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Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
or WA Premier's Book Awards
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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History

The Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards aims to support, develop and recognise excellence in writing. 

In 2015, the awards moved to a biennial format, but it was announced in 2018 that the awards would return to an annual format.

There were no awards in 2017.

In 2018, the awards were re-imagined to include four categories. Three of these are open to Western Australian residents only: Western Australian Writing Fellowship; Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer; and Premier's Prize for Writing for Children. The Daisy Utemorrah Award for unpublished Indigenous Junior and YA Writing (established in 2018), is open to all Australian residents.

The awards are announced in the year following the works' publication.

Latest Winners / Recipients (also see subcategories)v1539

Year: 2005

winner y separately published work icon Cleared Out : First Contact in the Western Desert Yuwali , Sue Davenport , Peter Johnson , Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 2005 Z1502511 2005 single work life story

'In 1964, a group of 20 Aboriginal women and children in the Western Desert made their first contact with European Australians — patrol officers from the Woomera Rocket Range, clearing an area into which rockets were to be fired. They had been pursued by the patrol officers for several weeks, running from this frightening new force in the desert.'

'Yuwali, 17 at the time, remembers every detail of the drama – first seeing these ‘devils’ and their ‘rocks that moved’, escaping the strange intruders. Her sharp recollections are complemented in a 3-part diary of the ‘chase’ by the colourful official reports of the patrol. These reflect a similar drama – arguments within Government about the treatment of desert inhabitants and public scepticism about the Government’s intent. Line-drawn maps and black & white illustrations complement the text.'

'Yuwali’s story also resonates in today’s debate about the future of many Indigenous desert communities. Cleared Out combines three oral histories, detailed archival research and a wealth of photographs and rare film footage from the patrol. Through one extraordinary episode, the multiple perspectives on the moment of contact are revealed.' (Resource: Publishers website)

winner y separately published work icon Cleared Out : First Contact in the Western Desert Yuwali , Sue Davenport , Peter Johnson , Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 2005 Z1502511 2005 single work life story

'In 1964, a group of 20 Aboriginal women and children in the Western Desert made their first contact with European Australians — patrol officers from the Woomera Rocket Range, clearing an area into which rockets were to be fired. They had been pursued by the patrol officers for several weeks, running from this frightening new force in the desert.'

'Yuwali, 17 at the time, remembers every detail of the drama – first seeing these ‘devils’ and their ‘rocks that moved’, escaping the strange intruders. Her sharp recollections are complemented in a 3-part diary of the ‘chase’ by the colourful official reports of the patrol. These reflect a similar drama – arguments within Government about the treatment of desert inhabitants and public scepticism about the Government’s intent. Line-drawn maps and black & white illustrations complement the text.'

'Yuwali’s story also resonates in today’s debate about the future of many Indigenous desert communities. Cleared Out combines three oral histories, detailed archival research and a wealth of photographs and rare film footage from the patrol. Through one extraordinary episode, the multiple perspectives on the moment of contact are revealed.' (Resource: Publishers website)

History Award

Year: 2003

winner (Children's Books) y separately published work icon The Legend of Lasseter's Reef Mark Greenwood , Crawley : Cygnet Books , 2003 Z1075699 2003 single work children's fiction children's

Year: 1997

winner (Script) form y separately published work icon Culture Clash Sarah Rossetti , Australia : Rosenbaum Whitbread Film & Television Productions , 1997 16997929 1997 single work film/TV

Year: 1994

winner (Historical and Critical Studies Award) y separately published work icon The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society and Culture The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia David Horton (editor), Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 1994 Z96898 1994 anthology prose criticism

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia contains 2000 entries and 1000 photographs, it covers all aspects of Indigenous Australians' lives including history, art, language, sport, education, archaeology, literature, land ownership, social organisation, health, music, law, technology, media, economy, politics, food and religion. (Source: AIATSIS website)

winner (Fiction Award) y separately published work icon Letter to Constantine Joan London , South Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1993 Z188712 1993 selected work short story
winner (Children's Literature) y separately published work icon Rosa's Famous Elbow Mike Lefroy , Peter Kendall (illustrator), Western Australia : Sandcastle Books , 1993 Z834745 1993 single work picture book children's

Year: 1993

winner y separately published work icon One Small Step and Witchplay Heather Nimmo , Tobsha Learner , Paddington : Currency Press , 1995 Z194438 1995 selected work drama
winner (Childrens Book Award) y separately published work icon Roughtail : The Dreaming of the Roughtail Lizard and Other Stories Told by the Kukatja Tjarany : Tjaranykura Tjukurrpa Ngaanpa Kalkinpa Wangka Tjukurrtjanu; Tjarany : Roughtail Gracie Greene , Joe Tramacchi , Lucille Gill , Lucille Gill (illustrator), Broome : Magabala Books , 1990 Z843149 1990 selected work children's fiction children's Indigenous story

'Tjarany Roughtail contains eight dreamtime stories from the Kukatja people of Western Australia’s remote Kimberley Region. Each story is complemented by beautiful artworks painted by Aboriginal artist Lucille Gill that visually explain each story using traditional dot paintings. Told in English and Kukatja, the book includes magnificent paintings, maps, kinship diagrams, exercises and language notes. Winner of Children's Book Council of Australia Award.'

winner (Poetry Award) y separately published work icon Full Fathom Five John Kinsella , South Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1993 Z272089 1993 selected work poetry
winner (Fiction Award) y separately published work icon The House of Breathing Gail Jones , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1992 Z508629 1992 selected work short story (taught in 2 units)

'The invasion of East Timor, the sinking of the Titanic, Freud's encounter with an "imbecile dwarf," astronomy, pregnancy, Tiananmen Square, a remote Aboriginal community: these historical episodes and narratives inspire the fourteen superb and engaging short stories in The House of Breathing, winner of four major Australian literary prizes. Concerned with the extremes of human experience, Jones's stories give fictional form to a wide range of philosophical concerns: cultural imperialism, political and sexual repression, the impact of modern technology on culture and consciousness.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (US ed.)

winner (Premier's Prize) y separately published work icon Central Mischief : Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself Elizabeth Jolley , Caroline Lurie (editor), Ringwood : Viking , 1992 Z314003 1992 selected work prose
winner (Historical and Critical Studies Award) y separately published work icon Central Mischief : Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself Elizabeth Jolley , Caroline Lurie (editor), Ringwood : Viking , 1992 Z314003 1992 selected work prose
winner (Script) One Small Step Heather Nimmo , 1992 single work drama
— Appears in: One Small Step and Witchplay 1995; (p. 13-63)

Works About this Award

Fact, Fiction Logjam as Awards Loom 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 6 July 2016; (p. 19)

'The WA Premier’s Book Awards finalists have been announced after a year’s lay-off because of State Budget cuts.'

'The 792 entries, up 61 per cent from 492 in 2014, reflects the backlog since Richard Flanagan won the major $25,000 Premier’s Prize with The Narrow Road to the Deep North.But the new biennial format appears to have deterred some entries because publishers prefer more current recognition soon after a book’s release. ...'

Literature Lovers Slam Changes to Awards Candice Barnes , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 February 2015; (p. 31)
De Kretster Lands Double in Premier's Awards William Yeoman , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 17 September 2013; (p. 6-7)
WA Premier's Choice Award Finalist William Yeoman , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 16 July (p. 6)
WA Premier's People's Choice Award Finalist William Yeoman , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 9 July 2013; (p. 7)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
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