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News  •  7 March 2024


2024 Penguin Literary Prize shortlist announced

See the six shortlisted titles for the 2024 Penguin Literary Prize. Winner to be announced 6 June 2024.

Penguin Random House Australia is thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 2024 Penguin Literary Prize. The Prize, launched in 2017, was established to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. The shortlisted titles are:

  • What Is Left For Us by Sophie Stern. When Rebecca returns to Bondi after ten years, she is forced to confront her sister and the secrets that tore them apart.
    Sophie is based in Sydney, NSW

  • Sedition by Marisa Wikramanayake. English expat teacher Clare finds herself alone in civil war era Sri Lanka post the tsunami, her life colliding with those of isolated Nivi and the directionless George as they try to support each other and subvert the expectations of others.
    Marisa is based in Melbourne, VIC

  • Happy at Work by Ellen Rodger. Thematically linked stories about work and recreation, with settings including a laundromat, massage parlours, offices, an arts workshop, a physical culture competition, and a strip club.
    Ellen is based in Sydney, NSW

  • Those Days of Hill and Sea by Chloe Adams. In 1948, a young Australian woman travels to Japan to join the Allied occupation force. There she is confronted with moral ambiguity and the consequences of her own transgressions.
    Chloe is based in Melbourne, VIC

  • Ancestors by Jonny Zweck. After the suspicious death of their mother, fourteen-year-old Izzy Albrecht must protect his little brother as they escape their murderous father, traversing the civil war-torn tropical island of Bougainville in their quest for safety.
    Jonny is based in Adelaide, SA

  • A Home in the Harshlands by Kate King. A young mother creates a home and family with an outlaw obstetrician, a midwife and an elderly man; providing contraband medicine and care to disenfranchised pregnant women, and overcoming her fears of abandonment to find her daughter’s father.
    Kate is based in the Tablelands Region, QLD


Meredith Curnow, Publisher at Penguin Random House Australia said, ‘The team of readers across Penguin Random House and United Book Distributors have roamed widely and again excelled. The shortlist includes stories set in Bondi, Sri Lanka, laundromats, Japan, Bougainville and remote Western Australia. The judges have an interesting time ahead of them.'

The winner will be announced by Penguin Random House Australia on Thursday 6 June 2024. Offering aspiring authors from across Australia the chance to become a part of the Penguin Random House community, the prize includes $20,000 and the opportunity for the winner to publish with PRH AU. Previous winners include Kathryn Hind with Hitch, Imbi Neeme with The Spill, Sophie Overett with The Rabbits, James McKenzie Watson with Denizen and Annette Higgs with On A Bright Hillside in Paradise, and Michelle See-Tho with Jade and Emerald, to be published in July 2024.

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