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Calibre Prize

Entries for the 2024 Calibre Prize have now closed. Entry was open to all essayists writing in English. We seek essays of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. We welcome essays of all kinds: personal or political, literary or speculative, traditional or experimental. Founded in 2007, the Calibre Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new non-fiction essay.

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ABR is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2023 Calibre Essay Prize . The winning essay will be announced and published in the May issue of ABR.

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Distinguished classical musician Simon Tedeschi has won the sixteenth Calibre Essay Prize, worth a total of $7,500. 

Simon receives $5,000 for his essay ‘This Woman My Grandmother’, while as the runner-up, Sarah Gory receives $2,500 for her submission, ‘Ghosts, Ghosts Everywhere’. The winning essay is available to read online and has been published in the May issue of ABR. The runner-up essay will appear in a future issue of the magazine.

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Enter the $7,500 Calibre Essay Prize, judged this year by Declan Fry, Peter Rose, and Beejay Silcox.

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Sometime late morning it begins, a root of something that only as it grows do you recognise as pain. You have had coffee, as you do every morning, and now you feel the kind of heaviness that sends you to lie down. At home, the friend who is staying with you, whom you half invited and who may have misinterpreted your keenness for company, notes your early return and approves of your plan to retreat. For both of you it has been a year frantic with change and learning and emotion, and even if it is likely indulgent – so what, you’ve earned the right to call a morning off the books and instead take a heat pack and wish it were night all over again. She even microwaves the heat pack for you. You take it to bed where you think you will read or watch television or luxuriate in some way.

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The Calibre Essay Prize is one of the world's leading prizes for an original non-fiction essay. This year was the fourteenth time ABR has presented the prize, which is now worth a total of $7,500. The winner of this year's prize is Dr Yves Rees, whose essay is titled 'Reading the Mess Backwards'. Rees, who came out as transgender aged 31, describes their essay as 'a story of trans becoming that digs into the messiness of bodies, gender, and identity'. The full essay appears in the June-July issue of ABR.

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Sheila FitzpatrickSheila Fitzpatrick

John CoetzeeJ.M. Coetzee was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and the United States. ...

Declan FryDeclan Fry is a writer, poet, and essayist. Born on Wongatha country ...

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