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Bookmarked Blog
It’s well and truly book awards season with shortlist announcements and talented winners claiming prizes for their outstanding stories quicker than we can take their books from the top of our TBR piles and read them! Adding to this essential reading list, Penguin Random House Australia has just announced the winner of the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize. Congratulations to Dubbo-based writer James McKenzie Watson for his novel, Denizen.

Chosen from 240 submissions, Watson said of his win, ‘I know it’s a cliché but winning the Penguin Literary Prize is a dream come true – I still can’t quite believe it’s happened. To have been awarded this prize for a novel that contains so much of my heart and soul is an astounding privilege, and I’m so grateful to PRH for this incredible recognition.’

Penguin Literary Prize winners

James McKenzie Watson - 2021 Winner & Sophie Overett - 2020 Winner


The winning novel hits shelves around a year later with the 2020 winner – The Rabbits by Sophie Overett – due to be published early next month. To get an idea of the local writing talent that Penguin is nurturing with this prize, read an extract of The Rabbits below.

Click to read an extracts from THE RABBITS

The Rabbits is a multigenerational family story with a dose of magical realism. It is about family secrets, art, very mild superpowers, loneliness and the strange connections we make in the places we least expect.

Other previous winners include Hitch by Kathryn Hind, which was also awarded the Betty Trask Award in 2020; and The Spill by Imbi Neeme.

The Rabbits is available in store and online from 2 July.

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