The S. H. Prior Memorial Prize was is awarded annually for the best S. H. Prior , editor of The Bulletin for 18 years, by his son, H.K. Prior.work of fiction by an Australian author. The prize was founded to recognise the service to Australian literature by
The prize was not awarded in 1937.
'In The Pea Pickers, a novel based on Eve Langley's own experiences, Steve and Blue are two girls who, dressed as men, are taken on as itinerant workers for the farmers of Gippsland. They pack apples and pick peas. But their disguise is partial - and their quest is for love. For Blue the novel ends in marriage; but not for Steve. For her, desire is never straightforward, and love - for men, for women, for country - leaves her confused, but independent. ' (Publication summary)
'The flowers flared up from the ground unconquerable. The unrepentant gaiety of the weed, the burning blues and crimsons, set the hills glowing.
''It's a plant that's struck it lucky,' the Stray said thoughtfully. 'It hasn't got no right, but it's there.'
'The Battlers is the story of Snow, a drifter and wanderer, the waiflike Dancy the Stray, from the slums of Sydney, and the other outcasts who accompany them as they travel the country roads looking for work. Like the weed Patterson's Curse, they 'haven't got no right', but they are there. Based on her own experiences of life on the roads in the 1930s, Tennant tells the story of the motley crowd of travellers with compassion and humour. First published in 1941, The Battlers was awarded the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society and shared the S. H. Prior Memorial Prize. More than seventy years later, the book's message of survival against the odds is as relevant today as it was then. ' (Publication summary)