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The State Library, together with the South Australian Government, is pleased to host the 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

The awards offer a total prize pool of $167,500 across six national and five South Australian categories, including the coveted Premier’s Award worth $25,000 for the overall winner.

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, one of Australia’s richest and most prestigious literary awards.

Congratulations to all winning and shortlisted authors and their publishers.

The 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature winners are:

Premier's Award Winner

$25,000 for the best overall published work, chosen from the winners of the five national categories.

Book cover The Yeild

Tara June Winch
The Yield
Penguin Random House

A young Indigenous Australian woman searches for her grandfather's dictionary, the key to halting a mining company from destroying her family's home and ancestral land. Exquisitely written, heartbreaking, yet a hopeful novel of culture, language, tradition, suffering, and empowerment in the tradition of Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisneros, and Amy Harmon.

Tara June Winch
About the author

Tara June Winch is an Australian (Wiradjuri) writer based in France. Her first novel Swallow the Air, (UQP) 2006 was critically acclaimed. In 2008, she was mentored by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. The novel was listed on the HSC syllabus for Standard and Advanced English from 2009-2020 and a tenth-anniversary edition was published in 2016.

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Children's Literature Award

$15,000 for a published fiction or non-fiction book aimed at readers up to 11 years.

WINNER

Book cover We are wolves

Katrina Nannestad
We Are Wolves
HarperCollins Publishers

When the Russian Army marches into East Prussia at the end of the war, the Wolf family must flee. Liesl, Otto and their baby sister, Mia, find themselves lost and alone, in a blizzard, in the middle of a war zone. Liesl has promised Mama that she will keep her brother and sister safe. But sometimes, to survive, you have to do bad things. Dangerous things. Wild things. Sometimes to survive, you must become a wolf.

Katrina Nannestad

About the author
Katrina Nannestad is an award-winning Australian author who grew up in country New South Wales in a neighbourhood stuffed full of happy children. She celebrates family, friendship and belonging in her writing. Katrina also loves creating stories that bring joy to other people’s lives. 
Her books include the CBCA-shortlisted We Are WolvesThe Girl Who Brought Mischief, the Travelling Bookshop series, the Girl, the Dog and the Writer series, the Olive of Groves series, the Red Dirt Diaries series, the Lottie Perkins series, and the historical novel Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief.

SHORTLISTED

  • Bindi by Kirli Saunders (WA) (Magabala Books)
  • How to Write the Soundtrack to Your Life by Fiona Hardy (VIC) (Affirm Press)
  • Iceberg by Claire Saxby (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller (QLD, currently lives in Germany) (Text Publishing)
  • Summer Time by Hilary Bell (NSW) (UNSW Press)

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Fiction Award

$15,000 for a published novel or collection of short stories.

Winner

Tara June Winch, The Yield, Penguin Random House

Shortlisted

  • Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne (VIC) (Text Publishing) 
  • Murmurations by Carol Lefevre (NSW) (Spinifex Press)
  • The Fain Heron by Robbie Arnott (TAS) (Text Publishing)
  • Rise and Shine by Patrick Allington (SA) (Scribe Publications)
  • Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (NSW) (Hachette Australia)

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Young Adult Fiction Award

$15,000 for a published book of fiction aimed at readers aged 12 to 18 years.

WINNER

Book cover The Gaps

Leanne Hall
The Gaps
Text Publishing

When sixteen-year-old Yin Mitchell is abducted, the news reverberates through the whole Year Ten class at Balmoral Ladies College. As the hours tick by, the girls know the chance of Yin being found alive is becoming smaller and smaller.

Leanne Hall
About the author
Leanne Hall is an author of young adult and children’s fiction. Her debut novel, This Is Shyness, won the Text Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Writing, and was followed by a sequel, Queen of the Night. Her novel for younger readers, Iris and the Tiger, won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature at the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Leanne works as a children’s and YA specialist at an independent bookshop.

SHORTLISTED

  • The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
  • Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore (VIC) (Text Publishing)
  • Off the Map by Scot Gardner (VIC) (Allen & Unwin)
  • This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (SA) (Text Publishing)
  • When We Are Invisible by Claire Zorn (NSW) (University of Queensland Press)

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Non-Fiction Award

$15,000 for a published non-fiction work.

