2011 NSW Premier's Literary Award winners announced

Posted Monday 23rd May, 2011

The winners of the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced at a gala dinner at the Sydney Opera House this week.

Some of the country's leading writers and luminaries were at the event, including
ABC TV presenter Jennifer Byrne (as MC), NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and former
Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser.

One of Australia’s best-loved writers, Alex Miller, was awarded the Christina Stead
Prize for Fiction for Lovesong. Alex has received numerous awards for his writing,
including twice winning the prestigious Miles Franklin Award. Miller also won The People’s Choice Award.

Introduced three years ago to increase public engagement with the arts, the People’s Choice Award was chosen by
Australian residents from the six novels shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize.

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, along with Margaret Simons,
was awarded the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction for Malcolm Fraser: The
Political Memoirs. It also took out Book of The Year. The judges described it as an
engaging work that demonstrates how literary craft can transcend the usual
limitations of political autobiography.

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, established in 1979, were Australia’s first
premier’s awards. In their 32 year history, they have honoured many of the nation’s
greatest writers, including David Malouf, Shaun Tan and Jane Campion.

Over the course of the evening, $315,000 in prizes were given out over 13
categories. Author Libby Gleeson, AM, received a Special Award for her numerous
contributions to the children’s book industry.

Jennifer Maiden won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for her collection Pirate
Rain, making her the first poet to win the prize three times.

Other winners include Debra Oswald for Offspring (Script Writing Award), Patricia
Cornelius for Do Not Go Gentle… (Play Award), Cath Crowley for Graffiti Moon
(Ethel Turner Prize), Sophie Masson for My Australian Story (Patricia Wrightson
Prize), Ouyang Yu for The English Class (Community Relations Commission Award),
Stephen Daisley for Traitor (UTS Glenda Adams Award) and Ian Johnson
(Translation Prize & PEN Medallion).

Additionally, the recipient of the 2011 NSW Writer’s Fellowship was announced. The
winner, chosen from a field of 111 applications, was Emily Maguire. The Fellowship
is offered annually by the NSW Government and is valued at $20,000.

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards help to establish values and standards in
Australian literature and draw international attention to some of the country's best
writers and to the cultural environment that nurtures them.

Paula Abood, Stephen Axelsen, Professor Robyn Ewing, Farid Farid, Judi Farr,
Johanna Featherstone, Tim Gooding, Dr Kathryn Heyman, Jacqueline Kent,
Suzanne Leal, Dr Chris Mead, Stephen Measday, Rhyll McMaster (Chair), Tony
Morphett, Omar Musa, Dr Camilla Nelson, Jane Oehr, Joseph Pugliese, Judith
Ridge, Polly Rowe, James Roy and Les Wicks. 

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