Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2016 entry guidelines

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Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2016 entry guidelines (PDF 780 kB)

 

The Prime Minister's Literary Awards (the Awards) celebrate the contribution of Australian literature to the nation's cultural and intellectual life.

The Awards play an important role in supporting a national appreciation of Australian literature. They provide acknowledgement and prizes to the authors and illustrators that have published the best works of Australian literature each year.

The Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History recognises outstanding work that contributes significantly to an understanding of Australian history.

Entries are sought for books of high literary merit, and in the case of the Prize for Australian History, scholarly accomplishment.

Awards will be presented in six categories; fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, children's fiction, poetry and Australian history. Up to $100,000 will be awarded in each category—$80,000 for the winning entry and $5,000 each for a maximum of four shortlisted entries. All prizes are tax-free.

Entries close at 5pm AEST on 20 May 2016.

Entrants are encouraged to submit an online entry form to the Ministry for the Arts* at www.arts.gov.au/pmliteraryawards.

In addition, ten (10) bound copies of the relevant work must be received by the Ministry for the Arts by the closing date.

If you are entering a recording or documentary for the Prize for Australian History you will also need to provide 10 copies of your entry in a format that can be provided to the judges.

Please note: The submitted copies of works, whether deemed eligible or not, become the property of the Australian Government and will not be returned to the entrant.

*The Ministry for the Arts is a division within the Department of Communications and the Arts.

Courier deliveries Contacts
Prime Minister's Literary Awards
Ministry for the Arts
Department of Communications and the Arts
Prime Minister's Literary Awards
Phone: 1800 707 889
Email: PMLiteraryAwards@arts.gov.au

1. Eligibility criteria

1.1 General eligibility criteria

The following criteria apply to all entries:

  • The book must have been first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • The book must be published in the English language.
  • The book must have been made available for general sale in Australia between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015 and be available to the general public via more than one distribution outlet.
  • The book must have an international book number—ISBN, and a CIP number (Cataloguing-In-Publication) from the National Library of Australia.
  • Books primarily published electronically are eligible as long as they are also available in some kind of hard copy format, for example, by print-on-demand.
  • Books published through non-traditional publishing models are eligible as long as they meet all general eligibility criteria and the following conditions:
  • The author is not the publisher.
  • Where the author and the publisher of the book are the same, the entry will be considered if the publishing company has published the work of at least three other authors.
  • The book must be edited by a professional editor.
  • Entrants may be asked to provide verification that that the book has been edited by a professional editor upon request by the Ministry for the Arts.

Please note: Authors are required to have considered any legal risks associated with the publication of their book, particularly in relation to copyright and defamation law.

  • A book can be entered into more than one category and shortlisted in more than one category but cannot win more than one category.
  • Further detail is on this criterion is provided in the category specific eligibility criteria below.

Ineligible books

  • Second edition books.
  • Books that are only available for free.
  • Electronic versions of previously published books.
  • Published versions of books originally released electronically prior to 1 January 2015.
  • Books from a publishing company that has been specifically established to sell that book.
  • Works consisting primarily of photographs or illustrations with text that includes only limited descriptive text or captions.
  • However, works in the children's fiction category consisting of images or pictures only, with no text, are eligible.

1.2 Authors and eligibility

The following criteria apply to all entries:

  • The work must be the work of the author/s.
  • Authors must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
  • Authors must be living on the date of entry.
  • Books of joint authorship are eligible. Joint authorship is defined as the joint responsibility of two authors, or one author and one illustrator or photographer, for the entire text.
  • If a shortlisted or winning entry is a work of joint authorship, each author, illustrator or photographer must be identified on the entry form and will receive 50 per cent of the prize money.
  • Eligible books shall have no more than two authors or one author with one illustrator or photographer. Books that are collections of essays or stories by multiple contributors, compiled by an editor, that acknowledge the work of the authors in their own right, are not eligible. Collective works of community groups are an exception to this rule.
  • Books that are the collective work of a community group or a community group and named authors, illustrators and/or photographers may be eligible. All contributors must be individually identified as a co-author of the book in the entry form, and the work must meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • If a shortlisted or winning entry is the collective work of a community group, the full amount of the prize money will be paid to the community group as a whole and each identified co-author should receive an equal share of the prize money.
  • With the exception of collective works of a community group, works may not be entered in the name of a committee or corporation.
  • The authors' personal contact details must be included on the entry form.
  • For producer eligibility criteria for non-book entries for the Prize for Australian History, see Section 2.6: Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History.

