Melbourne Prize literature shortlist announced

The Melbourne Prize, which rotates its focus through a triennial cycle of sculpture, music and literature, has announced the shortlist for this year's $60,000 and $30,000 awards for writers.

The Melbourne Prize for Literature, the big one, is awarded to a Victorian writer for a body of work that can be in any genre or form. This year the shortlist for the prize consists of children's writer Alison Lester, political scientist and public intellectual Robert Manne, novelist and dual Miles Franklin winner Alex Miller, playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and Miles Franklin-winning crime writer Peter Temple.

The Best Writing Award is for a single piece of writing published since the prize was last presented. On the shortlist are Tony Birch, Blood; Anna Goldsworthy, Piano Lessons; Sonya Hartnett, The Children of the King; Paul Kelly, How to Make Gravy; Wayne Macauley, The Cook; David McCooey, Outside; Favel Parrett, Past the Shallows; Craig Sherborne, The Amateur Science of Love; Carrie Tiffany, Mateship with Birds; and Ouyang Yu, The English Class.

Organisers say the number of entries has doubled since the prize for literature was last presented. The winners will be announced November 7.

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