ALS Gold Medal

ALS Gold Medal

The ALS Gold Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year. The Medal was inaugurated by the Australian Literature Society, which was founded in Melbourne in 1899 and incorporated into the Association for the Study of Australian Literature in 1982. The winner receives a gold medal. No nominations are required, though ASAL members are invited to propose potential winners to the judging panel.

2021 Judging Panel Chair:

Brigid Magner (RMIT, Chair):
Closing date for submissions: 28 February 2021

ALS Gold Medal Shortlist 2021

Robbie Arnott, The Rain Heron (Text Publishing)

Luke Best, Cadaver Dog (University of Queensland Press)

Laura Jean MacKay, The Animals in That Country (Scribe Publications)

Ronnie scott, The Adversary (Penguin Books)

Nardi Simpson, Song of the Crocodile (Hachette Australia)

Ellen Van Neerven, Throat (University of Queensland Press)

ALS Gold Medal Longlist 2021

The judges for the 2021 ALS Gold Medal, Brigid Magner, Clare Archer-Lean and Jessica White, read 80 titles from 2020 and were astounded by the fecundity and innovation they demonstrated. While the pandemic has been devastating, these works show that it has also been energising for the writing and reading of Australian literature. Reflecting the open-ness of the ALS Gold medal, the longlist includes works of poetry, crime, speculative and young adult fiction by authors ranging from early career to established. Congratulations to all of the longlist contenders!

Amanda Lohrey, The Labyrinth
Robbie Arnott, The Rain Heron
Laura Jean McKay, The Animals in that Country
Cath Moore, Metal Fish, Falling Snow
Philip Salom, The Fifth Season
S.L. Lim, Revenge: Murder in Three Parts
Ali Whitelock, The Lactic Acid in the Calves of Your Despair
Ronnie Scott, The Adversary
Nardi Simpson, The Song of the Crocodile
Ellen van Neerven, Throat
Luke Best, Cadaver Dog
Andrew Pippos, Lucky’s

ALS Gold Medal Winner 2020

Charmaine Papertalk Green, Nganajungu Yagu (Cordite)

Nganajungu Yagu

ALS Gold Medal Shortlist 2020

  • Jordie Albiston, Element (Puncher and Wattman)
  • Charmaine Papertalk Green, Nganajungu Yagu (Cordite)
  • Favel Parrett, There was still love (Hachette)
  • Carrie Tiffany, Exploded View (text)
  • Charlotte  Wood, The Weekend (Allen & Unwin)

ALS Gold Medal Longlist 2020

  • Jordie Albiston, Element (Puncher and Wattman)
  • Natalie Harkin, Archival Poetics (Vagabond)
  • Yumna Kassab, The House of Youssef (Giramondo)
  • Andrew McGahan, The Rich Man’s House (Allen & Unwin)
  • Meg Mundell, The Trespassers (UQ Press)
  • Charmaine Papertalk Green, Nganajungu Yagu (Cordite)
  • Favel Parrett, There was still love (Hachette)
  • Marcella Polain, Driving into the Sun (Fremantle)
  • Carrie Tiffany, Exploded View (text)
  • Christos Tsiolkas, Damascus (Allen & Unwin)
  • Tara June Winch, The Yield (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Charlotte  Wood, The Weekend (Allen & Unwin)

ALS Gold Medal Shortlist 2019

Read the judges’ citations

  • Aqua Spinach, Luke Beesley (Giramondo)
  • click here for what we do, Pam Brown (Vagabond)
  • False Claims of Colonial Thieves, John Kinsella and Charmaine Papertalk-Green
  • The Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones (Text)
  • Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau (Brow)
  • Beautiful Revolutionary, Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe)

ALS Gold Medal Longlist 2019

    • Aqua Spinach, Luke Beesley (Giramondo)
    • Beautiful Revolutionary, Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe)
    • Blakwork, Alison Whittaker (Magabala)
    • click here for what we do, Pam Brown (Vagabond)
    • False Claims of Colonial Thieves, Charmaine Papertalk-Green and John Kinsella (Magabala)
    • Flames, Robbie Arnott (Text)
    • Newcastle Sonnets, Keri Glastonbury (Giramondo)
    • Pink Mountain on Locust Island, Jamie Marina Lau (Brow)
    • The Children’s House, Alice Nelson (Vintage)
    • The Death of Noah Glass, Gail Jones (Text)
    • The Everlasting Sunday, Robert Lukins (UQP)
  • Zanzibar Light, Philip Mead (Vagabond)

ALS Gold Medal Judging panel for 2019:

Michael Farrell (Chair)

