The Stella Prize is delighted to announce the six extraordinary books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist.
The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature. It was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds. In 2014, the winner was Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, and in 2015 the winner was Emily Bitto for The Strays. The prize is worth $50,000, and both fiction and nonfiction books are eligible for entry. In just four years, the Stella Prize has become an influential and much-loved feature of the Australian literary calendar, significantly boosting book sales and raising author profiles.
This year, shortlisted authors will each receive prize money of $2000, proudly supported by the Ivy H Thomas and Arthur A Thomas Trust managed by Equity Trustees.
Moreover, for the first time ever, the Stella Prize is delighted to announce that each of the shortlistees will also receive a writing retreat supported by the Trawalla Foundation. The Stella Grass Trees Writing Retreat provides shortlisted authors with a 3-week writing retreat at a house in Point Addis on Victoria’s glorious coast, and includes associated travel expenses.
From more than 170 entries, this year’s Stella Prize judges – author and academic Brenda Walker (chair); writer and social commentator Emily Maguire; award-winning writer and essayist Alice Pung; literary critic and authorGeordie Williamson; and bookseller and founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Suzy Wilson – selected a longlist of twelve books, which they have narrowed down to a shortlist of six.
In alphabetical order of author surname, the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist is:
Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Random House)
Hope Farm by Peggy Frew (Scribe)
A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower (Text)
The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)
Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (Giramondo)
Brenda Walker, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, says:
‘It has been a vibrant year for Australian women’s writing. The books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist are all exceptionally strong: finely composed and compassionate literary investigations of the fate of individuals interacting with the natural world and with social authority; with protection and self-protection in complicated environments; with the hard-won joy of living.’
Carol Schwartz AM, Director of the Trawalla Foundation, says:
‘The Trawalla Foundation is proud to support the Stella Grass Trees Writing Retreat. We admire the work that the Stella Prize does in terms of the celebration and recognition of Australia’s talented women writers, and we are delighted to offer each of the 2016 shortlistees this opportunity to immerse themselves in a new project. Virginia Woolf’s words about women needing “a room of one’s own” still ring true, and we trust that the residency will nurture these six writers’ creativity.
The 2016 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 19 April. Here is the Stella-2016-judges-report.pdf