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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Australia's richest literary awards open for entries

Media release
30 March 2010
PG/31

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Australian authors and publishers of books published in 2009 are invited to enter the third annual Prime Minister's Literary Awards-the nation's richest literary prize.

Arts Minister Peter Garrett said two new award categories are being introduced in 2010 for Children's and Young Adult's fiction bringing the total prize money to $400,000.

"These new awards acknowledge the importance of these genres for encouraging young audiences to read while engendering a life-long passion and enthusiasm for books," Mr Garrett said.

"The Prime Minister's Literary Awards will continue to recognise great Australian literature and highlight talented writers.

"The new award categories are an opportunity to celebrate the clever and engaging books written by authors for younger audiences. With the introduction of the new categories, these Awards truly celebrate the breadth, quality and uniqueness of Australian literature."

The Prime Minister's Literary Awards will award a prize of $100,000 each to the winners of the Fiction, Non-Fiction, Young Adult's and Children's fiction categories.

In 2009, Nam Le won the fiction category for his collection of short stories in The Boat which was selected from a shortlist of seven books. Evelyn Juers, author of the House of Exile shared the non-fiction prize with Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds for Drawing the Global Colour Line, winning from a non-fiction shortlist of eight books.

To be considered for the Awards, authors must be living Australian citizens or permanent residents. The works must have been first published in English, and first offered for general sale between 1 January and 31 December 2009.

This year's entries will be assessed by three judging panels: one each for the fiction, non-fiction and children's/young adult categories.

Entries close at 5.00 pm, Friday 16 April 2010.

For entry forms and eligibility guidelines: www.arts.gov.au/pmliteraryawards 

Commonwealth of Australia