Melbourne Prize for Literature
Alex Miller, author of the critically aclaimed Autumn Laing, won the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012. The prize of $60000 commemorates a Victorian author ‘whose body of published or produced work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature, as well as to cultural and intellectual life’. Miller paid tribute to his wife, Stephanie, publisher, Annette Barlow at Allen & Unwin and his readers in his thank you speech. Throughout his career, Miller has also been awarded many prestigious literary awards, including the Miles Franklin Award in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country and in 1993 for The Ancestor Game, as well as the New South Wales Premiers Literary Award in 2011 for Lovesong.
Also shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature were:
The Best Writing Award, a $30000 prize awarded to ‘a piece of published or produced work of outstanding clarity, originality and creativity by a Victorian writer’ was won by Craig Sherborne for his novel The Amateur Science of Love. Sherborne’s other works include his award winning memoir Hoi Polloi and its sequel Muck which won the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction, and a number of poems and articles.
The finalists for the Best Writing Award, who are eligible for the $5000 Civic Choice Award, included:
- Blood by Tony Birch
- Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy
- The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
- How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly
- The Cook by Wayne Macauley
- Outside by David McCooey
- Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
- Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany
- The English Class by Ouyang Yu
The Melbourne Prize alternates each year between Literature, Music and Urban Sculpture. This years judges included Mark Rubbo, writer and academic Brian Matthews, playwright Hannie Rayson, author Christos Tsiolkas and Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams.