Entries for the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, including Australia’s most valuable literary prize, the Victorian Prize for Literature are now open.

Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu said the awards, administered by the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, acknowledged and celebrated the role of writers in our society and their contribution to Australian culture.

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards include five categories – Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama and Young Adult Fiction – each with a prize of $25,000.

The winners of these categories are then eligible for the major title, the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature.

In addition, two biennial awards will be presented in 2012 – the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer, and the Award for Indigenous Writing. Each winner will receive a $15,000 prize. Entrants to the Award for Indigenous Writing are also eligible to enter their work in any of the five general award categories.

“I encourage all eligible writers to submit entries and join us in celebrating books, writing, reading and ideas,” Mr Baillieu said.

The Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer will be presented on 1 June 2012 during the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and entries are now being accepted by the Wheeler Centre until 2 May.

Entries for the remainder of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards close on May 24. The winners will be announced in September. For details go to www.wheelercentre.com