Qld Literary Awards vs Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

Coal CreekThe winners of the Qld Literary Awards and the PM Literary Awards are being announced on the same evening – Monday 8th December. You can follow the PM announcements live at ‪#PMLitAwards  or tune into ‪@APAC_ch648  at 7:15pm ‪http://on.fb.me/1pPELkt .

It is fantastic that both these awards exist. They include outstanding Australian books and their shortlists promote these titles as well as our valuable book industry. Their prize money is very different, with the PM winners receiving $80,000 each and the shortlisted authors receiving $5,000 – the amount the winners of the QLA receive.

These two awards also have some shortlisted books in common (keep in mind that the awards have different eligible voting periods, causing some books to be shortlisted in different years).

The books shortlisted in both awards are:


The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)

Coal Creek, Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)

Children’s Fiction ROS

Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan (Hachette)


Young Adult Fiction

The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo)


Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Clare Wright (Text Publishing)

There are no overlaps in the non-fiction and poetry categories, with strong, diverse contenders in both.

The Qld Literary Awards has some extra categories:

University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award

Letters to George Clooney, Debra Adelaide (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Promise, Tony Birch (UQP)

An Elegant Young Man, Luke Carman (Giramondo Publishing)

Only the Animals, Ceridwen Dovey (Penguin Australia)

Holiday in Cambodia, Laura Jean McKay (Black Inc. Books)

Letter to George Clooney

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award

There is no shortlist for this category; the winner of the award will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Monday 8 December.

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

3 for a Wedding, Julie Kearney

We Come From Saltwater People, Cathy McLennan

Open Cut, Leanne Nolan

And the People’s Choice Awards …

As a judge of the Griffith University Children’s Book Award, I would like to particularly mention our shortlist

Big Red KangarooRefuge, Jackie French (Harper Collins Publishers)

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter, Pamela Rushby (Harper Collins Publishers)

Nature Storybooks: The Big Red Kangaroo, Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne (Walker Books Australia)

Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)

Smooch and Rose, Samantha Wheeler (UQP)

As it turned out, our top books are a combination of novels and illustrated works; from Qld, national, established and emerging creators; and include a non-fiction book, The Big Red Kangaroo, which is also a work of art.

The YA judges have also produced an excellent list

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Zac & Mia, A.J Betts (Text Publishing)

The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing)

The Accident, Kate Hendrick (Text Publishing)

Tigerfish, David Metzenthen (Penguin Australia)

The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists in full are at http://arts.gov.au/shortlists

And I’ve previously written more about the PM awards at http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/more-about-the-2014-prime-ministers-literary-awards/2014/10

Staff from the State Library of Queensland (also the venue hub of the BWF)  have taken over the administration of the QLA awards for the first time this year and have done a brilliant job. The awards had been coordinated by an extraordinary committee of volunteers for the past few years since the Qld Premier’s Literary Awards were axed by Campbell Newman’s government. The SLQ has also sponsored the poetry award and some Qld Universities such as the University of Queensland, Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland, have also stepped in to sponsor awards. Enormous thanks to them all.

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors and to the winners of both these awards. We will know the outcome soon!

Incredible Here and Now

Player Profile: Chris Pavone, author of The Accident

chrispavoneChris Pavone, author of The Accident

Tell us about your latest creation:

THE ACCIDENT is an international thriller about ambition and corruption; the story takes place over one long, perilous day in the life of a literary agent who receives an anonymous, dangerous manuscript about a powerful man’s secret past.

Where are you from / where do you call home?:

 I’m from New York City, and except for university and a modest expat stint in Luxembourg, it’s where I’ve always lived.

When you were a kid, what did you want to become?  An author?:

As David Byrne of the Talking Heads supposedly said, “I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut, preferably at the same time.” Which is to say: I didn’t have any rational expectations.

9780571298938What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:

THE EXPATS is the novel of mine that’s more true and more special; THE ACCIDENT is a more thrilling thriller. They’re different books, but I think there’s no “best” in the comparison.

Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:

 I write in a member’s club, which is sort of like a fine hotel lobby, with waiters bringing coffee and food, and a swimming pool on the roof, and lots of people around, all the time. I’m not productive in quiet solitude.

When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:

 I read primarily what’s referred to as literary fiction, and also a steady diet of various types of crime novels.

What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:

The Sun Also Rises is the book I read the most closely, the most frequently, and thought the most meaningful.

If you were a literary character, who would you be?:

 I’d be James Bond. I don’t think I need to explain why.

Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:

 I cook, play tennis, do crosswords, play ball with my kids. Sometimes when I ought to be writing a novel, I’ll instead paint the dining room walls.

What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:

Negroni on the rocks is my go-to cocktail. For the past couple of years, my favorite food to cook has been a 24-hour pork roast, recipe courtesy of the River Cottage Meat Book.

Who is your hero? Why?:

My twin sons share that honor jointly. Every day I’m amazed at their capacity for empathy, kindness, humor, enthusiasm, and overall goodness. I suspect the world would be much better if it were run by the children.

Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:

Consumers are spending huge sums on culture and entertainment, but they’re increasingly paying it to device manufacturers, cable network operators, and internet/telecom service providers. Then they expect the intellectual property itself–the books, the news, the films, the TV shows, the games, the apps–to be “free” or approaching it. We have been tricked into lining the coffers of immensely profitable international corporations, while withholding fair compensation from individual artists, performers, writers, and other creators. This is not only unjust; it’s untenable.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChrisPavone

Website: http://www.chrispavone.com/