also excited about the reactivation of the Western Australian Writing Hall of Fame, which will recognise and honour our great Western Australian writers from Randolph Stow, Elizabeth Jolley, Jack Davis and Mary Durack to our contemporary literary stars Shaun Tan, Kim Scott and Tim Winton.

"Importantly, The Premier's Award for Writing for Children will recognise quality writing for children aged from birth to 12 years, ensuring we instil a love for books and writing in our next generation of writers."

Comments attributed to Sarah McGowan:

"Recognising our Western Australian writers' talents and supporting them through their creativity and work will result in more wonderful books being written and published - for more people to enjoy. 

"As a parent and a school teacher, I see firsthand the benefits of children discovering a wider genre of books. By widening the variety of books you read you're improving literacy as you learn more words and phrases, which can help with expression and builds confidence in reading, writing and comprehension.

"I've visited many schools, libraries and child and parent centres across the State through my work as the Never Stop Reading! Ambassador and I'm heartened to see so many shelves stocked with iconic and great books by WA writers.

"While my visits are about promoting reading aloud and ensuring more children continue to be read to even when they know how to read - it's so vital to have books written by wonderful WA writers to point to."

Minister's office - 6552 5400

Last updated on: 7 January 2019