Tag Archives: WA Premier’s Book Awards

Flying visit to WA

We’re making the most of these school holidays by wandering about the countryside! Travel to date:

Thursday last week: hopped on a plane to QLD. Kids travelled well, Jetstar was fine. Flew into Brisbane, then hired a car. Got to Toowoomba that night, as planned, for a not terribly restful night’s sleep (note to self: two year olds are not fun to share a bed with, and 9 year olds who want to see Grandpop and go fishing wake up really really early).

Friday: drove to Miles. First stop lunch, where my mate Sharryn joined us. Second stop, hairdresser! My favourite hairdresser is one who has done my hair since I was a teenager, and the salon is kid-friendly and nice. I always take the opportunity to get my hair done there when I’m visiting the family. Though it’s getting to the point it would be WAY cheaper to fly her down to visit us instead! Finished there and went to the Historical Village to wait for Mum to arrive back from a bus tour she was on for work, then headed out to brother’s place. S-i-L not home, nor oldest nephew, but enjoyed catching up with brother and his two youngest. Dad also joined us there, so was able to leave hire car rather than brave the kangaroos on the gravel road. Aunties from Sydney arrived at Mum and Dad’s not too long after we got home, so it was a bit chaotic!

Saturday: Dad and Master Nine headed in early, as Dad was driving a truck in the street parade. M9 not terribly impressed as all he wanted to do was fish, but he had a good time in the end I think (helped that he got to go home with Grandpop at 11 – not at all interested in the rest of the events when there was fishing to be done!). The rest of us left at about 9am, to wait about for an hour in town pre-parade. Miss Six and Master Two were on the Village “float” (the historical ute), looking very country (M6 actually won Best Dressed Girl, which she was chuffed about!). I took a bunch of photos of the parade, but haven’t downloaded yet, so these are my aunt’s. Saw a few people to have chats to after the parade, which was very nice, then walked up to the football grounds where the rest of the festival was taking place. Pleasant day, lots of free rides for the kids, people to see and market stalls to peruse. A bit weary by mid-afternoon but lasted until about four I think before taking my ratty kids home.

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What a start to the holidays!

My favourite (naturally) of the Shaun Tan exhibit

It’s nearly 9pm on the first Saturday of the holidays and I hadn’t even noticed how late it was. That’s because the past couple of days have simply flown by. Yesterday began at about 3.30am with the departure of husband off to his fly out. Naturally I couldn’t go back to sleep, so after reading a bit I eventually got up, knowing there were a couple of big days ahead. I had to take the big kids to daycare to get to school (which they don’t usually do), because I was taking Master One to the eye specialist. He’s had several bouts of conjunctivitis and a seemingly perpetual weepy eye, so our GP referred him. Since we made the appointment three months ago, he hasn’t had conjunctivitis, naturally! I had it in my head the appointment was for 8.30 but luckily had put it in my phone with an alert for one hour before – was a touch surprised when the alert went off at 7am! Good foresight, past me. Dashed the kids to daycare, then discovered where the clinic actually was – one street down the road from us! No rush required. M1 started out okay, but the nurse put dilating drops in his eyes and within 10 minutes his behaviour had deteriorated quite alarmingly. When we eventually saw the doctor (who was absolutely lovely and great with M1), bubs was pretty feral, but the doc said that’s normal – the drops really upset them because they get all blurry. Poor bugger. Anyway, turns out he has to have a small procedure to open up the duct, now booked in for November 10. Didn’t think I’d have cause to be grateful for our private health cover so soon after paying the monstrous premium for this year!

WA Premier's Book Award winner Sally Murphy with judge Miffy F.

Was advised not to send him straight to daycare, so took him home for a nap (which I also may have done!), then when he woke up, dropped him at daycare and went to work for the second half of the last day of term! That flew by, as there was a lot to do (last day of copyright survey, wooHOOOOO!), and I had to leave spot on 4pm to collect kids and dash home to get ready to go out! Because last night was the WA Premier’s Book Awards, at last! Babysitter arrived at 5, and I left to go to the WA State Library for a really lovely evening. Met up with fellow judges and brilliant authors (including the very talented Sally Murphy, who I’ve been chatting with online for a while now!), enjoyed really nice snacks and drinks, and a truly wonderful ceremony, including a touching Welcome to Country by Barry Maguire, and pre-recorded videos including the ever lovely Shaun Tan chatting with 2012 National Year of Reading ambassador William McInnes. The winners all gave delightful speeches and it was just a great night. I particularly enjoyed meeting Scot Gardner (who was chuffed to win his very first award, as co-winner of the YA category with James Roy), Sally (winner of the Children’s category for her brilliant verse novel Toppling) and Shaun Tan’s mum and dad! Was interesting to see Shaun’s art exhibit as a feature of the evening as well, which was a nice touch as he was inducted into the WA Literary Hall of Fame (youngest ever inductee – by a LOT).