WINNER

Book cover Olive Cotton: A life in photography

Helen Ennis
Olive Cotton: A Life in Photography
HarperCollins Publishers

Olive Cotton was one of Australia's pioneering modernist photographers, whose significant talent was recognised as equal to her first husband, the famous photographer Max Dupain. Together, Olive and Max were an Australian version of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera or Ray and Charles Eames, and the photographic work they produced in the 1930s and early 1940s was bold, distinctive and quintessentially Australian.

Helen Ennis
About the author
Helen specializes in Australian photographic history, especially of the modern period, and biography. Since 2000 she has curated eight major exhibitions for the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia and other cultural institutions. Her biography of modernist photographer Olive Cotton was awarded the Magarey Medal for Biography and the Queensland Literary Awards Non-fiction prize in 2020. She is currently researching the life and work of Max Dupain.

Shortlisted

  • Fathoms: the World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs (WA) (Scribe Publications)
  • Fury by Kathryn Heyman (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
  • In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World by Danielle Clode (SA) (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad (NSW) (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja by Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja (WA) (Magabala Books)

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John Bray Poetry Award

$15,000 for a published collection of poetry, in honour of late South Australian poet Dr John Bray.

WINNER

Sadly Victorian poet Jordie Albiston passed away a few days before the award ceremony. Ms Albiston was posthumously awarded for her work, Fifteeners.

Book cover for Fifteeners

Jordie Albiston
Fifteeners
Puncher & Wattmann

The sonnet is a classic lyric form that has beguiled and perplexed poets for over seven hundred years. In this, her thirteenth collection, Jordie Albiston re-invents the sonnet structure, trading meter for syllabics, and employing fifteen lines in lieu of the traditional fourteen. Themes of destruction and loss, hope and wonder, and the pressing fate of an unstable world, are coded like enduring questions into the machinery of these extraordinary poems.

Jordie Albiston
About the author
Jordie Albiston works within formal boundaries: traditional, experimental, or self-imposed. She seeks the musical cadence while endeavouring to exact a mathematical sense of existence. Often she utilises archival sources from which to wrest a kind of documentary cataloguing; other times she refers to an internal witness of experience. Her poetics are highly charged with vertigo, and doubt. Jordie’s sixth book, the sonnet according to ‘m’, won the 2010 NSW Premier’s Prize.

Shortlisted

  • Errant Night by Jerzy Beaumont (ACT) (Recent Work Press)
  • A History of What I’ll Become by Jill Jones (SA) (UWA Publishing)
  • Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (WA) (Magabala Books)
  • Notes Towards the Dreambook of Endings by Peter Boyle (NSW)(Vagabond Press)<
  • Salute by Ken Bolton (SA) (Puncher and Wattmann)
  • Throat by Ellen van Neerven (QLD) (University of Queensland Press)

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Jill Blewett Playright's Award

$12,500 for an unproduced play of any genre written by a professional South Australian playwright. Supported by State Theatre Company South Australia.

 Winner

Peter Beaglehole

Peter Beaglehole
Calendar Days

Calendar Days is a performance text about the gig economy and precarious work. We hear from baggage handlers, doctors, retail and hospitality workers, young and old, all who share secrets and fears. They crack jokes and rage at their bosses, talk about their cats, fall in and out of love, and share an unexpected birthday cake. It asks how insecure work shapes our relationships with each other and what solidarity might look like in a fragmented work force.

About the author
Peter Beaglehole has served as Fundraising Coordinator for RUMPUS, a theatre project based out of Bowden. With RUMPUS he presented a work in progress reading as part of their Baby Plays' program, and Strata in their 2021/2021 curated season. Strata was shortlisted in the Jill Blewett Playwrights's Award in 2018 and the 2016 Winner of State Theatre Company of South Australia's Young Playwrights' Award. His work has also been staged in ATYP's Intersection 2017, published by Currency Press, and in the 2013 Come out Festival (Now DreamBig Children's Festival).

Shortlisted

  • Recalibrate by Lucy Combe

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Arts South Australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award

$10,000 plus publication by Wakefield Press for an unpublished, book-length manuscript by a South Australian writer.

