- $60,000 Western Australian Writer's Fellowship won by writer, activist and political analyst Sisonke Msimang
- $15,000 Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer won by Rebecca Giggs for Fathoms: The World in the Whale (Scribe Publications)
- $15,000 Premier's Prize for Writing for Children was won by writer Meg McKinlay and illustrator Matt Ottley for How to Make a Bird (Walker Books Australia)
- Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Fiction won by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler for the manuscript Dirran
Western Australian writer, activist and political analyst Sisonke Msimang, who is known for her works on race, gender and democracy, was last night awarded the $60,000 Western Australian Writer's Fellowship as part of the Premier's Book Awards.
Using the Fellowship, Msimang will write a novel tracing the stories of three African and Indian-heritage families who settle in Perth in the 1970s, exploring 50 years of change in Australian multiculturalism.
The $15,000 Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer was awarded to Rebecca Giggs for Fathoms: The World in the Whale (Scribe Publications). The judges said Giggs' lyrical prose alchemises science, history, philosophy, activism and nature writing to weave the whale's timely, evocative and engrossing story.
The $15,000 Premier's Prize for Writing for Children was awarded to How to Make a Bird (Walker Books Australia), written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Matt Ottley. The judges stated that this exquisitely illustrated book uses spare prose to tell the story of a young girl who begins a literal journey to make a bird.
The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Writing Award was open to indigenous writers from across Australia and was won by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler for their manuscript Dirran. The winning manuscript continues the story of Mia, from the award-winning novella Black Cockatoo (Magabala Books), as she learns to live in two worlds, her traditional Country and her new boarding school in the city.
The Daisy Utemorrah 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 Western Australia's peak awards for writers and focus on supporting Western Australian writers, with a major Fellowship awarded for the third time. At $60,000, the Western Australian Writer's Fellowship is one of the most valuable awards in Australian arts.
For more information on the winners, shortlists and judging panel, visit http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"What a remarkable, poignant, and exceptional collection of works from our winners.
"Libraries are a haven for writers, researchers, students and the community so it is fitting that these awards are announced at our State Library.
"The Premier's Book Awards are an outstanding testament to the depth, talent and dedication of Western Australian writers and publishers. I urge you to support our local writers so they can continue to share their creativity."
Minister's office - 6552 5400