AustLit logo
Prime Minister's Literary Awards
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


'The Prime Minister's Literary Awards celebrate outstanding literary talent in Australia and the valuable contribution Australian literature and history makes to the nation's cultural and intellectual life.' (


  • 'The Prime Minister's Literary Awards celebrate the contribution of Australian literature to the nation's cultural and intellectual life. The awards recognise literature's importance to our national identity, community and economy.'

    The awards were established with two categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction. In 2010, two new prizes were added to recognise literature for younger reading audiences - Children's Fiction and Young Adult's Fiction.

    Further changes were made to the awards in 2011. The overall prize money for each category remained at $100,000, but instead of the full amount being given to the winner, $80,000 was presented to the author of the winning book while a maximum of four shortlisted authors each received $5,000. From 2011, an annual timetable for the awards was established. Shortlists are announced in May and the winners revealed in July.

    Source: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts website,
    Sighted: 14/04/2008, 18/01/2011

Latest Winners / Recipients (also see subcategories)v1823

Works About this Award

Andrew Pippos Acknowledged in PM’s Shortlist for Literary Awards 2021 single work column
— Appears in: Neos Kosmos , October 2021;
Eye-Bones in Your Throat Omar Sakr , 2021 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 80 no. 1 2021;

'I’ve been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, one of the largest book prizes for authors in Australia; the ceremony is on 10 December, and I don’t want to go. You only need to attend one award ceremony to know why they’re best avoided. First, there is the ugly tension in the room, swirling around a cadre of utterly oblivious rich people for whom this is simply a party at which to display their level of sophistication. Then there is the fantasy mantra invariably doled out, by video montage of previous winners, or sometimes in person, that everyone there is a winner, there are no losers.' (Introduction)

Tara June Winch's The Yield Wins Prime Minister's Literary Award in Strong Year for Indigenous Authors Dee Jefferson , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , December 2020;

'Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch has capped an incredible year of acclaim for her novel The Yield, taking out the $80,000 fiction prize at the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.' (Introduction)