How did winning literary awards affect your life?

Whether it's validating your own work, buying more time to write more books or even changing the whole course of your life, winning literary prizes does make a difference.
A pale pink background. There is a large gold coin with the number 1 on it hanging above three piles of coins.

In awe and envy, we’ve all read and watched longlist and the shortlist announcements and then, with a flurry of excitement, the eventual winners of various literary awards. Some of them come with modest prizewinnings while, in others, the cash pot is more substantial. ArtsHub surveyed a range of writers to gauge how winning a prize or two may have changed their lives.

For many surveyed, being chosen as the winner was a confidence boost that meant their writing was on the right track. Alice Robinson won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2019, a prize awarded to a debut or second novel.

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Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy