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We are delighted to congratulate the 37 writers from around Australia who have been shortlisted for the 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, one of Australia’s richest and most prestigious literary awards.

The biennial 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. The awards also include three fellowships for South Australian writers worth $15,000 each.

Established in 1986, and managed by the State Library of South Australia, these awards continue to highlight the importance of our unique South Australian writers.

The judges were impressed with the high standard of this year’s entries, giving high praise to writers, and noting the exceptional quality of their work, and speaking to the enormously enriching, and beautifully realised works. Among the shortlisted national finalists for 2022 are South Australian writers Vikki Wakefield (Young Adult Fiction category), Patrick Allington (Fiction category), Danielle Clode (Non-Fiction category), and poets Jill Jones and Ken Bolton (John Bray Poetry category).

Local playwrights, Lucy Combe and Peter Beaglehole are shortlisted for the Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award, worth $12,500.

South Australian writers Rachael Mead, Heather Taylor-Johnson, Roanna McClelland and Corrie Hosking are shortlisted for the Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award, which offers a prize of $10,000 and publication of the winning manuscript by Wakefield Press. 

Geoff Strempel, Director State Library of South Australia said,

“Having received over 800 entries this year, I congratulate all the shortlisted authors and their publishers, on their amazing entries in this competitive field. While we all have a story to tell it takes great skill and commitment to turn our stories into such engaging works. At the State Library we love to support the sharing of Australian stories, the stories that make us who we are. In managing these awards, we help promote the importance and power of the written word in our community.”

Winners, including for the Premier’s Award, will be announced in a special ceremony at Adelaide Writers’ Week on Saturday 5 March 2022 as part of the Adelaide Festival.

The 2022 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature shortlist is:

National Awards for published works

Children’s Literature Award ($15,000)

  • 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 and Unwin)
  • The republic of birds by Jessica Miller (QLD, currently lives in Germany) (Text Publishing)
  • Summer time by Hilary Bell (NSW) (UNSW Press)
  • We are wolves by Katrina Nannestad (VIC) (ABC Books: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

Fiction Award ($15,000)

  • Cherry beach by Laura McPhee-Browne (VIC) (Text Publishing) 
  • Murmurations by Carol Lefevre (NSW) (Spinifex Press)
  • The rain 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)
  • The yield by Tara June Winch (NSW, currently lives in France) (Penguin Random House Australia)


    • Errant night by Jerzy Beaumont (ACT) (Recent Work Press)
    • Fifteeners by Jordie Albiston (VIC) (Puncher and Wattmann)
    • 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)

    Non-Fiction Award ($15,000)

    • Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs (WA) (Scribe Publications)
    • Fury by Kathryn Heyman (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
    • Olive cotton: A life in photography by Helen Ennis (ACT) (HarperCollins Publishers)
    • 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)

    Young Adult Fiction Award ($15,000)

    • The boy from the mish by Gary Lonesborough (NSW) (Allen & Unwin)
    • The gaps by Leanne Hall (VIC) (Text Publishing)
    • 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)

    South Australian Awards and Fellowships

    Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award ($12,500)

    • Calendar days by Peter Beaglehole
    • Recalibrate by Lucy Combe

    Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award ($10,000)

    • Chlorophyll and Casein by Rachael Mead
    • Clutch feathers. Draw breath by Corrie Hosking
    • The comforting weight of water by Roanna McClelland
    • The Guggenheim by Heather Taylor-Johnson

    Not shortlisted Fellowships

    • Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship ($15,000)
    • Max Fatchen Fellowship ($15,000)
    • Tangkanungku Pintyanthi Fellowship ($15,000)  

    Media enquiries

    Lucy Guster
    Manager, Engagement & Marketing

    State Library of South Australia
    0409 091 829

    Download the media release