Leura author Jennifer Rowe has again drawn acclaim, picking up a Prime Minister's Literary Award for His Name Was Walter.
Best known for her children's books penned under her grandmother's name of Emily Rodda, Ms Rowe won the children's literature category for the book enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
"His Name Was Walter was one of the most magical experiences of my writing life. It combines my three great loves - fantasy, magical reality, and mystery. And moving in and out of the tale of Walter's life are reflections of my husband Bob's life as an orphan boy long ago," Ms Rowe said.
"I thank those who have judged His Name Was Walter, a book that is so special to me, as being worthy of this great honour."
The awards were presented in October in six categories - children's literature, young adult literature, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history - with a total prize pool of $600,000.
The judges said: "Word play, visual imagery, foreshadowing and dramatic irony enhance this mesmerising tale. Themes of war, entrapment and homelessness highlight the impact of the past on the present. Characters mature and gain insight into each other as they face guilt, forgiveness and truth. All is flawlessly exposed in an audacious and satisfying final reveal."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison presented the awards. "This year's short list showcases the diversity of our great country. I really encourage Australians of all ages to pick up a copy of one of this year's excellent entries," he said.
The other awards went to: Gail Jones for The Death of Noah Glass; Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell for Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra; Meredith Lake's The Bible of Australia: A Cultural History; Judith Beveridge's Sun Music: New and Selected Poems, and Michael Gerard Bauer's The Things That Will Not Stand.
His Name Was Walter was also named a Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for younger readers (7-12 years) winner in August.