Talented storytellers celebrated at 2024 WA Premier’s Book Awards

  • Premier’s Book Awards showcase the best in Western Australian writing
  • Novelist Gail Jones and poet John Kinsella inducted into the Western Australian Writers Hall of Fame
  • Premier’s Prize for Book of the Year, sponsored by Writing WA, awarded to A Better Place by Stephen Daisley
  • Scout and the Rescue Dogs by Dianne Wolfer named Children’s Book of the Year
  • $60,000 Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship awarded to Kylie Howarth

The 2024 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards were announced this evening at the State Library of Western Australia, alongside two new inductees into the Western Australian Writers Hall of Fame.

The winners across the five Premier’s Book Awards categories are:

  • first-time novelist Michael Thomas for his historical fiction novel The Map of William (Fremantle Press), whichtook home the Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer ($15,000). The rite-of-passage tale takes the reader on the expedition of a lifetime in Western Australia’s north-west;
  • Albany-based author Dianne Wolfer’s Scout and the Rescue Dogs leapt to the winner’s podium in the Children’s Book of the Year category ($15,000). It is described as a junior fiction novel perfect for young minds with tender souls;
  • visceral and powerful World War II novel, A Better Place (Text Publishing) by Stephen Daisley, joined the ranks of winners of the Premier’s Prize for Book of the Year, which is sponsored by Writing WA ($15,000). Daisley’s novel has been lauded nationally and internationally;
  • Dusty Tracks by daughter and mother writing duo Marly and Linda Wells, who are based in the Northern Territory, took out the Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Fiction ($15,000 and a publishing contract); and
  • Kylie Howarth received the major $60,000 Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship. Howarth is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Her commitment to inclusivity and ability to connect with young readers make her a worthy recipient of the prestigious Fellowship.

The induction of Gail Jones and John Kinsella into the Western Australian Writers Hall of Fame brings its membership to 20. Each member is highly respected within the industry and broadly recognised for their distinctive work and contribution to WA literature.

Gail Jones is a celebrated novelist and academic from Western Australia. She is the author of 10 critically acclaimed novels, including One Another (Text Publishing, 2024). Gail’s work has been translated into several languages and she has received numerous literary awards. She is Emeritus Professor at Western Sydney University.

John Kinsella is a prolific poet who is strongly influenced by the Western Australian landscape. He also works as a novelist, essayist and editor, and teaches at Curtin University. His life’s work has been compiled in a new three-volume collection by UWA Publishing, which spans more than 40 years of writing.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is administered and funded by Broome-based Indigenous publisher Magabala Books, with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Copyright Agency, and is open to Indigenous writers Australia-wide.

For more information on the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards and Writers Hall of Fame, visit slwa.wa.gov.au

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“The Premier’s Book Awards is one of the ways my Governmentrecognises and celebrates the Western Australian writing industry.

“This year’s awards showcase the best in Western Australin storytelling, and I encourage everyone to support our exciting talent by delving into the captivating and engaging stories that won and were nominated.

“I’d like to also congratulate our new Writers Hall of Fame members, Gail Jones and John Kinsella, who have been honoured for their significant achievements and lasting contributions to the Western Australian writing sector.”

As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

“Tonight was a fantastic night celebrating local literature at the State Library of Western Australia.

“Our State has a reputation for enormous creative talent and the Premier’s Book Awards and Writers Hall of Fame proves this.

“Congratulations to the winners, and all of the shortlisted authors and illustrators, for their contribution to Western Australia’s literary landscape.”

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