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Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2024

Entries have now closed for the richest literary prize in the nation, in six categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult literature, children’s literature, poetry and Australian history.

About the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

Entries have now closed. Subscribe here for updates on the richest literary prize in the nation, with awards in six categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult literature, children’s literature, poetry and Australian history.


The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were established in 2008. They recognise individual excellence, and the contribution Australian authors make to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life. Initially with two categories of non-fiction and fiction, in 2010 the young adult and children’s literature categories were introduced, with the addition of the Poetry category in 2012 and the incorporation of the pre-existing Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.

This is the second year that the awards have been delivered by Creative Australia, following the release of the Australian Government’s 2023 National Cultural Policy, Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place.

This is an annual Award which accepts books published in the previous calendar year. Entries are sought for books of high literary merit, and in the case of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, outstanding works of scholarly accomplishment that contribute significantly to an understanding of Australian history.

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are the richest literary prize in the nation, with a tax-free prize pool of $600,000 in recognition of the outstanding literary talents of established and emerging Australian writers, illustrators, poets, and historians.

Awards are presented in six categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult literature, children’s literature, poetry and Australian history. Up to $100,000 will be awarded in each category—$80,000 for the winning entry and $5,000 each for a maximum of four shortlisted entries. All prizes are tax-free.

Works may be entered by publishers, literary agents, authors or, in the case of the Australian History category only, producers or broadcasters. The person submitting the entry must ensure that the author or producer’s consent is obtained before entering the work.

There is no entry fee for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

A list of previous recipients is available here under Previous shortlist and winners.

  • Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia.

Eligible entries must be:

  • by a living Australian author (at the time of the closing date)
  • the work of the named author/s and creator/s (not ghost written or produced primarily by AI)
  • created by no more than two authors or one author with one illustrator or photographer, however books that are the collective work of a community group or a community group and named authors, illustrators and/or photographers may be eligible
  • in the case of children’s books, created by no more than two authors and one illustrator or one author and two illustrators, however books that are the collective work of a community group or a community group and named authors, illustrators and/or photographers may be eligible
  • first published or released between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023
  • made available for general sale, broadcast or distribution in Australia between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023
  • available to the public via more than one distribution outlet
  • published or produced in the English language
  • deposited to the National Library of Australia (and relevant state library/libraries) as is required for legal deposit under the Copyright Act 1968. For more information on this criterion please refer here.
  • edited by a professional editor.

For Australian History, eligible works include:

  • print media, including a published book, website, journal or magazine; an interactive or online project; a film or documentary for any form of distribution (including television, cinema, online, or radio); other forms of multimedia; or a series of these
  • themes of historical events, historical figures (including biographies) and significant concepts or issues
  • a series or group of works published within the allowed timeframe.

For Literary non-fiction, eligible works include biographies, autobiographies, histories, philosophy, literary criticism and works dealing with contemporary issues.

For Children’s Literature, books with up to three creators are eligible. This must be either two authors and one illustrator or one author and two illustrators. Works consisting of images or pictures only, with no text, are eligible.

Please note:

  • books must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • books primarily published electronically must be available in hard copy format to provide to judges
  • books that are the collective work of a community group or a community group and named authors, illustrators and/or photographers may be eligible. All contributors must be individually identified as a co-author of the book in the application form, and the work must meet all other eligibility criteria
  • authors and producers must consider any legal risks associated with their work, particularly in relation to copyright and defamation law
  • for works of joint authorship, or for works created collectively by a community group, each key creator must be identified on the application form and will receive an equal share of any prize money awarded
  • if a shortlisted or winning entry is entered by a registered organisation, the prize money will be awarded to the registered organisation. Each identified (key member) should receive an equal share of the prize money
  • works should consist of primarily new material, or work that has been collected for the nominated book for the first time
  • where a public sector organisation (such as an arm of the Australian Defence Force or a state or territory government department) wins or is shortlisted, no prize money will be paid.

