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2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Winners

Joint Media Release

The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister

The Hon. Mitch Fifield, Minister For Communications and the Arts

The winners of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced today.

The winning and shortlisted authors have continued Australia’s rich literary tradition and should be enthusiastically congratulated for their contribution to the literary arts.

Prizes were awarded in six categories including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history, children’s and young adult literature.

The winning entries were selected from a shortlist of 30 exceptional books by some of Australia’s most well regarded authors. This year’s winners demonstrate the depth and diversity of Australian literature and scholarship.

Expert judging panels recommended the winners and shortlists from 425 entries across each of the categories, with the Prime Minister making the final decision.

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards serve as a significant demonstration of the Australian Government’s support for the literary arts.  

The winners are:


The Life of Houses, Lisa Gorton (Giramondo)

The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)


The Hazards, Sarah Holland-Batt (University of Queensland Press)


On Stalin's Team: The years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics, Sheila Fitzpatrick (Melbourne University Press)

Thea Astley: Inventing her own Weather, Karen Lamb (University of Queensland Press)


The Story of Australia's People, Geoffrey Blainey AC (Penguin)

Let My People Go: The Untold Story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89, Sam Lipski AM, co-author, and Suzanne D Rutland OAM, co-author (Hybrid Publishers)


Sister Heart, Sally Morgan (Fremantle Press)


A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)

Visit www.arts.gov.au/pmla for more information on the winning books and the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Media contacts:  

Prime Minister’s Office – Damon Hunt 0417 349 920

Minister Fifield’s Office – Geraldine Mitchell 0407 280 476