Louis Nowra (born 12 December 1950) is an Australian writer, playwright, screenwriter and librettist.
He is best known as one of Australia's leading playwrights. His works have been performed by all of Australia's major theatre companies, including Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Belvoir, and many others, and have also had many international productions. His most significant plays are Così, Radiance (both of which he turned into films) Byzantine Flowers, coming of age tale Summer of the Aliens and The Golden Age. In 2006 he completed The Boyce Trilogy for Griffin Theatre Company, consisting of The Woman with Dog's Eyes, The Marvellous Boy and The Emperor of Sydney.
His 2009 novel Ice was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. His script for 1996 movie Cosi, which revolves around a group of mentally-ill patients who put on a play, won the Australian Film Institute Award that year for Best Adapted Screenplay. Nowra's work as a scriptwriter also includes a credit on Irish-set Janeane Garofalo comedy The MatchMaker and globespanning Vincent Ward romance Map of the Human Heart, which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival.
In March 2007, Nowra published a controversial book on violence in Aboriginal communities, Bad Dreaming. He was also one of the principal writers for landmark, multi award-winning 2008 SBS TV series, First Australians.
Nowra was born Mark Doyle in Melbourne. He changed his name to Louis Nowra in the early 1970s. He studied at Melbourne's La Trobe University without earning a degree. In his memoir, The Twelfth of Never, Nowra claims he left the course due to a conflict with his professor over his dislike of Patrick White's The Tree of Man. He worked in several jobs and lived an itinerant lifestyle until the mid-1970s, when his plays began to attract attention.
He has written two memoirs, The Twelfth of Never (1999) and Shooting the Moon (2004).
- 1990 – Prix Italia award, for the radio play Summer of the Aliens
- 1992 – Winner of the NSW Premier's Literary Prize for the play Cosi
- 1994 – Winner of Victoria Premier's, Louis Esson Prize for Drama for The Temple
- 1994 – Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for Radiance and The Temple
- 1994 – The Australia/Canada Award
- 1995 – Green Room Award for Best New Play
- 1996 – Honorary Doctorate – Griffith University, 1996
- 1996 – Australian Film Institute Award – Best Adapted Screenplay for Cosi
- 1999 – Nominated for Green Room Award Best New Australian Play for Language of the Gods
- 2000 – Nominated for New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for The Twelfth of Never
- 2000 – Courier-Mail Book of The Year for The Twelfth of Never
- 2009 – Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award for Ice.
- 2009 - First Australians: Logie Award: Outstanding Documentary or Documentary Series
- 2009 - First Australians: New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Script Writing Award for Louis Nowra, Rachel Perkins & Beck Cole
- 2009 - First Australians: Australian Writers' Guild Award: Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Episode 1) for Louis Nowra, Rachel Perkins
- 2013 - Patrick White Literary Award
- The Cheated (Angus & Robertson, Australia, 1979)
- Warne's World (Duffy & Snellgrove, Australia, 2002)
- Bad Dreaming (Pluto Press, Australia, 2007)
- Kings Cross: A Biography (NewSouth Publishing, Australia, 2013)
- The Misery of Beauty (Angus & Robertson, Australia, 1976)
- Palu (Picador, Australia, 1987)
- Red Nights (Picador, Australia, 1997)
- Abaza (Picador, Australia, 2001)
- Ice (Allen & Unwin, 2008)
- Into That Forest (Allen & Unwin, 2012)
- The Twelfth of Never (Picador, Australia, 1999) ISBN 978-0-330-36187-3
- Shooting the Moon (Picador, Australia, 2004) ISBN 978-0
- Displaced Persons (1985) (TV movie)
- Hunger (1986)
- The Lizard King (1986)
- "The Last Resort" (TV Series. 1988)
- Map of the Human Heart (1992)
- Heaven's Burning (1997)
- Radiance (associate producer/writer, 1998)
- Twisted Tales Directly From My Heart to You (1996)
- The Matchmaker (screen play, 1997)
- Così (screen play, 1997)
- K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
- Black and White (2002)
- Rain of the Children (additional dialogue, 2008)
- Inner Voices Victorian State Opera, 1978
- Whitsunday Opera Australia, 1988
- Love Burns Seymour Group, 1992 Adelaide Festival of Arts
- On the Beach Victorian Arts Centre Rio Tinto Grant 2000
Nowra has also published a number of essays:
- "Nowhere Near Hollywood: Australian Film"., The Monthly, December 2009 - January 2010, pp. 44–52.
- "The Whirling Dervish: Tony Abott".,The Monthly, February 2010, pp. 22–29
- "The Better Self?: Germaine Greer and the Female Eunuch"., The Monthly, March 2010, pp. 40–46.
-  Transcript of interview with Ramona Koval, The Book Show, ABC Radio National, on his novel "Ice", 27/11/08
- Louis Nowra Australian theatre credits at Ausstage
- "Plays by Louis Nowra". The Playwrights Database. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- Ulman, Jane. "The Divine Hammer: Episode 5: The Bar of Crocodiles". ABC Radio National. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Guide to the Papers of Louis Nowra, MS 10042". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Awards for Cosi (1996)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-06-30.