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Australian Book Review is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. ABR is also supported by: the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the NSW Government through Create NSW; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland; the South Australian Government through Arts South Australia; and the Government of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

We also acknowledge the generous support of university partner, Monash University, and we are grateful for the support of Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, Eucalypt Australia, the City of Melbourne, and Arnold Bloch Leibler.

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2020 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Friday, 06 December 2019 10:23 Written by Hidden Author

Worth $12,500 – Opens 20 January 2020

The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, worth a total of $12,500, opens 20 January 2020. Entry is open to anyone in the world who is writing in English. Entries must be a single story of 2,000 to 5,000 words in length. 

To keep up to date with ABR prizes and news, sign up to our newsletters.



Please read the Frequently Asked Questions page before contacting us with queries about the Jolley Prize.

Click here for more information about past winners and to read their stories

ABR gratefully acknowledges Mr Ian Dickson's generous support for the Jolley Prize.

ABR Inspiring Travel Writing Competition Terms and Conditions

Thursday, 28 November 2019 15:22 Written by Australian Book Review
Published in Terms & Conditions

This prize consists of:

  • A ten (10) day, nine (9) night private luxury Abercrombie & Kent journey in India (including our 7-Day ‘Essential India’ itinerary plus your choice of a 3-day extension to either Ranthambore, Udaipur or Varanasi) for two people valued at up to $8,250 and excluding international airfares.
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary: Two nights at The Imperial New Delhi (Delhi), one night at The Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra), three nights at Rambagh Palace (Jaipur) and two nights at Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur), plus two nights in either Ranthambore, Udaipur or Varanasi.
  • Transfers as per the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily, and lunch and/or dinner on select days specified in itinerary
  • A&K airport welcome, and assistance with luggage 


The prize component/s provided by Abercrombie & Kent Australia, described above:

  • are valid for travel, accommodation, meals and tours provided by Abercrombie & Kent Australia only. Travel date and accommodation date restrictions may apply. All bookings must be coordinated and booked through Abercrombie & Kent Australia.
  • cannot be taken in conjunction with any other Abercrombie & Kent offer.
  • are valid for travel before 1 December 2021.
  • the tour as described is available on a positive space basis. Abercrombie & Kent Australia will do everything possible to accommodate proposed dates, times and travel dates, but due to space limitations alternatives are sometimes required.


General Conditions

  • Entry is open to all current individual Australian Book Review subscribers (print or online) who are 18 years and over.
  • Entry is not open to Australian Book Review or Abercrombie & Kent Australia employees or their immediate families. ABR Board members and their families are not eligible.
  • Only one entry per person is allowed. Entrants can only enter in their own name.
  • Entries will close on February 20, 2020
  • Entrants agree that their contact details will be added to Australian Book Review and Abercrombie & Kent marketing databases for future communication. Entrants can subsequently opt-out from these marketing lists.
  • The winning entry by an eligible entrant will be selected by Australian Book Review on the basis of the creativity and originality of the entry.
  • Winner will be notified by phone or email on March 16 2020 and will be announced publicly online at from March 31 2020 and in the Australian Book Review April 2020 issue.
  • Eligibility of the winner to take up the prize will be established when the winner is contacted.
  • If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 48 hours of notification, Australian Book Review and Abercrombie & Kent reserves the right to select another winner.
  • A formal letter confirming the prize will be sent to the winner in due course. The winner needs to present the original letter to redeem Abercrombie & Kent Australia prize components. All bookings must be coordinated and booked through Abercrombie & Kent Australia.
  • The prize must be booked within six months from 31 March 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021. Certain elements of the prize may be unavailable on certain dates depending on accommodation blackout periods or other seasonal factors.
  • No responsibility is taken for seasonal variation in the value of the prize according to seasonal fluctuations and ticket types available.
  • A valid passport is required for all international journeys.
  • Prize does not include international flights. Winner and accompanying guest must make their own way to Delhi, India for the start of the prize journey. Abercrombie & Kent can help arrange international flights at the winner’s expense
  • Prize does not include travel insurance. Adequate travel insurance for the duration of the trip is required and must be organised by the winner at his/her expense.
  • Spending money, personal expenses, meals outside those stipulated in the prize, tips, excess baggage, taxes and airport charges, passports, visas and transport to and from airport of departure and all other ancillary costs associated with redeeming the prize are the responsibility of the winner.
  • The prize (or any part thereof) cannot be sold, is not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken for cash.
  • Normal Abercrombie & Kent Terms and Conditions of Bookings apply to the prize. Any item not specified is not included in the prize
  • Tour Includes: All arrangements as specified in the prize itinerary
  • Tour Excludes: International airfares, any arrangements not specified in the prize itinerary – guests may be subject to visa fees; airport taxes (unless specified); insurance; tips to representatives, guides and drivers
  • The prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated. The prize cannot be amended or changed in anyway and is not exchangeable or redeemable for cash or other goods or services. A prize cannot be transferred to any other person
  • If any prize (or part of any prize) is unavailable, the Promoter, in its discretion, reserves the right to substitute the prize (or that part of the prize) with a prize to the equal value and/or specification
  • The itinerary cannot be altered or amended
  • Australian Book Review and Abercrombie & Kent’s decisions with respect to all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The total prize value is $8,250.

