- $60,000 Western Australian Writer's Fellowship won by bestselling young adult author A.J. Betts
- The Western Australian Writer's Fellowship is one of the most valuable awards in Australian arts
- Reinstatement of annual Premier's Book Awards a McGowan Government election commitment
The winners of the 2018 Premier's Book Awards were announced at the State Library of Western Australia tonight, marking the beginning of a new era for the annual awards.
Funding for the awards has been reinstated following cuts by the former Liberal National Government, which saw the program reduced to a biannual event.
The major winner was A.J. Betts, who won the $60,000 Western Australian Writer's Fellowship. Betts will utilise the Fellowship to write a young adult novel focusing on a teenage band trying to record a song to enter the Triple J Unearthed High competition.
The Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer was won by the poet, Reneé Pettitt-Schipp for her book The Sky Runs Right Through Us (UWA Press) described by the judges as an evocative and memorable poetry collection of experiences both personal and political.
Kelly Canby won the Premier's Prize for Writing for Children for The Hole Story (Fremantle Press). The judges stated that this memorable picture book will intrigue children while engaging those adults who connect them with it.
The Daisy Utemorrah Award for the Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Writing Award was open to Indigenous writers from across Australia and was won by Gunai woman, Kirli Saunders for her moving story in verse for children, Mother Speaks. This award was administered and funded by Broome-based Indigenous publisher Magabala Books with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The Premier's Book Awards are the state's peak awards for writers and focus on supporting Western Australian writers, with a major Fellowship awarded for the first time.
For more information on the winners, the shortlists and the judging panel visit http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Reinstating the Premier's Book Awards as the annual literary highlight of the State's cultural calendar was a key election commitment for the creative sector.
"Congratulations to all the winners and I look forward to reading the new novel by A.J Betts when it is published."
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"The Premier's Book Awards have been redesigned to be unashamedly Western Australian in their focus. Making a living from writing is not easy and it is important to promote our writers, because our stories are important.
"It is fitting that the Awards are held in the State Library as it is a place of learning, a place where literature and writing is celebrated.
"I urge all Western Australians to support our local writers by checking out the winners and those on the shortlist of these important awards."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Culture and the Arts Minister's office - 6552 5400