27 September 2023

Literary lights glow in Premium’s best books

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The 2023 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards winners have been announced at a ceremony at the State Library of Western Australia.

The night’s major winner was Tracy Ryan, who won the WA Writer’s Fellowship ($60,000 award). Ms Ryan (pictured) is a novelist and poet who has worked as a teacher, journalist and bookseller.

The Premier’s Prize for Book of the Year ($15,000), sponsored by Writing WA, was won by The Red Witch: A Biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard by
Nathan Hobby.

The judges described the book as an impeccably researched and a definitive account of one of WA’s greatest writers.

An urban legend, a swamp monster, an apocalyptic thriller and an owl who loves stars were all nominated for the Premier’s Prize for Children’s Book of the Year ($15,000).

Wild Australia Life, written by best-selling author and biologist, Leonard Cronin and illustrated by Chris Nixon won with an exquisite exploration of Australian animals that belongs on every family’s bookshelf.

Gothic fiction novel Banjawarn by Josh Kemp, a white-knuckle, psychedelic road trip through the Eastern Goldfields, won the Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer ($15,000).

The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Fiction ($15,000 and a publishing contract) was awarded to Uncle Xbox (Book 2) – Getting Dusty by Nukunu man Jared Thomas.

The manuscript is a middle-grade story that follows Dusty as he learns valuable lessons on respecting the power of nature, knowing your limits and when to walk away.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is administered and funded by Broome-based Indigenous publisher, Magabala Books with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and is open to Indigenous writers from across Australia.

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