If you have any questions about these terms and conditions, please contact Australian Book Review: (03) 9699 8822 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Win a journey in India with Abercrombie & Kent!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 11:54 Written by Australian Book Review

In a first for Australian Book Review, we are delighted to be partnering with luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent to offer one lucky ABR subscriber the chance to win a ten-day adventure for two in India worth up to AU$8,250. The prize is Abercrombie & Kent’s 'Essential India’ tour, a seven-day private journey from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur, staying in luxury Taj hotels throughout, plus the winner’s choice of a three-day extension to either RanthamboreUdaipur, or Varanasi.

To be in the running to win this magnificent prize, subscribers need to tell us – in fifty to one hundred words – about a book that has inspired them to travel, or to dream of travelling. 

Entry is open now until 20 February 2020, so start browsing your mental bookshelves and don’t be afraid to think creatively, laterally, or locally. We’re looking forward to finding out which books have been your travel inspiration. The winner will be notified in March 2020 and will be announced in the April 2020 issue of ABR

This promotion is open to current ABR subscribers (print or digital). If you are not an ABR subscriber, or if your subscription has lapsed, please subscribe or renew your subscription before entering the Prize.

Enter here for your chance to win!

Terms and Conditions apply and can be found here. By entering this promotion you agree that you have read the Terms and Conditions and will abide by them. 

ABR Rising Stars

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:11 Written by Australian Book Review

We are pleased to name our first two ABR Rising Stars: Sarah Walker (Victoria) and Alex Tighe (New South Wales). Rising Stars – a new initiative supported by Creative Victoria and Create NSW – is intended to encourage outstanding young ABR writers and critics around the country. Sarah and Alex, who have made such an impression since first publishing with us, will receive a number of paid commissions over the next twelve months. With support from state governments, we hope to extend the Rising Stars program to other states.

Sarah Walker, who was placed second in the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize, told Advances:

In a cultural climate where intelligent, long-form writing is becoming increasingly rare, and where opportunities to establish a sustainable writing practice are dwindling,  ABR’s commitment to supporting new writers is quite remarkable. As a young and emerging writer, I was surprised and gratified that the publication of my Calibre essay was only the beginning of a rich relationship with the magazine. To have been treated with such respect and care by ABR has been most validating. As a fledgling writer, being supported with well-paid publication opportunities and careful editing has been hugely important. As a freelance artist, the opportunity for a year of close editorial association through the Rising Stars program means the ability to create a sustainable writing practice, to find my feet in the industry, and to learn and grow as a writer. I am completely chuffed. 

About Alex Tighe

Alex TigheAlex Tighe is a writer and editor, and the winner of the University of Sydney’s 2018 Wentworth Medal essay prize. He is the ABC / Kidney Health Australia’s inaugural Mark Colvin Scholar. 

Recent writing for ABR:

Review of Stop Being Reasonable by Eleanor Gordon-Smith
Review of Delayed Response by Jason Farman
Review of Net Loss by Sebastian Smee


About Sarah Walker 

Sarah Walker Sarah Walker is a Melbourne-based writer, photographer, and fine artist. In 2017 she won the Sydney Road Writer’s Cup and the Sydney Road Storytelling Prize, and was a runner-up in the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award. She was runner-up in the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize.  

