The 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists have been announced

The shortlists for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced today, bringing together some of Australia’s most prominent and decorated writers. The Fiction shortlist, for example, features two former Man Booker winners, and two Miles Franklin winners. 

The Awards recognise Australia’s literary talent across six different categories: fiction, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult literature, children’s literature and poetry. A panel of fifteen judges, whittled down more than 500 entries across these six categories to a shortlist of thirty. 

The winner of each categories will receive $80,000, whilst each of the shortlisted authors will receive $5000. The winners are set to be announced later in the year. 

The 2018 shortlists are: 


  • A Long Way from HomePeter Carey
  • Border DistrictsGerald Murnane
  • First PersonRichard Flanagan
  • TabooKim Scott
  • The Life to ComeMichelle de Kretser


  • Asia’s ReckoningRichard McGregor
  • Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940sSheila Fitzpatrick
  • No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces at War in AfghanistanChris Masters
  • The Library: A Catalogue of WondersStuart Kells 
  • UnbreakableJelena Dokic and Jessica Halloran

Australian history

  • Beautiful Balts: From Displaced Persons to New AustraliansJayne Persian
  • Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal SydneyPaul Irish
  • Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901Timothy Rowse
  • John Curtin’s War: The coming of war in the Pacific, and reinventing Australia, Volume 1John Edwards
  • The Enigmatic Mr DeakinJudith Brett


  • ArchipelagoAdam Aitken
  • Blindness and Rage: A PhantasmagoriaBrian Castro
  • ChatelaineBonny Cassidy
  • Domestic InteriorFiona Wright
  • TransparenciesStephen Edgar

Young Adult literature

  • Living on Hope StreetDemet Divaroren
  • My Lovely FrankieJudith Clarke
  • RubenBruce Whatley
  • The Ones that DisappearedZana Fraillon
  • This is My SongRichard Yaxley

Children’s literature

  • FeathersPhil Cummings and Phil Lesnie
  • Figgy Takes the CityTamsin Janu
  • Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee!Lisa Shanahan and Binny Talib
  • Pea Pod LullabyGlenda Millard and Stephen Michael King
  • Storm WhaleSarah Brennan and Jane Tanner

For more information about the shortlisted books, authors and to see the judges’ comments, click HERE.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.