Winner

Roanna McClelland

Roanna McClelland
The Comforting Weight of Water

The Comforting Weight of Water examines a near future left dramatically altered by societal and climatic forces. For the few survivors, questions of identity, coming of age, love and the natural world are explored through the eyes of a child, against a backdrop of encroaching water.

About the author
Roanna McClelland is an emerging writer of fiction and non-fiction with a background spanning law, politics, media and research. Her work explores conceptualisations of climate, the environment, identity and human nature in modern society.

Shortlisted

  • Chlorophyll and Casein by Rachael Mead
  • Clutch Feathers. Draw breath by Corrie Hosking
  • The Guggenheim by Heather Taylor-Johnson

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Max Fatchen Fellowship

$15,000 for a South Australian writer for young people working in the genres of fiction, drama, poetry or screenwriting, named in honour of author Max Fatchen.

Winner  

Poppy Nwosu

Poppy Nwosu
Beasts

Poppy Nwosu proposes to use the opportunity granted by the Max Fatchen Fellowship to undertake a complete overhaul of an older YA contemporary draft named Beasts. The original manuscript requires a full rewrite to take advantage of her improved skills since its initial completion many years before. She also intends to drastically change the plot and ending, to create a magical realism novel with a dark mystery at its heart, that focuses on themes of isolation, grief and vulnerability in young people. 

About the author
Poppy Nwosu is an author of young adult fiction. She has published three contemporary novels, Making Friends with Alice Dyson, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Readings Young Adult Book Prize and 2018 Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award, Taking Down Evelyn Tait, which was shortlisted for the 2021 SPN Book of the Year award and her latest novel, Road Tripping with Pearl Nash, which is listed in the CBCA Book of the Year Notables for 2022. She is also the creator of the YA horror anthology Hometown Haunts

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Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship

$15,000 for a South Australian writer working in the areas of fiction, poetry, drama, scriptwriting, autobiography, essays, major histories, literary criticism or other expository or analytical prose. Named in honour of distinguished South Australian writer and visual artist Barbara Hanrahan.

Winner

Rachael Mead

Rachael Mead
The Art of Breaking Ice

This generous fellowship will be used to the complete writing of Rachael’s second novel The Art of Breaking Ice. The book follows the Antarctic journey of Nel Law, who was the first Australian woman and first female visual artist to set foot on the Antarctic continent in 1961. This generous bursary will allow her to travel to Canberra and Hobart to complete the archival research for the historical aspects of the novel and complete the final draft of the manuscript.

About the author
Rachael Mead is a novelist and award-winning poet and short story writer, with her creative work appearing widely in Australia and internationally. Her debut novel about Adelaide’s paramedics, The Application of Pressure, was published by Affirm Press in 2020. She is also the the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent being The Flaw in the Pattern published by UWAP in 2018. Her latest poetry manuscript, Chlorophyll and Casein, was short-listed in this year’s Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature unpublished manuscript section. In 2019, she spent a month in the Taleggio Valley in Northern Italy on an eco-poetry residency awarded by Australian Poetry. She’s been a film buff since seeing Star Warson the big screen as a child and has reviewed film, literature, and theatre for InDaily since 2012.

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Tangkanungku Pintyanthi Fellowship

$15,000 for a South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers working in the genres
of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry and playwriting
.

Winner

Karyn Wyld

Karen Wyld
Lovely's Valley

Karen is currently working on two new novels. One is speculative fiction that reimagines history to liberate Stolen Generations from colonisers’ institutions. The project awarded the 2022 Tangkanungku Pintyanthi Fellowship is YA with a gothic-twist, set in the Myponga region. A young Aboriginal girl is reconnected with her grandmother, and together they fight to save endangered Southern Emu-wren’s habitat from developers.

About the author
Karen Wyld is a freelance writer living on the south coast of Adelaide. She’s a descendant of Martu people of the Pilbara region in WA. Her second novel, Where the Fruit Falls, won the 2020 Dorothy Hewitt Award and was listed for other awards. Heroes, Rebels and Innovators, an illustrated non-fiction book for children, is a CBCA 2022 Book of the Year Notable.

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If you have any queries please contact:

AFAL Project Officer
Phone: (08) 8207 7258
Email: slsa.afal@sa.gov.au