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2. Category-specific eligibility criteria

2.1 Fiction

  • Awarded to the author/s of a fiction book first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • A verse novel may be entered in both the poetry category and in one fiction category (either fiction, young adult fiction or children's fiction, based on the intended audience). An eligible verse novel may be shortlisted in both a fiction category and the poetry category, but it cannot win more than one category.

2.2 Non-fiction

  • Awarded to the author/s of a literary non-fiction book first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • Eligible non-fiction works include biographies, autobiographies, histories, philosophy, literary criticism and works dealing with contemporary issues.
  • The following non-fiction works are not eligible: film and television scripts; textbooks and other works created for primary, secondary and tertiary educational purposes; newsletters; books which are primarily works of interviews; local and oral histories; periodicals; instruction manuals; how-to books; bibliographies; dictionaries; encyclopaedias; guide books; catalogues; and self-help, lifestyle and hobby books.
  • A book may be entered in both the non-fiction category and for the Prize for Australian History and may be shortlisted for both these awards. However, a book cannot win more than one category.

2.3 Young adult fiction

  • Awarded to the author of a young adult fiction book first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • Works must be suitable for young adults aged 13 to 19 years old.
  • A verse novel may be entered in both the poetry category and in one fiction category (either fiction, young adult fiction or children's fiction, based on the intended audience). An eligible verse novel may be shortlisted in both a fiction category and the poetry category, but it cannot win more than one category.

2.4 Children's fiction

  • Awarded to the author of a children's fiction book first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • Works must be suitable for children up to 12 years old.
  • Wordless picture books, or illustrated narratives, are eligible for entry in this category only.
  • In illustrated works for children, the literary and artistic merit of the work as a whole will be considered by the judges.
  • A verse novel may be entered in both the poetry category and in one fiction category (either fiction, young adult fiction or children's fiction, based on the intended audience). An eligible verse novel may be shortlisted in both a fiction category and the poetry category, but it cannot win more than one category.

2.5 Poetry

  • Awarded to the author of a collection of poems first published in book form between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • Single poems are not eligible unless they are a novel length work of verse. For further advice on the criteria for verse entries, see Section 3.1: Entries.
  • Collected works of more than two poets are not eligible.
  • A verse novel may be entered in both the poetry category and in one fiction category (either fiction, young adult fiction or children's fiction, based on the intended audience). An eligible verse novel may be shortlisted in both a fiction category and the poetry category, but it cannot win more than one category.

2.6 Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History

  • Awarded for an outstanding publication, production or body of work that contributes significantly to an understanding of Australian history (rather than literary merit, as per the non-fiction category).
  • Eligible works include: a published book, journal or magazine; a website, CD-ROM or DVD; a documentary for any form of distribution (including radio, television, cinema, online, CD-ROM, DVD); or other form of multimedia; or a series of these.
  • The subject of eligible works may include, but is not limited to, historical events, historical figures (including biographies) and works about a particular theme, concept or issue.
  • A book may be entered in both the non-fiction category and for the Prize for Australian History and may be shortlisted for both these awards. However, a book cannot win more than one category.

2.6.1 Non-book entries for the Prize for Australian History

  • If a non-book entry is the collective effort by a group of people or an organisation:
  • all members of the group must be Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • all members of the group must be listed on the entry form
  • all members of the group will receive an equal share of the prize money should the entry win or be shortlisted for the Prize for Australian History.
  • Where a public sector organisation (such as an arm of the Australian Defence Force or a state or territory government department) wins or is shortlisted for the Prize for Australian History, no prize money will be paid.
Journals, websites, magazines
  • Journal, website and magazine entries must have been first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
Other entries—Documentaries, CD-ROMs, television, radio or multimedia entries
  • Non-publication entries must have been first broadcast or distributed between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
Series of work entries
  • If a series or group of works is entered, all components of the series must have been first published, broadcast or produced between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.

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3. Conditions of entry

The conditions and eligibility criteria governing the Awards may change without notice.

These conditions of entry apply to all entries in all categories.