Recent writing for ABR:

2019 Calibre Essay Prize (runner-up): 'Floundering'
Review of Gender Euphoria
Review of Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland!

2020 Calibre Essay Prize Judges

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 10:18 Written by Australian Book Review

John CoetzeeJ.M. Coetzee was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and the United States. He has published nineteen works of fiction, as well as criticism and translations. Among awards he has won are the Booker Prize (twice) and, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is currently Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. 




Lisa GortonLisa Gorton, who lives in Melbourne, is a poet, novelist, and critic, and a former Poetry Editor of ABR. She studied at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, she completed a Masters in Renaissance Literature and a Doctorate on John Donne at Oxford University. Her review essays and poetry have appeared in ABR since 2002. Her first poetry collection, Press Release (2007), won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. She has also been awarded the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize and the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal. Lisa’s novel The Life of Houses (2015) shared the 2016 Prime Minister’s Award for fiction and received the NSW Premier’s People’s Choice Award. Her third poetry collection Empirical appeared with Giramondo in 2019.


Peter RosePeter Rose has been Editor of Australian Book Review since 2001. Previously he was a publisher at Oxford University Press. His reviews and essays have appeared mostly in ABR. He has published six books of poetry, two novels, and a family memoir, Rose Boys (Text Publishing), which won the 2003 National Biography Award. He edited the 2007 and 2008 editions of The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.). His most recent publication is a volume of poems, The Subject of Feeling (UWA Publishing, 2015).





Winner | 2019 Jolley Prize | Sonja Dechian for 'The Point-Blank Murder'

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 09:17 Written by Australian Book Review

2019 Jolley Prize Winner: Sonja Dechian

ABR is delighted to announce that Sonja Dechian is the overall winner of the 2019 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for her story ‘The Point-Blank Murder’. Sonja Dechian receives $5,000. Raaza Jamshed was placed second for her story 'Miracle Windows', and Morgan Nunan was placed third for his story 'Rubble Boy'. We would like to congratulate all three shortlisted entrants and thank all those who entered their stories in the Jolley Prize.

The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is one of the country’s most prestigious awards for short fiction. This year the Jolley Prize attracted almost 1,400 entries from 35 different countries. The judges were Maxine Beneba Clarke, John Kinsella, and Beejay Silcox. The three shortlisted stories appear in our September Fiction 2018 issue.


About Sonja Dechian

Sonja Dechian (photograph supplied)Sonja Dechian (photograph supplied)

Sonja Dechian is the author of the short story collection An Astronaut’s Life, which won the 2016 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award the same year. Her writing has previously appeared in The Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories 2, and elsewhere. She has co-edited two books of children’s writing about the Australian refugee experience, No Place Like Home and Dark Dreams.


Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:39 Written by Australian Book Review
Published in Hidden Pages

ABR Indigenous Fellowship - Frequently Asked Questions

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:19 Written by Australian Book Review

What is Australian Book Review?

Australian Book Review (ABR) is one of Australia’s leading cultural magazines. Created in 1961, it lapsed in 1974 and was revived in 1978. ABR is a fully independent non-profit organisation. Its primary aims are several: to foster high critical standards; to provide an outlet for fine new writing; and to contribute to the preservation of literary values and a full appreciation of Australia’s literary heritage. 

ABR publishes reviews, essays, commentaries, interviews, and new creative writing. It is available in print and online. ABR’s diverse programs include three prestigious international prizes, writers’ fellowships, themed issues, national events, cultural tours, and paid editorial internships.

What is the ABR Fellowship program?

ABR Fellowships are intended to reward outstanding Australian writers, to enhance ABR through the publication of long-form journalism, and to advance the magazine’s commitment to ideas and critical debate. The Fellows work closely with ABR staff, especially the Editor, Peter Rose.

Who can apply for the 2019 ABR Indigenous Fellowship?

The Fellowship is open to emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers: journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, and creative writers. ABR staff and Board members are ineligible.

Are the Fellowships themed?

Some are, some aren’t. This Fellowship – restricted to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers – is intended to advance ABR’s Indigenous content.

Is this a purely academic Fellowship?

