After the announcement of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist this week we would like to offer our congratulations to all of those shortlisted, but especially to our friends Tohby Riddle and Giramondo Publishing. Author and illustrator Tohby Riddle’s The Greatest Gatsby: a visual book of grammar (Penguin Random House Australia) has been shortlisted for the Children’s Fiction category and  Michael Farrell’s Cocky’s Joy (Giramondo) and Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses (Giramondo) have both been shortlisted in the respective categories of Poetry and Fiction. We eagerly await the results!


Another big congratulations to our friend James Roy, whose One Thousand Hills (co-written with Noël Zihabamwe) has taken home the Young People’s History Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier’s History Awards. This fictionalised account of Noël’s childhood tells the story of Pascal, an adolescent Tutsi survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Read more about their collaboration in this week’s Sydney Morning Herald.

James Roy

Further congratulations are extended to Mark Tredinnick, poet and friend of WestWords, for being awarded the  2016 ACU Poetry Prize for his work The Horse. Written for his daughter Lucy, The Horse is a powerful and emotional piece.


Hats off to Tohby, Giramondo, James and Mark. Such prestigious awards are well-deserved by all!



Congratulations to all the winners of the NSW Premier’s literary awards last night. They sit within illustrious company and we here at WestWords applaud all those on the shortlist. For the full list of shortlist and winners see:

We are delighted to welcome the winner of the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature, Alice Pung for her book Laurinda, to the Studio Stories event this Thursday evening at Parramatta Artists Studios. Alice joins the 2015 CAL WestWords Western Sydney Emerging Writers’ Fellows, Maryam Azam, Peter Polites and Sheila Pham. For information about the event:

Words from the West

The judges said of Laurinda:
Several factors made Laurinda a standout book with all three judges – perhaps most notably the degree of craft and deftness with which Alice Pung has handled the issues of character… (The) novel that is utterly engaging and believable, and which builds an extraordinary sense of empathy with its readers.

To read the full judge’s comments:

Congratulations to WestWords chair, Libby Gleeson who has been nominated for The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. 215 nominations from 59 countries have been made for the 2016 award. Libby is joined by five other nominees from Australia – the others being  Ursula Dubosarsky, Morris Gleitzman, Alison Lester, Melina Marchetta and Marcus Zusak.