Dr Napthine said the awards praise great Australian writing. The awards include the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, Australia’s richest single literary prize. “The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards showcase the extraordinary calibre of Australian writers. The awards aim to profile Australian literature and encourage readers to enjoy Australian works,” Dr Napthine said.
“The 2014 shortlist includes both household names and emerging writers. Readers will be taken from Sri Lanka to Sydney, to the Thai-Burma railway and deep into the southeast Queensland rainforest.
“Topics include the Black Saturday tragedy, the life of Shane Warne and even a reimagining of Medea. I congratulate all of the shortlisted writers for their talent, foresight and creativity.”
Writers were shortlisted across five categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry and Writing for Young Adults – and were selected from a record number of entries.
The winner of each of the five award categories receives a prize of $25,000 and are also in the running for the Victorian Prize for Literature.
Dr Napthine said this was the first year that the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards have been staged in January, which allows readers a whole summer to work their way through the shortlist.
Readers from all over Australia are also encouraged to vote online in the 2014 People’s Choice Award. The winners will be announced at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards ceremony on Tuesday 28 January 2014 at Government House in Melbourne.
The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards are administered by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards program include two further awards; the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, which is presented as part of the Emerging Writers Festival in May each year, and the biennial Award for Indigenous Writing, which will be announced in September 2014.