Winners announced for 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Woman standing among confetti in front of pink background.

The winners for the State Library of NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for 2022 have been announced, with a total of $295,000 awarded across 12 prizes. Congratulations to all of the category winners!

According to the press release:

NSW Premier The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP said: “The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have celebrated Australia’s best writers for more than 40 years. I congratulate this year’s award winners and nominees whose work challenges us, entertains us, and opens our eyes to a diversity of perspectives on the Australian experience at a unique point in our history.”

State Librarian John Vallance added: “Writers need readers. The State Library of NSW, with the strong support of the NSW Government and its Premier, has acted as a matchmaker bringing the two together for many years. The awards are now more important than ever as we slowly emerge from the plague, and I hope that the widest possible readership will want to explore this year’s remarkable body of work.”

According to Senior Judge Jane McCredie: “The quality and inventiveness of Australian writing has never been more impressive. Our judges grappled with 750 written works presenting a rich array of genres and styles which explore everything from the major themes of our times to the most intimate details of what it is to be human.”

Here are the categories and winners:

Book of the Year ($10,000)
Still Alive: Notes from Australia's Immigration Detention System by Safdar Ahmed (Twelve Panels Press)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000)
Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000 – sponsored by UTS)
Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson (Scribner an imprint of Simon & Schuster Australia)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000)
The Winter Road: A Story of Legacy, Land and a Killing at Croppa Creek by Kate Holden (Black Inc. Books)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000)
accelerations & inertias by Dan Disney (Vagabond Press)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000)
My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000)
The Gaps by Leanne Hall (Text Publishing)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000)
Orange Thrower by Kirsty Marillier (Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta/Currency Press)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000)
NITRAM by Shaun Grant (Good Thing Productions)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000)
Still Alive: Notes from Australia's Immigration Detention System by Safdar Ahmed (Twelve Panels Press)

Indigenous Writers’ Prize – biennial award ($30,000)
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray: River of Dreams by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster Australia)

People’s Choice Award
The Shut Ins by Katherine Brabon (Allen & Unwin)

About the 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards are the richest state-based literary awards in the country, administered by the State Library of NSW in association with Create NSW. The State Library acknowledges the sponsorship of Multicultural NSW and the University of Technology Sydney.

Works nominated for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards must have been first published, performed or screened between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. This period does not apply to the Indigenous Writers’ Prize which is offered every two years.

Writers and illustrators whose works are nominated must be living Australian citizens or persons holding permanent resident status.

The Awards are judged by an independent committee of writers, academics, critics and other sector professionals who have been appointed by the Premier or the Minister for the Arts or their delegates.

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