The shortlist for the WA Premier’s Book Awards has just been announced. I was disappointed to realise that all Australian writers are now eligible to enter. (It probably changed some time ago – I’ve been out of the loop.) This may sound horribly parochial, but there are many national book awards; there are few opportunities for Western Australian writers to be recognised. The inevitable result is that the top few writers in the country will receive extra accolades, and the local writers who could have been given a boost will be overlooked.
On the other hand, I am so glad we have WA-based book awards, and I hope they continue to get funding and attention.