Not at all. We welcome applications from a broad range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers: journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, creative writers, etc. ABR is not an academic journal. We seek engaging, creative non-fiction journalism of the kind you will find in The New Yorker or the London Review of Books. Links to essays by past Fellows can be found here.

Are you looking for finished articles from applicants?

No. In your application, we seek only cogent proposals for non-fiction articles which will be developed over the course of the Fellowship, in collaboration with the Editor. Unlike the Calibre Essay Prize, the submission for the Fellowship program is not for finished works.

How much are the Fellowships worth?

The Fellow will receive a total of $10,000, payable thus: $4,000 on announcement of the Fellowship; and two further payments of $3,000 on publication of the final two contributions to the magazine.

I don’t know anything about ABR. May I still apply?

Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the magazine. Applicants who do not refer to the magazine in their applications, or who don’t demonstrate awareness of ABR’s needs and directions, are unlikely to be successful.

Is it possible to write the article with a friend or colleague?

No. Single-author works only.

How do I apply?

Please note applications have now closed for the ABR Indigenous Fellowship

Applications must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by midnight on 21 October 2019. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Editor before submission. Contact him on (03) 9699 8822 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applicants must read the guidelines of the Fellowship for which they are interested in applying and send us a succinct but comprehensive proposal (three pages maximum), plus a CV of no more than three pages and two short writing samples. The proposal should cover the following: the likely nature/scope/genre of at least two of the three proposed articles; why they want to work with the magazine; and why they believe their contributions will enhance ABR and its readership. Applicants should also nominate two professional/literary referees.

There is no application fee.

Note that we are looking for proposals – not finished articles or chapters.

How are Fellows selected?

The ABR Indigenous Fellowship will be awarded by Australian Book Review on the advice of a panel including Noongar author Kim Scott; Director of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, Professor Lynette Russell; and ABR Editor, Peter Rose. Shortlisted applicants will attend an interview in person or via Skype. No correspondence will be entered into once the decision has been announced. ABR reserves the right not to award the Fellowship.

Are the ABR Fellows expected to complete their projects at the ABR office in Melbourne?

No. Most of the editorial contact is via email or the telephone. Some meetings may be desirable during the course of the Fellowship. These are important collaborative partnerships between the magazine and the Fellow.

What kind of editorial support do Fellows enjoy?

ABR Fellows enjoy a special status at the magazine – as our senior contributors. The Fellow will work with the Editor closely throughout the Fellowship. We edit promptly, closely, and respectfully. ABR is committed to presenting the Fellow’s work with the utmost finesse. The Editor is always available to discuss the project, to respond to ideas, and to read drafts. Peter Rose edits the articles in consultation with the Fellows, and each article is then proofread by at least three editors.

Where are the Fellowship articles published?

In the print and digital editions of ABR.

Would ABR Fellows be required to take part in the promotion of the published article?

Yes, but this may be able to be done remotely.


If articles are syndicated in newspapers (with the Fellow’s permission), the Fellow and ABR will each receive 50%.

ABR Indigenous Fellowship – worth $10,000

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:11 Written by Australian Book Review

Australian Book Review is delighted to announce the ABR Indigenous Fellowship, worth a total of $10,000. This Fellowship – generously funded by the ABR Patrons – aims to help develop and promote vibrant new non-fiction journalism by an emerging or established Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. The selected Fellow will be provided $10,000 to assist the Fellow develop three non-fiction articles to be published in print and online with ABR over the course of twelve months.

Please note applications have now closed for the ABR Indigenous Fellowship

The ABR Indigenous Fellowship will be judged by a panel comprising two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, Noongar author Kim Scott; Director of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre and Guest Editor of the August Indigenous issue, Professor Lynette Russell; and ABR Editor, Peter Rose.

‘This Indigenous-themed issue of ABR marks the start of an annual tradition. It represents a deepening of the relationship between Monash University, in particular, the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre and ABR. The creation of the ABR Indigenous Fellowship is a welcome extension of this focus.’

Professor Lynette Russell

For more information about the ABR Indigenous Fellowship, please read our Application Guidelines below and our Frequently Asked Questions.


Application Guidelines


What is the Australian Book Review Indigenous Fellowship?

