Raimondo Cortese was the inaugural recipient of the Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship announced at a special event at the Sydney Theatre Company on 20 May 2011. The $25,000 year-long Fellowship, a new position for an established playwright, will see Cortese involved in a range of activities at the Sydney Theatre Company. These will include leading playwriting workshops and participating in a mentoring programme for emerging playwrights.
At the recent Sydney Writers Festival, Melissa Bubnic was named the winner of the 2010 Patrick White Playwrights' Award for her play 'Beached' – 'a comic drama about an obese man whose battle to lose weight is followed by a reality TV show'.
The shortlists for the 2011 Prime Minister's Literary Awards have been announced. Among the five non-fiction books shortlisted are How To Make Gravy by singer/songwriter Paul Kelly and Sydney by Delia Falconer. The fiction section includes Kim's Scott's novel That Deadman Dance and Roger McDonald's When Colts Ran. In his announcement, Arts Minister Simon Crean said he was "delighted that a number of first-time novelists have impressed judges". All shortlisted publications can be found on the Prime Minister's Literary Awards website.
Alasdair McGregor's Grand Obsessions: The Life and Work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin is the winner of this year's $20,000 National Biography Award. The judges described the book as 'marvelously written and produced' and commented that Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin emerge through McGregor's writing as 'staunch, idealistic, [and] not always widely respected'.
The National Biography Award is administered by the State Library of New South Wales. The award encourages 'the highest standards of writing biography and autobiography' and promotes public interest in these genres. Further details of the award are available on the award's home page.
The winners of the 2011 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards were announced in Sydney on 16 May. The Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, and the overall Book of the Year prize, was awarded to Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons for Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs. Also receiving two awards was Alex Miller. His novel Lovesong won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the popularly-voted People's Choice Award.
Rohan Wilson’s historical novel The Roving Party is the winner of the 2011 Australian/Vogel's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of 35. This year, for the first time in the Vogel’s thirty-year history, the winning book has been published simultaneously with the award announcement.