2019 Calibre Essay Prize

Entry are now closed for the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize.


Founded in 2007 and now worth a total of AU$7,500 the Calibre Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new non-fiction essay.

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.

First Prize: $5,000
Second Prize: $2,500


This year the Calibre Essay Prize was judged by J.M. Coetzee, Anna Funder and ABR Editor Peter Rose. 

Entries must be an original single-authored non-fiction essay of  between 2,000 and 5,000 words written in English. Essays must not have been previously published or on offer to other prizes or publications for the duration of the Calibre Prize. The overall winning essay will be published in the magazine in the May or June-July 2019 issue with the runner-up to be published later in the year.

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

Before entering the Calibre Essay Prize, all entrants must read the Terms and Conditions. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us with queries about the Calibre Prize.

Entry fees

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

*Non-subscribers will receive access to ABR Online free of charge for four months. Eligible entrants will be contacted when this complimentary subscription has been activated.

Special online entry + subscription bundles

Subsequent entries may be submitted at the subscriber rate

Online entry + ABR Online subscription - $65
Online entry + Print subscription (Australia) - $100
Online entry + Print subscription (NZ and Asia) - $150
Online entry + Print subscription (Rest of World) - $170

We gratefully acknowledge the long-standing support of Colin Golvan QC and the ABR Patrons.