Catherine Noske

Megan Mooney Taylor

More Information:

Previous Winners

2018, Shastra Deo, The Agonist (UQP)

2017, Zoe Morrison, Music and Freedom

2016, Brenda Niall, Mannix

2015, Jennifer Maiden, Drones and Phantoms (Giramondo)

2014 Alexis Wright, The Swan Book (Giramondo)

2013 Michelle De Kretser, Questions of Travel (Allen &Unwin).

2012 Gillian Mears, Foal’s Bread (Allen & Unwin)

2011 Kim Scott, That Deadman Dance (Pan Macmillan)

2010 David Malouf, Ransom (Knopf)

2009Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap (Allen & Unwin)

2008 Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog (Allen & Unwin)

2007 Alexis Wright, Carpentaria (Giramondo )

2006 Gregory Day, The Patron Saint of Eels (Picador)

2005 Gail Jones, Sixty Lights (Harvill Press)

2004 Laurie Duggan, Mangroves (UQP)

2003 Kate Jennings, Moral Hazard

2002 Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish

2001 Rodney Hall, The Day We Had Hitler Home

2000 Drusilla Modjeska, Stravinsky’s Lunch

1999 Murray Bail, Eucalyptus

1998 James Cowan, A Mapmaker’s Dream

1997 Robert Dessaix, Night Letters

1996 Amanda Lohrey, Camille’s Bread

1995 Helen Demidenko, The Hand That Signed The Paper

1994 Louis Nowra, Radiance and The Temple

1993 Elizabeth Riddell, Selected Poems

1992 Rodney Hall, The Second Bridegroom

1991 Elizabeth Jolley, Cabin Fever

1990 Peter Porter, Possible Worlds

1989 Frank Moorhouse, Forty-seventeen

1988 Brian Matthews, Louisa

1987 Alan Wearne, The Nightmarkets

1986 Thea Astley, Beachmasters

1985 David Ireland, Archimedes and the Seagle

1984 Les Murray, The People’s Other World

1983 David Malouf, Child’s Play; Fly Away Peter

1975-82 No Award (ASAL takes over award in 1983)

1974 David Malouf, Neighbours in a Thicket

1973 Francis Webb

1972 Alexander Buzo

1971 Colin Badger

1970 Manning Clark

1966 A.D. Hope

1965 Patrick White, The Burnt Ones

1964 Geoffrey Blainey, The Rush That Never Ended

1963 John Morrison, Twenty-three stories

1962 Vincent Buckley, Masters in Israel

1960 William Hart Smith, Poems of discovery

1959 Randolph Stow, To the Islands

1957 Martin Boyd, A Difficult Young Man

1955 Patrick White, The Tree of Man

1954 Mary Gilmore, Fourteen Men

1952 Tom Hungerford

1950 Jon Cleary, Just Let Me Be

1948 Herz Bergner, Between Sky and Sea

1942 Kylie Tennant, The Battlers

1941 Patrick White, Happy Valley

1940 William Baylebridge, This Vital Flesh

1939 Xavier Herbert, Capricornia

1938 R.D. FitzGerald, Moonlight Acre

1937 Kenneth ‘Seaforth’ Mackenzie, The Young Desire It

1936 Eleanor Dark, Return to Coolami

1935 Winifred Birkett, Earth’s Quality

1934 Eleanor Dark, Prelude to Christopher

1933 G.B. Lancaster (Edith J. Lyttleton) , Pageant

1932 Leonard Mann, Flesh in Armour

1931 Frank Dalby Davison, Manshy

1930 Vance Palmer, The Passage

1929 Henry Handel Richardson, Ultima Thule

1928 Martin Mills (Martin Boyd) , The Montforts


We are grateful to the following ALS Gold Medal Donors:  Bill Ashcroft, Bernadette Brennan, Judith Brett, Philip Butterss, Julian Croft, Tony Hughes-D’aeth, Kieran Dolin, Paul Eggert, Frances de Groen, Margaret Harris, Nick Hasluck, Harry Heseltine, Helen Hewson, Ivor Indyk, Lynn Jacobs, Gail Jones, Veronica Kelly, Alan Lawson, Susan Lever, Elaine Lindsay, Philip Mead, Barbara Milech, Nicole Moore, Elizabeth Morrison, Heather Neilson, Jill Roe, Brigid Rooney, Paul Sharrad, Susan Sheridan, Tony Simoes da Silva, Yvonne Smith, Andrew Taylor, Helen Tiffin, Shirley Walker, Elizabeth Webby, Jim Wieland, Gerry Wilkes, John McLaren.

Previous Reports