News from the Editor's Desk


Fiction galore

When entries closed in July, we had received 1300 entries in the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. Our three voracious judges are now finalising the shortlist. The four nominated short stories will appear in our Fiction issue in October. We will name the winner at an event in Melbourne later that month.


High talk in Canberra

Late October will be a fine time to be in Canberra. ABR is associated with two major public lectures at the National Library of Australia. On Monday, 24 October, Robert Dessaix will deliver the Seymour Biography Lecture 2011 (which is supported by John and Heather Seymour, ABR, and the National Library). Dr Dessaix’s paper is titled ‘Pushing against the Dark: Writings about the Hidden Self’. Previous Seymour Lecturers have included Richard Holmes, Brenda Niall, and Frances Spalding. The following evening (25 October), Professor Ian Donaldson will deliver the Australian Book Review Fiftieth Birthday Lecture. His theme is ‘Ben Jonson’s Double Life’. This lecture coincides with the publication of Professor Donaldson’s long-awaited biography of Ben Jonson (OUP). Both lectures will commence at 6 p.m.. These are free events, but you should reserve seats on (02) 6262 1271 or at Don’t leave it too late!


Enter the Calibre Prize

We have tweaked the prize money for the Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay, which is now open for the sixth year in a row. Instead of a single prize, we now have three, worth $7000, $2000, and $1000 (single winners only in each category). Entries close on 1 December 2011. The entry form is available from our website. ABR again thanks Copyright Agency Limited for its long and inspired support for Australia’s premier essay prize. The Calibre page on our website will give you a good idea of the range, and quality, of the nine winning essays to date, of which seven now appear online.


Loyalty program

ABR is mightily grateful to its long-term subscribers, many of whom have been with us for decades. To reward those who have subscribed for five years or longer, we now invite them to select a new or recent publication from our vast library when they renew. We will email those who are due to renew and append a list of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction titles from which they can choose. If you haven’t given us your email address, please forward it to Gail Southwell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). If you don’t use email but wish to participate in the loyalty program, phone Ms Southwell on (03) 9429 6700.


New poetry journal

It has been an auspicious year for Australian poetry, with the creation of the online Australian Poetry Library and the imminent publication of Australian Poetry since 1788, edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray (noted poet–translator Michael Hofmann will review it for ABR). Now we have a new poetry magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, created by Australian Poetry Ltd. Fittingly, the theme of the first issue is ‘Beginnings’. Advances spoke to Bronwyn Lea, the Editor, when she came to Melbourne to finalise the initial selection – from about 2500 poems. Local poets include three past winners of the Peter Porter Poetry Prize: Anthony Lawrence, Tracy Ryan, and Alex Skovron. Overseas poets include Christian Bok, Paul Kane, and Clive James. APJ also includes reviews, criticism, and a laudable feature on late poets (first up, Judith Beveridge on Robert Harris). The inaugural issue will be launched in October. A subscription to APJ is included in the annual membership to Australian Poetry Ltd. APJ can also be purchased direct from



Fridays at Flinders

On 16 September, 3:30 p.m., ABR and our sponsor, Flinders University, co-present author Amy T. Matthews in conversation with Gillian Dooley in the latest of Flinders’ ‘Fridays at the Library’ events. ‘Navigating the Kingdom of Night: Writing the Holocaust in End of the Night Girl will address the challenges Matthews encountered in writing her Best Unpublished Manuscript Award-winning novel (2010 Adelaide Festival Award), and take place in Flinders University’s Central Library. For enquiries call (08) 8201 5238, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Prizes troika

Prompt new and renewing subscribers this month will receive one of three terrific prizes. Ten people will receive signed copies of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap (now a major television drama); a further ten will receive tickets to one of three performances of Viennese Serenade by the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and ten renewing subscribers will receive copies of William S. Burroughs: A Man Within on DVD, thanks to Madman. Call us now on (03) 9429 6700 or subscribe online to claim your special prize.




Published in September 2011 no. 334

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