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Inaugural Stella Prize longlist announced

The longlist for the inaugural Stella Prize has been announced.

The longlisted titles are:

  • Floundering (Romy Ash, Text)
  • Mazin’ Grace (Dylan Coleman, UQP)
  • The Burial (Courtney Collins, A&U)
  • The People Smuggler (Robin de Crespigny, Penguin)
  • Questions of Travel (Michelle de Krester, A&U)
  • Sufficient Grace (Amy Espeseth, Scribe)
  • The Sunlit Zone (Lisa Jacobson, 5 Islands Press)
  • Like a House on Fire (Cate Kennedy, Scribe)
  • Sea Hearts (Margo Lanagan, A&U)
  • The Mind of a Thief (Patti Miller, UQP)
  • An Opening (Stephanie Radok, Wakefield Press)
  • Mateship with Birds (Carrie Tiffany, Picador).


The shortlist for the 2013 prize will be announced on 20 March, ahead of the winner announcement on 16 April. The winner of this year’s prize will receive a cash prize of $50,000.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, this year’s prize is being judged by critic and writer Kerryn Goldsworthy (chair), author Kate Grenville, actor Claudia Karvan, Avid Reader co-owner Fiona Stager and ABC broadcaster Rafael Epstein. 

Goldsworthy said in a statement that the longlist was selected from close to 200 entries. ‘The judges have arrived at a varied and eclectic longlist that reflects the breadth of imagination, knowledge and skill in contemporary Australian women’s writing,’ said Goldsworthy. ‘The list includes a collection of short stories, a fantasy novel, a speculative-fiction verse novel, and three nonfiction books with very different subjects and styles. There are mixed-genre books involving biography, history, memoir and art; there are novels about real people, and nonfiction books using the beautiful writing techniques of fiction. There are stories from the past and from the future; stories of children at risk, of racial tension, of world travel, and of unimaginable danger and loss.’

Chair of the Stella Prize Aviva Tuffield said in the same statement that the prize committee is ‘thrilled at the diversity of the books’ on the longlist. ‘That the list includes books by recognised and debut authors, from publishing houses large and small, is exceedingly gratifying,’ said Tuffield.

The Stella Prize is presented for the best work of fiction or nonfiction by an Australian woman published in the previous calendar year. The prize is named after Miles Franklin, whose first name was Stella, and was inspired by the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction, previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction

The Stella Prize committee was formed in 2011 after the release of statistics from VIDA in the US that showed a strong bias to men in the reviews pages of many US literary publications. As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the prize aims to ‘raise the profile and sales of books by women’ as well as ‘celebrate women’s contributions to Australian literature’.

The Stella Prize is funded by a number of donors, including founding patron Ellen Koshland and the Koshland Innovation Fund, Avid Reader Bookshop in Brisbane, Readings’ owner Mark Rubbo and 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner Anna Funder. For more information, visit the Stella Prize website here.



Category: Local news