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Young Adults' Fiction
Subcategory of Prime Minister's Literary Awards
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  • The Prime Minister's Award for Young Adult Fiction was first offered in 2010.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Metal Fish, Falling Snow Cath Moore , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020 19549992 2020 single work novel

'Dylan and her adored French mother dream of one day sailing across the ocean to France. Paris, Dylan imagines, is a place where her black skin won’t make her stand out, a place where she might feel she belongs.

'But when she loses her mother in a freak accident, Dylan finds herself on a very different journey: a road trip across outback Australia in the care of her mother’s grieving boyfriend, Pat. As they travel through remote towns further and further from the water that Dylan longs for, she and Pat form an unlikely bond. One that will be broken when he leaves her with the family she has never known.

'Metal Fish, Falling Snow is a warm, funny and highly original portrait of a young girl’s search for identity and her struggle to deal with grief. Through families lost and found, this own-voices story celebrates the resilience of the human heart and our need to know who we truly are.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon How It Feels to Float Helena Fox , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2019 15644206 2019 single work novel young adult

'Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface–normal okay regular fine.

'But after what happens on the beach–first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe–maybe maybe maybe–there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon The Things that Will Not Stand Michael Gerard Bauer , Gosford : Omnibus Books , 2018 14873596 2018 single work novel young adult

'Sebastian is at a university open day with his best friend Tolly when he meets a girl. Her name is Frida, and she's edgy, caustic and funny. She's also a storyteller, but the stories she tells about herself don't ring true, and as their surprising and eventful day together unfolds, Sebastian struggles to sort the fact from the fiction. But how much can he expect Frida to share in just one day? And how much of his own self and his own secrets will he be willing to reveal in return?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon This Is My Song Richard Yaxley , Lindfield : Scholastic Australia , 2017 10723867 2017 single work novel young adult historical fiction

'This is my blood, this is my song. In the early 1940s in Czechoslovakia, Rafael Ullmann and his family are sent to Terezin, the so-called model ghetto for Jewish artists. In the 1970s in Canada, Annie Ullmann lives a predictable, lonely life on a prairie with her reclusive father and deaf-dumb mother. Thirty years later, in Australia, Joe Hawker is uncertain about himself and his future. Told across three continents and time-lines, This Is My Song is a symphony encouraging us to find our own music.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon Words in Deep Blue Cath Crowley , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2016 9927315 2016 single work novel romance young adult

'Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries

'This is a love story.

'It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words.

'It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.

'Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind.

'Sometimes you need the poets

'The new novel from the award-winning author of Graffiti Moon.' (Publication summary)

Works About this Award

Overflow Rosemary Sorensen , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 5-6 June 2010; (p. 19)
Column of literary news including the establishment of the Wet Ink Short Story Award in 2010 - judges for the inaugural award : Emily Stinson and Sally Breen, with the final decision to be made by Peter Goldsworthy - and two new sections for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in 2010. The two new awards will be for Children's fiction and Young Adult's fiction with judges for both categories to be Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Mike Shuttleworth and Mary-Ruth Mendel.