Winners announced for 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

by |April 30, 2019

The winners of the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced last night at a presentation night held at the State Library of New South Wales. This year marks 40 years of the prestigious prize, which is certainly reflected in the quality of the literary award winners.

Big winners included Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, a book so beloved across Australia that it surely needs no introduction, and Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, a fascinating archaeological study of Australia by Billy Griffiths. Accepting the award for Book of the Year, Griffiths said that “I wanted to write this book to help change the conversation that we’ve been having about Australian history — to deepen our understanding of the history of this continent.” Also on the list is the 2018 Miles Franklin Award-winner Michelle de Kretser (The Life to Come), as well as Behrouz Boochani, who received a Special Award for No Friend But the Mountains.

The ceremony also took the time to honour poet Les Murray, who died yesterday aged 80. In a touching moment in his opening address, State Librarian John Vallance called Murray “one of the greatest poets ever to have written in English.” Murray had previously won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry twice.

Scroll down to see all of the winners from the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards!

Book of the Year

Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths

Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser

The Life to Come - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

People’s Choice Award

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows Universe - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction (Joint Winners)

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

The Trauma Cleaner - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths


Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

Interval by Judith Bishop

Interval - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough

Amelia Westlake - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature (Joint Winners)

Leave Taking by Lorraine Marwood

Leave Taking - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Dingo by Claire Saxby and Tannya Harricks

Dingo - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Multicultural NSW Award

The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad

The Lebs - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting

The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver

The Almighty Sometimes - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Special Award

No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani

No Friend But the Mountains - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Indigenous Writers’ Prize

Taboo by Kim Scott

Taboo - 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton


Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting

Jirga by Benjamin Gilmour


NSW Premier’s Translation Prize

Alison Entrekin


You can read more about the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards here.

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, Olivia decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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