2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for the Arts Mitch Fifield today announced the winners of the 2018 Prime Minister's Literary Awards at a ceremony at Parliament House. Winners across the six categories received one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government was proud to support Australia's outstanding authors through the Awards, now in their eleventh year.

Minister Fifield said reading has far reaching benefits, it expands our understanding and stimulates our imagination. These Awards reinforce the importance of literature and reading across all ages, this year receiving more than five hundred entries across the six prize categories, an exceptional response from our writers, poets, illustrators and historians.

From this competitive group of entries, the judges selected a diverse and deserving list of finalists and identified outstanding winners. Today we celebrate the nominees for the young adult literature award.
The Nominees

Living On Hope Street
Written by Demet Divaroren
Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Check the synopsis on Goodreads

My Lovely Frankie
Written by Judith Clarke
Historical, LGBT
Check the synopsis on Goodreads

Written by Bruce Whatley
Dystopian, Illustrated
Published by Scholastic Australia
Check the synopsis on Goodreads

The Ones that Disappeared
Written by Zana Fraillon
Contemporary, Magical Realism
Published by Hachette Australia
Check the synopsis on Goodreads

The Winner Is

This Is My Song
Written by Richard Yaxley
Historical, War
Published by Scholastic Australia
Add to Goodreads
This is my blood, This is my song.

In the 1940s, musician Rafael Ullmann is sent to a Nazi concentration camp.

In the 1970s, Annie Ullmann lives a lonely life on a Canadian prairie.

Three decades later, in Australia, Joe Hawker is uncertain about himself and his future, until he discovers a song, written by his grandfather many years ago.

This Is My Song crosses three continents and timelines, chanting the need for each of us to find our own music, to sing to those we love most.

Beautifully written, Richard Yaxley’s unforgettable story strikes a chord and plucks the heartstrings.

The Judges Comments
There have been, of course, many novels about the Holocaust, including ones for younger readers. This book explores the way the terrible events of the Holocaust affect the generations following, sometimes in ways even they don't understand. This is My Song also explores the damage that secrets can do. It is poignant, memorable and intensely moving.

Check out all the nominations and winners in their respective categories on the Department of Communications and The Arts here.

You can win a young adult book pack containing all of the young adult literature nominees, including the Prime Minster's Literary Award Winner, This Is My Song by following and retweeting on Twitter here.


  1. books like this make me take such deep breaths because they're such powerful reminders of the past and make me hope we learn from it. I like that it focuses on the generations that were all affected by the war. Too often it's easy to assume that the generations after won't be affected by such things.

    1. I hadn't heard much about This Is My Song before the nominations but I'm hoping it'll be my first read in the new year. It's so incredibly important to not only tell stories of our cultural histories but to support diverse reads. I'm looking forward to working my way through the nominees.

  2. Thank you for sharing. This Is My Song does sound like a really good novel. There have definitely been a lot of books about the Holocaust, but one that shows how it still affects future generations sounds important indeed.


    1. Generational trauma is so prevalent within our communities, probably most common with Indigenous communities and the trauma of colonisation. I couldn't agree more, it's just as important to show how it effects families who've experienced the Holocaust through second hand events and stories passed through the generations. I'm really looking forward to reading that one.

  3. honestly, your place is the best place for me to find aussie writes! I can't wait to request this book from my library. It would be a great honour to read and remember so we would never repeat it again

    1. Thanks Ailyn. I love to be able to highlight Australian authors, young adult authors in particular. Our country is so wonderfully multicultural with unique stories to share. There's a wonderful discussion on Twitter at the moment with Australian young adult literature and diverse narratives extending outside of the privileged middle class to represent low socioeconomic homes as well. Really fascinating to follow.

  4. Have you read any of these yet Kelly?

    The winner sounds wonderful carrying over generations and varying locations.

    Living on Hope Street grabbed my attention as well.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I have Karen! I was lucky enough to have read Living on Hope Street and absolutely loved it. It's representative of most urban streets in out capital cities, multiculturalism, blended and diverse families, varying socioeconomic conditions, languages and faiths. Such a wonderful read and one you would really enjoy.


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