AustLit logo


The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2024

Indexed selectively. Also shortlisted: Welcome to Sex (Yumi Stynes and Melissa Kang).
winner y separately published work icon If I Was a Horse Sophie Blackall , Sophie Blackall (illustrator), Sydney : Lothian , 2023 26495529 2023 single work picture book children's

'If I was a horse, I would gallop all day.
I could go anywhere I want . . .

'If you were a horse, what would you do? Could you fit in your clothes? Would you give your little sister a ride? Would your brother even notice?

'Gallop along with two-time Caldecott Medallist Sophie Blackall through this riotous day in the life of a child who imagines their life as a horse. Sophie's delightful text and resonant illustrations that feature a giant horse in familiar settings offer a visual feast, a grand dose of joy and a celebration of the real power of imagination to help us navigate the world.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2023

winner y separately published work icon Runt Craig Silvey , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2022 24795198 2022 single work children's fiction children's

'A heart-warming, funny, beautifully told story for readers of all ages from the bestselling author of Jasper Jones and Honeybee.

''You don't have to carry the weight of the world in your tool belt.'

'Annie Shearer likes to fix things. She lives in the country town of Upson Downs with her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The two share a very special bond.

'After years evading capture, Runt is remarkably fast and agile, perfect for herding runaway sheep. But when greedy local landowner Earl Robert-Barren puts her family's home at risk, Annie directs Runt's extraordinary talents towards a different pursuit - winning the Agility Course Grand Championship at the lucrative Krumpets Dog Show in London.

'However, two things stand in her way.

'There is Fergus Fink, a vain and villainous dog handler determined to prevent Annie from upstaging him.

'And a curious predicament: Runt will only obey Annie's commands if nobody else is watching.

'Though she's used to fixing problems on her own, Annie enlists the help of her quirky family. There's Susie, her vibrantly fashionable mother, who is the worst baker in the nation. Her father, Bryan, who inherited the family farm and has a hidden passion for flower cultivation. Her teenage brother Max, an aspiring daredevil. And her grandmother Dolly, a one time champion sportswoman who, years after the death of her husband Wally, is now looking for love. Each make sacrifices and employ their own unique skills to get Annie and Runt to London.

'With all eyes on them, Annie and Runt must beat the odds and the fastest dogs in the world to save her farm.

'Runt is a heartwarming and hilarious tale of kindness, friendship, hurdles, hoops, tunnels, see-saws, and, above all, being yourself and bringing out the best in others.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2022

winner y separately published work icon Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief Katrina Nannestad , Sydney : ABC Books , 2021 22124116 2021 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction

'Award-winning writer Katrina Nannestad transports us to Russia and the Great Patriotic War and into the life of Sasha, a soldier at only six years old ...

'Wood splinters and Mama screams and the nearest soldier seizes her roughly by the arms. My sister pokes her bruised face out from beneath the table and shouts, 'Run, Sasha! Run!'

'So I run. I run like a rabbit.

'It's spring, 1942. The sky is blue, the air is warm and sweet with the scent of flowers.

'And then everything is gone.

'The flowers, the proud geese, the pretty wooden houses, the friendly neighbours. Only Sasha remains.

'But one small boy, alone in war-torn Russia, cannot survive.

'One small boy without a family cannot survive.

'One small boy without his home cannot survive.

'What that small boy needs is an army.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon The Grandest Bookshop in the World Amelia Mellor , Mulgrave : Affirm Press , 2020 19678977 2020 single work children's fiction children's

'Pearl and Vally Cole live in a bookshop. And not just any bookshop. In 1893, Cole's Book Arcade in Melbourne is the grandest bookshop in the world, brimming with every curiosity imaginable. Each day brings fresh delights for the siblings: voice-changing sweets, talking parrots, a new story written just for them by their eccentric father.

'When Pearl and Vally learn that Pa has risked the Arcade - and himself - in a shocking deal with the mysterious Obscurosmith, the siblings hatch a plan. Soon they are swept into a dangerous game with impossibly high stakes: defeat seven challenges by the stroke of midnight and both the Arcade and their father will be restored. But if they fail Pearl and Vally won't just lose Pa - they'll forget that he and the Arcade ever existed.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon Young Dark Emu Bruce Pascoe , Broome : Magabala Books , 2019 15601694 2019 single work prose children's fiction children's

'Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived – a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu - A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.