Lucinda Sharp
Left to right: Margaretta Pos, Tony Fenton, Anne Blythe-Cooper, Lucinda Sharp

When the longlists for the Premier’s Literary Prizes 2017 were revealed at a glittering function last Friday night, the name Forty South Publishing was read out three times. Three out of ten is pretty pleasing.

Congratulations to three authors who were long-listed for the Margaret Scott Prize (for best book by a Tasmanian writer) – Anne Blythe-Cooper (“The Shape of Water”), Tony Fenton (“A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes”) and Margaretta Pos (“Shadows in Suriname”). And thanks to the editors and designers who contributed to these publications including Chris Champion, Kent Whitmore, Hannah Gamble, Imogen Brown, Nick Gross, Sheila Allison.

Congratulations to all the other authors who made the longlists. As the judges noted, the longlists demonstrate the rich diversity of current Tasmanian writing and reading culture.

Over 100 books were entered and 10 made the longlist in each category, as follows:

Margaret Scott Prize – 2017 longlist for best book by a Tasmanian writer – $5 000
• The Shape of Water by Anne Blythe-Cooper, published by Forty South Publishing
• In Brazil by Fran Bryson, published by Scribe Publications
• Woven Landscape: Connections in the Tasmanian Midlands, written and published by Peter E Davies
• A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes by Tony Fenton, published by Forty South Publishing
• The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas, published by Walleah Press
• South Pole: Nature and Culture by Elizabeth Leane, published by Realktion Books
• Shadows in Suriname by Margaretta Pos, published by Forty South Publishing
• The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose, published by Allen & Unwin
• Down the Dirt Roads by Rachael Treasure, published by Penguin Random House
• Crocoite by Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event.

Tasmania Book Prize – 2017 longlist for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre – $25 000
• Losing Streak: How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry by James Boyce, published by Black Inc
• The Diemenois: Being the Correct and True Account of the Sensational Escape, Seclusion and Cruel Demise of a Most Infamous Man by J W Clennett, published by Hunter Publishers
• Archipelago of Souls by Gregory Day, published by Pan Macmillan Australia
• Solomon’s Noose: The True Story of Her Majesty’s Hangman of Hobart by Steve Harris, published by Melbourne Books
• Physick by Pete Hay, published by Shoestring Press
• The Better Son by Katherine Johnson, published by Ventura Press
• Wild Island by Jennifer Livett, published by Allen & Unwin.
• Fall of the Derwent by Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event
• Musquito: Brutality and Exile by Michael Powell, published by Fullers Publishing
• Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor, published by Melbourne University Publishing.

The shortlists will be announced at a reception on the mainstage at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, 14 September 2017 as part of the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival.