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Winners

2021 winner y separately published work icon Throat Ellen van Neerven , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 18673599 2020 selected work poetry

'Throat is the explosive second poetry collection from award-winning Mununjali Yugambeh writer Ellen van Neerven. Exploring love, language and land, van Neerven flexes their distinctive muscles and shines alight on Australia’s unreconciled past and precarious present with humour and heart. Van Neerven is unsparing in the interrogation of colonial impulse, and fiercely loyal to telling the stories that make us who we are.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 winner y separately published work icon The Pillars Peter Polites , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2019 15595396 2019 single work novel

'Don't worry about the housing bubble, she would say. Don't worry about the fact that you will never be able to afford a home. Worry about the day after. That's when they will all come, with their black shirts and bayonets, and then you will see the drowned bodies and slit necks. And I would stand there and say, But Mum, I'm ten years old.

'Working as a writer hasn't granted Panos the financial success he once imagined, but lobbying against a mosque being built across the road from his home (and the occasional meth-fuelled orgy) helps to pass the time. He's also found himself a gig ghostwriting for a wealthy property developer. The pay cheque alone is enough for him to turn a blind eye to some dodgy dealings - at least for the time being.

'In a world full of flashy consumerism and aspiration, can Panos really escape his lot in life? And does he really want to?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon The Lebs Michael Mohammed Ahmad , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2018 12178121 2018 single work novel young adult

''Bani Adam thinks he's better than us!' they say over and over until finally I shout back, 'Shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, I have something to say!'

'They all go quiet and wait for me to explain myself, redeem myself, pull my shirt out, rejoin the pack. I hold their anticipation for three seconds, and then, while they're all ablaze, I say out loud, 'I do think I'm better.'

'Bani Adam is a student at Punchbowl Boys High School, which seems like the arse end of the earth, and the students don't seem to care. The Lebs control the school, and Bani feels at odds - a romantic in a sea of hyper-masculinity.

'Bani must come to terms with his place in a world of hostility and hopelessness - while dreaming of having so much more.'  (Publication summary)

2018 winner y separately published work icon The Permanent Resident Roanna Gonsalves , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2016 10167352 2016 selected work short story

'A woman who can’t swim wades into a suburban pool. An Indian family sits down to an Australian Christmas dinner. A single mother’s offer to coach her son’s soccer team leads to an unexpected encounter. A recent migrant considers taking the fall for a second generation ‘friend’. A wife refuses to let her husband look at her phone. An international student gets off a train at night.

'Roanna Gonsalves’ short stories unearth the aspirations, ambivalence and guilt laced through the lives of 21st century immigrants, steering through clashes of cultures, trials of faith, and squalls of racism. Sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes playful, they cut to the truth of what it means to be a modern outsider.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon The Hate Race : A Memoir Maxine Beneba Clarke , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2016 9285020 2016 single work autobiography

'From one of Australia's most exciting writers, and the author of the multi-award-winning FOREIGN SOIL, comes THE HATE RACE: a powerful, funny, and at times devastating memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

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