Congratulations to Amanda Curtin, Caitlin Maling, Ellen van Neerven, Fiona Burrows, Helen Milroy, Holden Sheppard, Kathryn Lefroy, Meg McKinlay and Rafeif Ismail, whose wonderful work as writers has taken them a step closer to winning a $15,000 cash prize or a fellowship worth $60,000.
Fremantle Press books Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard and Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories by Helen Milroy have been shortlisted in the Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer, while Violet and Nothing by Fiona Burrows and Alex and the Alpacas Save the World by Kathryn Lefroy are both in the running for the Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children.
Children’s Publisher Cate Sutherland said the shortlisting for each author was well deserved and a timely reminder to all Western Australians to grab a local kids book. She said, ‘We love every book we publish and every success is a success we cherish on behalf of our talented creators.’
Young adult novel Invisible Boys has already won or been shortlisted for a whole raft of awards nationwide, while Wombat, Mudlark and Other Storiesis just the beginning of Helen’s creative output. Cate said, ‘We were delighted to publish Helen’s gorgeous illustrations and text in the picture book Backyard Birds this year too. Alex and the Alpacas Save the World is an exciting, cinematic and fun adventure for middle readers, while Violet and Nothing is a picture book that encourages kids and parents to keep asking questions.’
Author and illustrator Fiona Burrows said, 'I am so excited to be shortlisted in the 2019 WA Premier's Award for Writing for Children. I've wanted to write and illustrate picture books since I was six years old, and for my very first author-illustrator picture book to be recognised in such a way is a huge honour! Thank you to Fremantle Press for taking a chance on publishing a new creator, and a huge congratulations to all the other amazing writers and illustrators who were shortlisted. I'm so proud to live in a State that values books and literature.' Alex and the Alpacas Save the World author Kathryn Lefroy said she was keeping it in the family because her dad Mike Lefroy won the award 26 years ago.
It’s been a bumper year for Fremantle Press authors, with Amanda Curtin (Kathleen O’Connor of Paris), Caitlin Maling (Fish Song) and Rafeif Ismail (Meet Me at the Intersection and Unlimited Futures) in the running for The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship worth $60,000. Amanda Curtin said, 'It’s an honour and a privilege to be shortlisted among peers—and a huge vote of confidence to feel that you’re working on something that is seen by others (as well as by you, husband and cat) as having value. I couldn’t be happier! Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors.'
Additionally Meg McKinlay (Bella and the Wandering House, Drawn Onward and Ten Tiny Things) is twice listed in the Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children while Ellen van Neerven (Meet Me at the Intersection and Unlimited Futures) is up for the Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and YA Fiction.
The Western Australian Premier's Book Awards supports, develops and recognises excellence in Western Australian writing. These awards are made available by the Western Australian Government and are managed by the State Library of Western Australia. The winners of the 2019 Premier’s Book Awards will be announced in early August 2020 at the State Library of Western Australia. During the event, a new inductee will be welcomed into the WA Writers Hall of Fame.
PS: Keen-eyed readers may also notice that the new logo is from an original illustration, Constellation, from the enchanting children’s book My Superhero, illustrated by Moira Court, written by Chris Owen and now available as a board book for littlies.
For the complete shortlists and more information, go to the State Library of Western Australia website.