The annual NSW Premier’s Literary Awards honour distinguished achievement by Australian writers.

They contribute to Australia’s artistic reputation and draw national and international attention to great writers and to the cultural environment that nurtures them.

Nominations are sought for 10 different categories, including the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the Multicultural NSW Award.

This year, the Multicultural NSW Award is offering $20,000 for:

  • a book of fiction or non-fiction, memoir or history
  • a play, musical drama or comedy, theatrical monologue or other theatrical performance,
  • a book of collected poems or a single poem of substantial length published in book form,
  • the screenplay of a feature or documentary film or episode of a television program (drama, comedy or documentary), or
  • the script of a radio play or documentary

which is deemed by the judges to have made a significant contribution to Australian literature, poetry, theatre, film, radio or television and which also considers:

  • any aspect of the Australian migration experience; and/or
  • aspects of cultural diversity and multiculturalism in Australian society.

Last year, the award was won by Michael Mohammad Ahmad for The Lebs, a gripping, confronting and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to be young and Muslim in contemporary Sydney.

In 2014, Marrying Italian: When Love is not Enough, by Vivien Acha was shortlisted for the award.

A warm memoir, Marrying Italian follows the difficult marriage between an Australian woman and an older Italian man as they struggle and fail to make a life together in Victoria in the early ‘70s and ‘80s.

The judges who shortlisted the memoir said that Achia dealt “sensitively with pervasive issues in the immigration experience”.

“[The novel] ultimately serves as a celebration of the migrant experience and the way that it enriches and diversifies the connections within Australian society and between Australia and the rest of the world,” they added.

The multicultural literary award provides plenty of scope for writers of Italian descent to enter.

Writers who have previously won this award are not eligible to win it in the subsequent two years but shortlisted writers are permitted to re-enter new works.

Books, plays, music dramas and scripts may be nominated specifically for this award by their authors, publishers, agents or producers.

Entries must be received by the State Library of NSW no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Entries should be submitted online.

For more information read the award guidelines and access the 2020 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards nomination form.