Literary excellence receives top honours

Outstanding work by Australian authors has been recognised today, with the winners of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards announced.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the winners spoke to issues around society and family and the compelling well-researched works of non-fiction and Australian history spoke to our collective experience.

In handing down the awards, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher, said the accolades highlighted the talents of Australia’s esteemed and emerging writers.

“I congratulate this year’s winners, with the awards recognising our most talented authors, poets, illustrators and historians,” the Prime Minister said.

“Literature plays a vital role in connecting us to Australian voices and our story as a nation. In a year like no other, the diverse contribution of home-grown writers is more important than ever.”

Minister Fletcher said that the annual awards recognised Australian authors and the important role of Australian literature.

“The awards endorse a national appreciation of Australian literature and increase our understanding of Australian history. They also provide much-deserved acknowledgement and recognition for authors and illustrators,” Minister Fletcher said. 

“Literature allows Australians to express their individuality and creativity, and what better way to take audiences of all ages on unique journeys that will excite, intrigue, and break down complex issues.”

The Awards are presented in six categories – children's literature, young adult literature, fiction, poetry, non-fiction and Australian history – with a total prize pool of $600,000. 

For more information about the winning and shortlisted works go to

Winners | 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards


The Yield by Tara June Winch


Songspirals: sharing women’s wisdom of Country through songlines by the Gay’wu Group of Women

Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson


The Lost Arabs by Omar Sakr

Children’s literature:

Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines by Jasmine Seymour, illustrated by Leanne Mulgo Watson

Young literature:

How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox

Australian history:

Meeting the Waylo: Aboriginal Encounters in the Archipelago by Tiffany Shellam