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Australian Capital Territory Book of the Year Award
or ACT Book of the Year Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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The ACT Government offers the ACT Book of the Year Award annually for excellence in literature. The Award recognises quality contemporary Australian literary works including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, by ACT-based authors published in the previous calendar year.

The author may include an editor or translator who, in the opinion of the judges, has made a substantial and creative contribution to the original material from which the book is derived.

Source: Sighted: 10/12/2013.


  • The ACT Book of the Year Award 'recognises quality contemporary works and the contribution the book makes to Canberra's literary and cultural life.'

    (Source: ACT government Arts publication, Arts Capital News, December 2003))

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Book of Colours Robyn Cadwallader , Sydney South : HarperCollins Australia , 2018 13526246 2018 single work novel historical fiction

'London, 1321: In a small shop in Paternoster Row, three people are drawn together around the creation of a magnificent book, an illuminated manuscript of prayers, a book of hours. Even though the commission seems to answer the aspirations of each one of them, their own desires and ambitions threaten its completion. As each struggles to see the book come into being, it will change everything they have understood about their place in the world. In many ways, this is a story about power - it is also a novel about the place of women in the roiling and turbulent world of the early fourteenth century; what power they have, how they wield it, and just how temporary and conditional it is.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Dancing Home Paul Collis , St Lucia : The University of Queensland , 2017 11671262 2017 single work novel

‘When he was in gaol, he’d begun to prepare himself for the fight of his life, a showdown with the policeman, McWilliams … he’d face life with death, and see who blinked first.’ 

'Blackie and Rips are fresh out of prison when they set off on a road trip back to Wiradjuri country with their mate Carlos. Blackie is out for revenge against the cop who put him in prison on false grounds. He is also craving to reconnect with his grandmother’s country. 

'Driven by his hunger for drugs and payback, Blackie reaches dark places of both mystery and beauty as he searches for peace. He is willing to pay for that peace with his own life. 

'Part road-movie, part ‘Koori-noir’, Dancing Home announces an original and darkly funny new voice.'

[source: Publisher's website]

Year: 2017

Year: 2016

Year: 2016

Works About this Award

The 2016 ACT Book of the Year Shortlist Has a Wide Variety of Subjects Ron Cerabona , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 26 August 2016;
'The shortlist for the 2016 ACT Book of the Year was announced on Friday at the National Library of Australia by ACT Arts Minister Chris Bourke on the first day of the inaugural Canberra Writers Festival. ...'
Fact and Fiction Features on Book of the Year Shortlist Natasha Rudra , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 20 November 2014; (p. 9)
Writer Walks Off With Top Accolade Natasha Rudra , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 17 December 2008; (p. 3)
Big Win for Avid Reader Helen Musa , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 13 December 2006; (p. 4)
Author's Sense of 'Public Duty' Scoops ACT Literary Award Catherine Naylor , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 9 December 2005; (p. 9)