The ABR Indigenous Fellowship is intended to help an emerging or established Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer develop three high-quality non-fiction articles for ABR over the course of twelve months.

Who can apply?

The Fellowship is open only to emerging and established Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers: journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, and creative writers. ABR staff and Board members are ineligible. Please note applications have now closed for the ABR Indigenous Fellowship

What is ABR offering?

The Fellow will receive a total of $10,000, payable thus – $4,000 on announcement of the Fellowship and two further payments of $3,000 on publication of the final two contributions to the magazine. The Fellow will work closely with the Editor of ABR throughout the year.

Expected outcomes

ABR is seeking a suite of brilliant non-fiction writing from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. The Fellow will produce three substantial non-fiction articles, in English, for publication in ABR. These can be review essays, commentaries, or interviews – or a combination of all three genres. Each contribution will about 3,000 words or longer. The features (agreed on with the ABR Editor) will be staggered over twelve months. The articles will appear in the print and online editions of ABR. The Fellow will be available for media coverage and at least one literary/promotional event. The Fellow is not expected to complete the Fellowship at the ABR office in Melbourne.

Is the Fellowship only open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers?

Yes. Only Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers can apply.

Familiarity with Australian Book Review

Applicants must demonstrate considerable familiarity with ABR – its style, its content, its direction. Visit our website for information about subscribing and/or about the magazine’s content and history.

Selection process

The Fellow will be chosen by a panel comprising two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, Noongar author Kim Scott; Director of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, Professor Lynette Russell; and ABR Editor, Peter Rose.

The panel will interview the shortlisted candidates in person or via Skype. We will name the Fellow in November. No correspondence will be entered into once the decision has been announced. ABR reserves the right not to award the Fellowship.

How to apply?

Applications have now closed for the ABR Indigenous Fellowship



ABR gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the ABR Patrons.

The ABR Fellowships are intended to reward fine writers and to advance the magazine's commitment to critical debate and long-form journalism.

Click these links to find our more about the ABR Fellowship program, our current Fellowshipsor our published Fellowships.

Please read our list of Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us with a question about the ABR Fellowship program.


Tuesday, 30 July 2019 10:37 Written by Australian Book Review

How to enter: To be in the running for any of the prizes below, please email Grace Chang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name and contact details. To be eligible for these giveaways, you must be a current subscriber to ABR. Preference is given to subscribers who have not received a giveaway in recent months. 

An Evening with David Sedaris

Tickets: 3 x doubles passes available, one each for Melbourne, Canberra, and Brisbane.

Following the success of his best-selling book Calypso, critically acclaimed author and humourist David Sedaris will visit Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra in January for a series of evenings filled with storytelling, observations, unpublished tales, audience Q&As and book signings. Calypso, which sees Sedaris at his darkly hilarious best, is a The New York Times best seller and a The Washington Post Best Book of the Year. A savant of razor-sharp and sardonic wit, don’t miss your opportunity to spend an evening with one of the world’s pre-eminent humour writers.

Brisbane – 7.30pm, January 13 – QPAC
Melbourne – 7.30pm, January 16 – Hamer Hall 
Canberra – 7.30pm, January 19 – Canberra Theatre Centre

Thanks to Arts Centre Melbourne


The Truth

Tickets: 5 x double passes available. In cinemas December 26.

After the global success of the Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters, master auteur Kore-eda’s Hirokazu wry and charming new dramedy The Truth pairs French screen icons Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche for the first time, as a celebrated actress and her estranged daughter, who reunite in Paris upon the release of the former’s memoirs. When the star’s long-suffering assistant unexpectedly quits, the two are forced into an awkward working relationship, where suppressed emotions can no longer be kept in check.

Thanks to Palace Films


Sir Andrew's Messiah

Tickets: 2 x double passes available for the Saturday 7 December 7 pm performance.

Since its triumphant premiere in Dublin in 1742, Messiah has remained Handel’s most frequently performed work and is the perfect way to celebrate the festive season. In 2019 the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra presents a new orchestration of the beloved work, this time by Sir Andrew Davis. Nominated at the 2018 Grammy Awards, Sir Andrew’s take on this Christmas tradition stems from a lifetime of hard work and dedication.

Thanks to Melbourne Symphony Orchestra