Shaun Tan's WA Literary Hall of Fame board

Not sure I got as much sleep as I would have liked, despite being home before 11pm. Awake too early, but had to get tidied up as the Batts were due at 7.30am. The Batt big kids babysat most of the others (took M1 with us) while Lyn & I toddled up to the airport to meet fellow judge (in multiple awards!) Mif, before she headed back to Melbourne. Had a great time chatting over a long late breakfast, before Mif went off to her plane and Lyn & I came home, via Helen’s just as they were about to finally leave on their big trip! Was so pleased to catch them and say goodbye. Lyn & I arrived home to find happy, fed kids and a house that was tidier than when I left it – gotta be happy with that!

The Batts departed to other tasks, and I sat down to catch up on some online jobs (like writing a blog post) and was checking through the million and one emails I had to respond to (okay, not that many, but there’s over 80 new submissions in my inbox, from just the past fortnight since I got sick! Madness!), when I realised that Bake Club was actually at 1pm at Alisa’s, not 3pm as I had in my head – ah, the week of wrong times! My computer told me that it WAS 1pm, so I bundled up the kids and off we went! No baking for Bake Club for us, but I promise I’ll do better next time! Regardless, it was a really nice afternoon, although M1 was very ready to come home by the end (okay, a bit before the end!) and made his displeasure well known. Little rotter was happy and chirpy as soon as he got in the car though, and STAYED that way for another hour or so before eventually going to bed LATER than he usually does! All that on about a half hour sleep today. Rotter.

And now I’ve just finished watching the penultimate Haven Season Two episode (argh, a week to wait for the finale!) and am about to go to bed. Weary, but have had a lovely weekend so far!

Oh, and yes, submissions for Apocalypse Hope are now CLOSED! Thank you everyone who has submitted. I intend to have the reading completed by October 31. Please feel free to query if you have not heard from me by that date.

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And time gets away again

It’s already Saturday! Second last day of the holidays to boot! Now I have to think what I’ve been doing…

Wednesday – Hosted a unit writing meeting here for a new undergraduate teacher librarian course that ECU look to be implementing as part of their school of education. This is a pretty big thing because presently in Australia, one can only become a qualified TL by post-graduate studies, so it’s something I’m delighted to be in on the ground floor of. I’m also pleased to see it will come under the Education umbrella, because library studies are often part of the computer or information science branches, which means a very different thing. Was a very productive meeting with two very knowledgable and interesting women.

Thursday – We started out with haircuts for the big kids, progressed to buying school shoes for the big kids, then braved the first day of the Target toy sale. I had seen that they had a good deal on DSi consoles, and I must have been in the right mood, because both children scored a new one. Am proud of myself that we bought nothing else though! We then made our way to Mandurah for lunch with the Battersby clan (sans Father Battersby), along with Sarah Parker (sans kids!). Was a most pleasant couple of hours. Bub was pretty knackered by the time we got in the car though!

Friday – My final work(ish) commitment of the holidays – took myself up to the State Library for the WA Premier’s Book Awards judging conference. A room full of learned, avid readers, particularly my fellow YA and Children’s judges (Mif, past CBCA and current Aurealis Awards judge, who I’ve been working with online for some time and have met in person a couple of times; Judi J, who was CBCA judge last year and someone I’ve been communicating with online for a while; and Bev, bookseller extraordinaire, who, even though she’s local, I rarely see!). The conference was good, with some very pleasing results (sorry, you’ll have to wait until September 30 for those!) but it was quite funny to see all the other judges disappear afterwards while me and the team swanned off to lunch together, for more mad book yakking 🙂 Was great. Dropped Mif to the airport afterwards, then made the mistake of not checking my Perth Traffic twitter feed before merrily heading home down the Kwinana freeway, which slowed to a crawl backed up on Roe, before a dead stop for ages halfway to Rockingham. A 50 minute trip turned into three hours. Lucky I had podcasts to keep me company! If I’d only stayed on Tonkin, I would have been home for a couple of hours kid-free time! Ah well. Thanks Writer and the Critic and Galactic Chat for keeping me company!

Saturday – Managed to get a relatively early night last night (desperately needed, and sorry to Helen for cancelling plans) which turned into a relative sleep in this morning, when the baby didn’t wake until after 7! Nice. Discovered that husband’s red eye flight was horribly delayed last night due to fog in Melbourne. My phone had updated and locked the SIM, which I didn’t realise meant no incoming calls or messages! Oops. Ah well, he got there in the end, although I’m pretty sure today would have been a write off for him.