3.1 Entries

  • There is no entry fee for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards or Prize for Australian History.
  • A separate entry form must be completed for each entry.
  • Works may only be entered in one category, except in the following circumstances:
  • a non-fiction book that is also a history book may be entered in both the non-fiction category and the Prize for Australian History
  • a verse novel may be entered in the poetry category and ONE fiction category (either fiction, young adult fiction or children's fiction, depending on the intended audience).
  • Works may be entered by publishers, literary agents, authors, producers or broadcasters. People or organisations entering a work on behalf of an author or producer are assumed to be submitting the entry with the consent of the author or producer.
  • It is the responsibility of the person submitting the entry to ensure that the author or producer's consent is obtained before entering the work.
  • The submitted copies of works, whether deemed eligible or not, become the property of the Australian Government and will not be returned to the entrant.
  • While all reasonable care will be taken, no responsibility is accepted for loss or damage to submitted copies or for entries that are not received by the due time and date.
  • Breach of these guidelines may render an entry invalid whether prospectively or retrospectively.
  • Biographies of, or works by, current (at the time of entry) members of an Australian or foreign parliament or executive are not eligible for entry.
  • The Ministry for the Arts may request supporting documentation in relation to any or all of the above eligibility criteria at any time.
  • The Ministry for the Arts' decision regarding the eligibility of an entry shall be final.

3.2 Closing date and time

  • A completed online entry form OR a completed and signed hard copy entry form, AND ten (10) bound copies of the relevant work must be received by the Ministry for the Arts by 5pm AEST on 20 May 2016.
  • Entrants are required to submit a brief summary of the relevant work, an image of the work (for example, the book cover artwork) along with an image and short biography (up to 100 words) of the authors/producers. If completing the online entry form, these must be submitted online. If completing a hard copy entry form, please provide these on a CD or USB.
  • Ebooks must be accompanied by ten (10) bound copies (for example, print-on-demand copies).
  • Images must be at least 7.5cm by 11.5cm and 300dpi resolution.
  • The Ministry for the Arts reserves the right, in its absolute discretion, not to accept incomplete or late entries.
  • The Ministry for the Arts may request additional copies of an entered work at any time.

3.3 Personal information

  • The Department of Communications and the Arts (the Department) may collect, use and disclose personal information and /or sensitive information contained in an entry under the Prime Minister's Literary Award (the Awards), such as names, details and other information contained within an entry for the purposes of administering the Awards and to carry out its functions properly and efficiently.
  • The Department only uses personal information and/or sensitive information for the purposes for which it was given and for any directly related purposes (unless otherwise required by, or authorised under, law). If a work is shortlisted or wins an award, the Department may use and/or publish any photographs, biography (or community group description) and summary of the entered work for publicity purposes.
  • By providing the Department with personal information and/or sensitive information in an entry, the entrant consents to the Department collecting, using and disclosing that information in accordance with the entry guidelines.

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4. Judging and selection

  • The Prime Minister's Literary Awards will awarded to the entries deemed to possess the highest literary merit. The Prize for Australian History will be awarded for the most outstanding contribution to understanding Australian history.
  • Three panels, each of up to five judges, will consider the six award categories. One panel will judge the fiction and poetry categories, one will judge the non-fiction category and the Prize for Australian History, and one will judge the young adult and children's fiction awards.
  • Judges reserve the right to transfer a work into another category if they deem it to be more suited to another category, for example between the children's and young adult fiction categories.
  • The judges may at their discretion call for works which have not been entered in the Awards.
  • The judges reserve the right not to recommend a particular Award in any year if they consider that the entered works are not of sufficient merit.
  • It is important that the judging process is free from interference. To ensure a transparent process, any author, producer, publisher or literary agent who attempts to lobby, undertakes discussions or corresponds with a judge of these Awards in relation to an entry or entries may be permanently disqualified from these Awards.
  • The Prime Minister makes the final decision on the awarding of the Awards, taking into account the recommendations of the judges.
  • The decisions of the Prime Minister and the recommendations of the judges are final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into concerning these decisions.

4.1 Winning entries and promotional activities

  • On subsequent printings of shortlisted or winning works, publishers may print: '2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Shortlist', 'Winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards', '2016 Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History Shortlist' or 'Winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History' as relevant.
  • If you work is shortlisted or wins an award, information provided in your application may be used for publicity purposes, with the exception of personal information which will be treated in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (C'th).
  • The Australian Government expects that the recipients of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and the Prize for Australian History will occasionally assist in publicly promoting Australian literature, Australian history and these Awards. For this reason recipients should be prepared to participate in a small number of local public engagements and media opportunities at the time of, and in the year following, their award.

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