Skip to main content

2015 Premier's Literary Prizes

Photo of 2015 Premier's Literary Prizes shortlisted authors

Congratulations to all the writers shortlisted for the 2015 Premier's Literary Prizes.

The shortlists for the 2015 Premier's Literary Prizes were announced at the opening of the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival on Friday, 11 September 2015.

The Premier's Literary Prizes are the Tasmanian State Government's biennial literary awards. The prizes celebrate the richness of the Tasmanian literary sector and acknowledge the particular influence that Tasmania has on written work.

The prizes

Tasmania Book Prize, for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre – $25 000

This award recognises the influence Tasmania has had on content or perspective and is supported by the Tasmanian Government. Writers or publishers based anywhere are eligible for this prize if Tasmania has had some influence on its content. Past winners include James Boyce, Richard Flanagan and Nicholas Shakespeare.

Chair of the judging panel, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart explained that the judges "were looking for works that said something new about Tasmania and the way Tasmania has shaped the lives of those who live here, or have lived here."

"We put a heavy emphasis on good writing, looking for works with a sense of narrative and strong characterisation, be that of people, things or places. Given the contentious nature of much of Tasmania's past we were on the lookout for works that held contradictory views, which gave voice to multiple arguments."

The judges felt that this award should recognise "a book which helped to shape the way people thought about Tasmania for years to come."


  • The Rise and Fall of Gunns Ltd by Quentin Beresford (New South Publishing)
  • Forgotten War by Henry Reynolds (New South Publishing)
  • To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

Margaret Scott Prize, for the best book by a Tasmanian writer – $5 000

This award is supported by the University of Tasmania. The prize honours author, poet, educator and public intellectual Margaret Scott (1934–2005). Past winners include Rohan Wilson, Kathryn Lomer and Robert Dessaix.

The judges noted the very strong field of entries for the Margaret Scott Prize, and took the unusual step of selecting a shortlist of four rather than three works. Professor Maxwell-Stewart explained that in shortlisting for the Margaret Scott Prize, the judges were looking for books that were "extraordinarily well written, be this for children or adults, fiction or non-fiction."


  • What Days Are For by Robert Dessaix (Random House Australia)
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia)
  • A Short History of Richard Kline by Amanda Lohrey (Black Inc.)
  • To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

University of Tasmania Prize, for the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer – $5 000

This award is supported by the University of Tasmania.

The judges were impressed with the quality and depth of submissions, the completeness of the manuscripts and their ability to transport readers into new and other worlds. In assessing these works Professor Maxwell-Stewart noted that "The future for writing in Tasmania is bright".


  • Blue Pollen Beautiful by Elizabeth Goodsir
  • Soon by Lois Murphy
  • The Party by Adam Ouston
  • High Places by Ben Walter

Tasmanian Young Writer's Fellowship – $5 000

This award is supported by private philanthropists.


  • Robbie Arnott
  • Michael Blake
  • Alena Hrasky

The judges noted that the writers shortlisted for the fellowship were refreshing new voices, demonstrated accomplished use of form and language, and were all engaged with the power and craft of writing.

You can vote for your favourite works in the People's Choice Awards.