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2020 Calibre Essay Prize

The winner of the 2020 Calibre Essay Prize is Yves Rees for their essay 'Reading the Mess Backwards' which appears in our June-July 2020 issue. The runner up is Kate Middleton for her essay 'The Dolorimeter' which will appear in the August 2020 issue.

For more information about Yves Rees and Kate Middleton and the results of the 2020 Calibre Essay Prize click here.

Prize money: $7,500
Closed: 15 January 2020, 11:59 pm 
Judges: J.M. Coetzee, Lisa Gorton, and Peter Rose

The Calibre Essay Prize is 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. We look forward to running the Calibre Essay Prize again in 2021.

Click the link for more information about past winners and to read their essays.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us with queries about the Calibre Prize.

Before entering the Calibre Essay Prize, all entrants must read the Terms and Conditions.



Entries may be offered elsewhere during the judging of the Calibre Prize. If an entrant is longlisted and has their essay offered elsewhere, the entrant will have 24 hours to decide if they would like to withdraw their essay on offer elsewhere or from the Calibre Prize. Exclusivity is essential for longlisted essays. The overall winning essay will be published in the magazine in the May 2020 with the runner-up to be published later in the year.


Entry fees

Online entry (current ABR subscriber) - $15
Online entry (full-time student) - $15
Online entry (standard/non subscriber) - $25*

*Non-subscribers will receive the digital edition of ABR free of charge for four months. Eligible entrants will be emailed with details when this complimentary subscription has been activated within the month following entry.

Special online entry + subscription bundles:
Subsequent entries may be submitted at the subscriber rate

Online entry + Digital subscription - $65
Online entry + Print subscription (Australia) - $100
Online entry + Print subscription (NZ and Asia) - $165
Online entry + Print subscription (Rest of World) - $180


We gratefully acknowledge the long-standing support of Colin Golvan AM QC, and Peter McLennan and Mary-Ruth Sindrey.