What do a possum, sorcerer’s apprentice, photographer, glasshouse, and an elephant that wants to be an astronaut have in common? They are all nominated for the 2021 Western Australian Premier's Book Awards.

The Emerging Writer shortlist is filled with stories about hearts laid bare. The Fellowship is an eclectic mix of poets, teachers, researchers, a curator, an environmentalist, and a children’s author.

Without further ado... drum roll please!

The shortlist:

The Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer ($15,000)

  • Debesa by Cindy Solonec (Magabala Books)
  • Eye of a Rook by Josephine Taylor (Fremantle Press)
  • Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (Magabala Books)
  • Locust Summer by David Allan-Petale (Fremantle Press)
  • Vociferate by Emily Sun (Fremantle Press)

The Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children ($15,000)

  • A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • One Thousand Snapshots by Steve Heron (Shawline Publishing Group)
  • Stellarphant by James Foley (Fremantle Press)
  • Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne (Hachette Australia)
  • Where Do the Stars Go? by Katie Stewart (Fremantle Press)

The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and YA Fiction ($15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books)

  • Robert Runs by Mariah Sweetman
  • Jack Trials: Whistling Spider by Sean Owen
  • That one summer by Shirleyann Wilson

The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship ($60,000)

  • Caitlin Maling
  • David Whish-Wilson
  • John Mateer
  • Julia Lawrinson
  • Nandi Chinna

The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Fiction is open to Indigenous writers from across Australia. This Award is administered by Broome-based Indigenous publisher Magabala Books with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

The WA Premier's Book Awards support, develop and recognise excellence in Western Australian writing. The award ceremony will be presented at the State Library of Western Australia on 17 June 2022. At the ceremony, a Western Australian writer will be inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame.

The awards will be streamed live on the State Library YouTube Channel on Friday 17 June at 6:30pm (WST).

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