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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2020 announced

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the importance of literacy and to encourage everyone to enjoy and learn from the work of our writers. These annual awards honour distinguished achievement by Australian writers, contribute to Australia’s artistic reputation, and draw international attention to some of our best writers and to the cultural environment that nurtures them.  ABC reports: Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch has pulled off a hat-trick at the 2020 NSW Premier's Literary Awards for her novel The Yield, taking home three major prizes, including the Book of the Year.

About The Yield

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

Knowing that he will soon die, Albert “Poppy” Gondiwindi has one final task he must fulfill. A member of the indigenous Wiradjuri tribe, he has spent his adult life in Prosperous House and the town of Massacre Plains, a small enclave on the banks of the Murrumby River. Before he takes his last breath, Poppy is determined to pass on the language of his people, the traditions of his ancestors, and everything that was ever remembered by those who came before him. The land itself aids him; he finds the words on the wind.

After his passing, Poppy’s granddaughter, August, returns home from Europe, where she has lived the past ten years, to attend his burial. Her overwhelming grief is compounded by the pain, anger, and sadness of memory—of growing up in poverty before her mother’s incarceration, of the racism she and her people endured, of the mysterious disappearance of her sister when they were children; an event that has haunted her and changed her life. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends and honor Poppy and her family, she vows to save their land—a quest guided by the voice of her grandfather that leads into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river.

Told in three masterfully woven narratives, The Yield is a celebration of language and an exploration of what makes a place "home." A story of a people and a culture dispossessed, it is also a joyful reminder of what once was and what endures—a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling, and identity, that offers hope for the future. source 2020 winners NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Book of the Year ($10,000) The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction ($40,000) The Yield by Tara June Winch

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing ($5,000) Real Differences by SL Lim (Transit Lounge)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000) Tiberius with a Telephone: The Life and Stories of William McMahon by Patrick Mullins (Scribe Publications)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,000) Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness by Peter Boyle (Vagabond Press)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature ($30,000) — joint winners Ella and the Ocean by Lian Tanner and Jonathan Bentley (Allen & Unwin)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature ($30,000) Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting ($30,000) Counting and Cracking by S. Shakthidharan, Associate writer Eamon Flack (Belvoir and Co-Curious)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting ($30,000) — joint winners Missing by Kylie Boltin (SBS) The Cry, Episode 2 by Jacquelin Perske (Synchronicity Films)

Multicultural NSW Award ($20,000) The Pillars by Peter Polites (Hachette Australia) People's Choice Award The Yield by Tara June Winch

Indigenous Writers' Prize ($30,000) — biennial award The White Girl by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)


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