The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing. It is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin (who, by the way, pretended to be a man to have her book, My Brilliant Career, published in 1901.) I’m so glad it’s not as difficult now for talented women writers to have their work acknowledged. Both nonfiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.

The Stella Prize was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds, and in 2014 to Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (which is in my TBR pile – must get to it!).

Angela Long, my fabulous co-reviewer on Welcome to my Library, has set herself the challenge of reading as many books as she can on the Stella Prize longlist before the prize is awarded on April 21st. How many do I think she will get through before the winner is announced? Probably all of them – she does like a good book! Follow Angela on Twitter as she tweets her reading progress. Angela’s first review – The Strays by Emily Bitto will be up shortly – so watch this space.

The 2015 Stella Prize longlist is: 

  • Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette)
  • The Strays by Emily Bitto (Affirm Press)
  • Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey (Penguin)
  • This House of Grief by Helen Garner (Text Publishing)
  • Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin)
  • The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally (Black Inc)
  • The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House)
  • Laurinda by Alice Pung (Black Inc)
  • Nest by Inga Simpson (Hachette)
  • Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven (UQP)
  • In My Mother’s Hands by Biff Ward (Allen & Unwin)

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 12th March, and the 2015 Stella Prize will be awarded on the evening of Tuesday 21st April.

The 2015 Stella Prize longlist
The 2015 Stella Prize longlist

The Stella Prize seeks to:

  • recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature
  • bring more readers to books by women and thus increase their sales
  • provide role models for schoolgirls and emerging female writers
  • reward one writer with a $50,000 prize – money that buys a writer some measure of financial independence and thus time, that most undervalued yet necessary commodity for women, to focus on their writing

For more information about the Stella Prize please see their website.

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