Holden Sheppard’s ‘Invisible Boys’ shortlisted for Premier’s Prize

Western Australian author Holden Sheppard continues to rack up accolades for his debut novel, Invisible Boys, taking a place on the shortlist for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

The multi-award winning novel tells the story of three young gay men learning to understand their sexuality in rural WA, and has now been nominated for the Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer along with five other nominees.

Sheppard took to social media to share his excitement at the nomination.

“So awesome to be shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards today!” Sheppard wrote on Facebook.

“I’m very happy to be in the running for such a prestigious award – big thanks to the judges & the State Library, and huge congrats to the other WA authors on the shortlist too.”

The young gay author’s novel has already won a multitude of awards, including the 2019 Kathleen Mitchell Award, 2018’s City of Fremantle Hungerford Award and the 2017 Ray Koppe Residency Award, and received many more nominations.

OUTinPerth contributor and award-winning WA poet Scott-Patrick Mitchell reviewed the novel in 2019, describing the work as “one hell of a read.”

“…to think that a whole new generation of young queer readers will have the opportunity to see themselves in this book: that’s a powerful thought. Sheppard opens the reader up to how small town life treats LGBTIQA+ youth and, now that he has, maybe this book will start a conversation on how to address small town homophobia,” Mitchell wrote.

“What this book has certainly begun is a brilliant career for one of WA’s brightest literary talents.”

Sheppard joins young authors Bindy Pritchard, Virginia Jealous, David Pollock and Helen Milroy on the 2020 shortlist. See the full list of nominees here.

OIP Staff


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