Winners of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2018

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards!

The 2018 winners for each category are…


The winner of the Fiction Award is Melanie Cheng for Australia Day.

Australia Day is a collection of stories about people who are young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, Muslim. What they have in common is the desire we all share to feel that we belong. The stories ask crucial questions about the possibility of human connection in a globalised world.

Read our review of the book here.


The winner of the Non-fiction Award and the winner of the overall Victorian Prize for Literature is Sarah Krasnostein for The Trauma Cleaner.

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife… But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less. The Trauma Cleaner is the story of a fascinating life.

Read our review of the book here.


The winner of the Drama Award is Michele Lee for Rice.

Brimming with sharp observations on globalisation, power, politics, and migration as well as plenty of wicked humour, Rice won the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for 2016-2017. It’s the story of two very different multicultural women making their way in modern Australia, and the powerful, if unlikely, friendship that forms between them.


The winner of the Poetry Award is Bella Li for Argosy.

This innovative full-length collection, drawing inspiration from the surrealist collage novels of Max Ernst, is an arresting assemblage of poetry, collage and photography. In two parts, the book engages with themes of travel and exploration, language and loss, identity and originality, as well as the relationship between poetry and other disciplines: the visual arts, history, literature and film.

Read our review of the book here.


The winner of the Writing for Young Adults Award is Demet Divaroren for Living on Hope Street.

Living on Hope Street is the first novel from Turkish–Australian writer Demet Divaroren. Set among the multicultural, multigenerational residents of a suburban street and narrated by seven wildly different characters, this debut looks at family estrangement, domestic violence, poverty, sexual identity, PTSD and recent arrival in Australia.

Read our review of the book here.


The winner of the People’s Choice award is Alison Evans for Ida.

Alison Evans’s crossover YA debut is a gender-fluid, sci-fi story of parallel universes. How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want? Ida struggles more than other twentysomethings to work this out – she can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths. When she spots a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train, and she starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability…

Read our Q&A with Evans here.

Find out more about the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards here.

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The Trauma Cleaner

The Trauma Cleaner

Sarah Krasnostein

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