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The Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature are presented by the South Australian Government and managed by the State Library of South Australia. 

We are delighted to announce the 37 writers from around Australia who have been shortlisted for the 2020 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, one of Australia’s richest and most prestigious literary awards.

Congratulations to all shortlisted authors and their publishers. Winners will be announced in a special ceremony at Adelaide Writers’ Week on Saturday 29 February 2020 as part of the Adelaide Festival

The 2020 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature shortlist is:

Children’s Literature Award ($15,000)

Book cover of The Elephant by Peter Carnavas

The elephant
Peter Carnavas
University of Queensland Press

Book cover of The house on the mountain by Ella Holcombe

The house on the mountain
Ella Holcombe
Allen & Unwin

Book cover, Mallee Sky by Jodi Toering

Mallee Sky
Jodi Toering
Walker Books Australia

Book cover, Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow
Jessica Townsend
Hachette Australia

Book cover, Winston and the wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club by Tamsin Janu

Winston and the wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club
Tamsin Janu
Scholastic Australia

Book cover, Young dark emu by Bruce Pascoe

Young dark emu: A truer history
Bruce Pascoe
Magabala Books

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Young Adult Fiction Award ($15,000)

Book cover, After the lights go out by Lili Wilkinson

After the lights go out
Lili Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin

Book cover, Between us by Clare Atkins

Between us
Clare Atkins
Black Inc

Book cover, The centre of my everything by Allayne Webster

The centre of my everything
Allayne Webster
Penguin Random House Australia

Book cover, Neverland by Margot McGovern

Neverland
Margot McGovern
Penguin Random House Australia

Book cover, Small spaced by Sarah Epstein

Small spaces
Sarah Epstein
Walker Books Australia

Book cover, A song only I can hear by Barry Jonsberg

A song only I can hear
Barry Jonsberg
Allen & Unwin

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Fiction Award ($15,000)

Book cover, Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones

The death of Noah Glass
Gail Jones
The Text Publishing Company

Book cover, Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills

Dyschronia
Jennifer Mills
Pan Macmillan Australia

Book cover, The enlightenment of the greengage tree by Shokoofeh Azar

The enlightenment of the greengage tree
Shokoofeh Azar
Wild Dingo Press

Book cover, Saudade by Suneeta Peres Da Costa

Saudade
Suneeta Peres da Costa
Giramondo Publishing 

Book cover, A stolen season, Rodney Hall

A stolen season
Rodney Hall
Pan Macmillan Australia

Book cover, Taboo by Kim Scott

Taboo
Kim Scott
Pan Macmillan Australia 

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John Bray Poetry Award ($15,000)

Book cover, Archival poetics by Natalie Harkin

Archival-Poetics
Natalie Harkin
Vagabond Press

Book cover, Blakwork by Alison Whittaker

Blakwork
Alison Whittaker
Magabala Books

Book cover, False claims of colonial thieves by Charmaine Papertalk Green and John Kinsella

False claims of colonial thieves
Charmaine Papertalk Green and John Kinsella
Magabala Books

Book cover, The lost Arabs by Omar Sakr

The lost Arabs
Omar Sakr
University of Queensland Press

Book cover, Music our bodies can’t hold by Andy Jackson

Music our bodies can’t hold
Andy Jackson
Hunter Publishers

Book cover, Viva the real by Jill Jones

Viva the real
Jill Jones
University of Queensland Press

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Non-Fiction Award ($15,000)

Book cover, Bible in Australia by Meredith Lake

The Bible in Australia: A cultural history
Meredith Lake
NewSouth Publishing

Book cover, Call the reed warbler by Charles Massy

Call of the reed warbler
Charles Massy
University of Queensland Press

Book cover, Deep time dreaming by Billy Griffiths

Deep time dreaming: Uncovering
ancient Australia

Billy Griffiths
Black Inc

Book cover, Dr Space Junk vs Dr Universe by Alice Gorman

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe:
Archaeology and the future

Alice Gorman
NewSouth Publishing

Book cover, Eggshell skull by Bri Lee

Eggshell skull: A memoir about standing up,
speaking out and fighting back

Bri Lee
Allen & Unwin

 Book cover, The year that changed everything by Phillipa McGuinness

The year everything changed: 2001
Phillipa McGuinness
Penguin Random House Australia

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

  • Forgiveness by Piri Eddy
  • Karamazovs by Duncan Graham

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arts south australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award ($10,000)

  • House by Alison Flett
  • In the room with the she wolf by Jelena Dinic
  • The others by Diana Navarro
  • Temperance by Carol Lefevre

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NOT shortlisted Fellowships

  • Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship ($15,000)
  • Max Fatchen Fellowship ($15,000)
  • Tangkanungku Pintyanthi Fellowship ($15,000) - no applications were received for this Fellowship.

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Contact Us

If you have any queries please contact:

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