Committees or corporations (unless the work is a non-book entry for the Australian history category).

The following are not eligible:

  • second edition books
  • published or electronic versions of books originally released in a previous calendar year
  • works consisting primarily of photographs or illustrations that include only limited descriptive text or captions
  • biographies of, or works by, current (at the time of entry) members of an Australian or foreign parliament or executive
  • books that are collections of essays or stories by multiple contributors, compiled by an editor, that acknowledge the work of the authors in their own right
  • collected works of more than two poets
  • single poems, unless they are a novel length work of verse
  • books generated wholly by AI.
  • Eligible applications to the six award categories will be assessed by up to 4 judges per category, including authors, and academics.
  • This means that award decisions are made at arm’s-length from the government.
  • Applicants with entries that are deemed ineligible will be advised by email.
  • Judges are appointed by Creative Australia on an individual basis and not representative of any organisation or entity.
  • Judges will recommend one winning title and an additional four shortlisted titles (five titles in total) in each category.
  • Judges reserve the right to transfer a work into another category if they deem it to be more suited to another category.
  • The judges may at their discretion call for eligible works which have not been entered in the Awards.
  • The judges reserve the right not to recommend a particular Award in any year if they consider that the entered works are not of sufficient merit.
  • The judging panels will make recommendations to Creative Australia, with decisions to be endorsed by the Creative Australia Board.
  • No feedback will be given on individual entries.
  • The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature and young adult literature will be awarded to the applications deemed to possess the highest literary merit.
  • In illustrated works for children, the literary and artistic merit of the work as a whole will be considered by the judges.
  • The Australian history category will be awarded for the most outstanding contribution to an understanding of Australian history.

Application forms can be found and are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time, you will need to register your details before filling out an application form.

The type of questions we ask you in the application form include:

  • your name and contact details
  • confirmation that the applicant is an Australian citizen
  • which Award category you are entering the work in
  • the date the work was first offered for sale
  • the ISBN of the work
  • the date the work was first offered for sale
  • a brief summary of the work
  • publisher/agent details
  • details for any cocreators.

You must send five (5) published copies of the relevant work to Creative Australia by the closing date for your application to be eligible for consideration. We may ask for an additional two (2) copies if your entry is shortlisted. If you are entering a recording or documentary for the Prize for Australian History you must send us five (5) copies of your entry in a format that can be provided to the judges. We may ask for an additional two (2) copies if your application is shortlisted. Please send the copies to:

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
Creative Australia
Level 5, 60 Union Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9215 9000

Please note: the submitted copies of works become the property of Creative Australia and will not be returned to the entrant.

Additional material must be submitted by the closing date to support your application.

The judges will review support material against the assessment criteria.

You must submit the following support material with your application:

  • a summary of the relevant work, which will be used for promotional purposes if the work is shortlisted (up to 100 words)
  • an image of the book cover artwork (300dpi)
  • a biography or biographies of relevant creative members on a single document with no more than 100 words per person listed
  • an image of relevant creative members.

All images provided with the application must be at least 7.5cm by 11.5cm and 300dpi resolution.

We accept support material for the Award in the following formats:

  • images (JPEG)
  • written material (word or PDF).

Applications submitted after the closing date will not be accepted.

Frequently asked questions

Shortlisted entries will be announced in mid-July 2024.

Category winners will be announced in September 2024.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.

Sign up here for updates on the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

On subsequent printings of shortlisted or winning works, publishers may print (as relevant):

  • 2024 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Shortlist
  • Winner of the 2024 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
  • 2024 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History Shortlist
  • Winner of the 2024 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.

Artwork is available on request.

The prize money is deposited into the winning and shortlisted recipient accounts shortly after the winners are announced and following receipt of bank account details.

The cash prizes awarded as part of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are not assessable as income under either section 6.5 or section 10.5 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, or under paragraph 26(e) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. In accordance with section 9-5 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, no supply is made in connection with the receipt of the prize so the prize is not subject to GST.