We had a home open this morning. It’s not good that I like the fill-in agent better than our regular one (who’s on holidays) is it? Ah well. Starting to consider alternatives to selling – the market is just dead. Of course, we’ll make a decision on that and we’ll probably get an offer the next day! Still thinking, anyway.

And that’s me up to date. I’m feeling pretty chuffed that I’m keeping up my reading/reviewing/judging commitments, as well as having some reading for fun time. And squeezing in a bit of Doctor Who as well 🙂 Hmmm, sounds like a plan for tonight – ironing in front of Doctor Who on the big screen – love my new cables!

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WA Premier’s Book Awards

For the second year, I’ve been a judge for these awards. Last year I did Children’s and YA on my own; this year, it was rather more sane, with two of us judging the YA and then we also have the children’s shortlist to read, so there will be four of us deciding the winners for both shortlists. There’s some fabulous books out there by Aussie authors!


Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards shortlist announced.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day today announced the shortlists for the 2010 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

Mr Day said a record number of 571 entries were submitted this year, compared to 400 for the 2009 awards.

“I am pleased these important awards are attracting so many entries from a wide range of publishers,” he said.

“This year, a People’s Choice Award has been added to the mix of categories.

“The six titles short―listed in the Fiction category will be eligible for this award, and I encourage avid readers and book club members across Australia to familiarise themselves with each of these fantastic works, so they can influence the outcome.”

Voting on the People’s Choice Award will commence on July 25 and finish on September 2. The voting form will be available on the State Library’s website.

The winners will be announced in September 2011.


Non Fiction

A Three-Cornered Life: The Historian W.K. Hancock Jim Davidson UNSW Press
Breaking News Ben Hills Scribe Publications
Into The Woods: The Battle For Tasmania’s Forests Anna Krien Black Inc.
Macquarie Harry Dillon and Peter Butler Random House Australia
Reading by Moonlight Brenda Walker Penguin Group Australia
The Quest For Justice Ken Crispin Scribe Publications


Body in the Clouds Ashley Hay Allen & Unwin
Indelible Ink Fiona McGregor Scribe Publications
That Deadman Dance Kim Scott Picador Australia
Traitor Stephen Daisley Text Publishing Co.
Utopian Man Lisa Lang Allen & Unwin
The English Class Ouyang Yu Transit Lounge Publishing


Burning Bright Caroline Caddy Fremantle Press
Colombine, New & Selected Poems Jennifer Harrison Black Pepper
Fire Diary Mark Tredinnick Puncher & Wattmann
Phantom Limb David Musgrave John Leonard Press
Pirate Rain Jennifer Maiden Giramondo Publishing
Selected Poems of Dorothy Hewett Kate Lilley UWA Publishing

Children’s Books

Henry Hoey Hobson Christine Bongers Random House
Mirror Jeannie Baker Walker Books
Sarindi’s Dragon Kite Janine M. Fraser/Illusrator Elise Hurst Harper Collins Australia
The Red Wind Isobelle Carmody Penguin Group Australia
The Three Loves Of Persimmon Cassandra Golds Penguin Group Australia
Toppling Sally Murphy/Illustrator Rhian Nest James Walker Books

Young Adults

Anonymity Jones James Roy Random House Australia
Happy as Larry Scot Gardner Allen & Unwin
The FitzOsbornes in Exile : The Montmaray Journals 2 Michelle Cooper Random House
The Midnight Zoo Sonya Hartnett Penguin Group Australia
This Is Shyness Leanne Hall Text Publishing Co.
Wavelength A.J. Betts Fremantle Press


Do Not Go Gentle Patricia Cornelius HLA Management
Gwen In Purgatory Tommy Murphy Currency Press
Life Without Me Daniel Keene Currency Press
Love Me Tender Tom Holloway HLA Management
Quack Ian Wilding Currency Press
Songs for Nobodies Joanna Murray—Smith Currency Press

State Library of Western Australia WA History Award

From the Barracks to the Burrup: The National Trust in Western Australia Prof Andrea Whitcomb and Dr Kate Gregory UNSW Press
Till the Stream Runs Dry: A history of hydrography in WA Bill Bunbury Department of Water
The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861 Phyllis Barnes and Dr James Cameron Hesperian Press
The Forgotten Explorers: pioneer geologists of Western Australia, 1826-1926 Dr J. J. E. Glover and Jenny Bevan Hesperian Press
Vite Italiane: Italian Lives in Western Australia Dr Susanna Iuliano UWA Publishing

Digital Narrative

Only a small number of entries were received for this category and there will not be a shortlist. An encouragement award will be announced at the award presentation ceremony.

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