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Calibre Essay Prize - Terms & Conditions

Entry deadline

  1. Entries for the 2024 Calibre Essay Prize will be accepted until 11:59 pm (AEST), 22 January 2024. (NB: This means at the end of the day on 22 January 2024.)


  1. The winner will receive AU$5,000.
  2. The runner-up will receive AU$3,000.
  3. The second runner-up will receive AU$2,000.

Who can enter?

  1. Entries are welcome from living writers writing in English anywhere in the world.
  2. There is no age limit.
  3. ABR staff and board members are not eligible to enter. 
  4. ABR contributors, volunteers, and interns may enter.

How to enter

  1. Entries must be submitted online via the ABR website entry page.
  2. Multiple entries are permitted, but each must be entered as separate transactions.
  3. The author’s name must not appear in the essay or in the title of the digital file because judging is conducted blind.
  4. Entrants will receive automatic confirmation of receipt to the email address used when entering.


  1. Entries are only permitted in Word documents (.doc or .docx)
  2. Essays must be written in English.
  3. Entries must be a single non-fiction essay of 2,000 to 5,000 words (any endnotes should be included in that word count).
  4. The text should be presented with 1.5 line spacing and in 12 pt font size.
  5. The pages should be numbered.
  6. The file name should only include the title of the essay. Entrants should not include their own name in the file name.
  7. Images are allowed, but the total file size must not exceed 3MB.


  1. Entries may be offered elsewhere during the judging of the Calibre Prize.
  2. If an entrant is longlisted and has offered their essay 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.
  3. Exclusivity is essential for longlisted essays to remain in contention.
  4. The shortlist will be announced in April 2024 when the winning essay will be published. It is our expectation that the authors of non-shortlisted essays will be notified in March 2024.

What does it cost to enter an essay?

  1. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee of AU$30, or AU$20 for current ABR subscribers. To qualify for the lower entry fee, entrants must hold a current print or digital subscription.
  2. If you don’t already have a digital subscription, you can purchase a one-year digital subscription and enter a single essay for a total of AU$100. You can then enter subsequent essays at the discounted rate of $20 each.
  3. If you don’t already subscribe to ABR’s print edition, you can purchase a one-year subscription and enter a single essay for the following rates: $120 (Australia), $200 (New Zealand/Asia), or $220 (ROW). You can then enter subsequent essays at the discounted rate of $20 each.

Terms and conditions

  1. Entries must be original works written by an individual living author.
  2. Entries must not infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
  3. Essays that are deemed to be works of plagiarism will be disqualified.
  4. Previously published, prize-winning, or broadcast essays will not be accepted. (Previous online appearances constitute prior publication.) Entries will be deemed ineligible if they are under contract to another publisher or broadcaster.
  5. Essays will be removed from longlists or shortlists if we discover they have been published elsewhere.
  6. Entries must contain nothing libellous, unlawful, defamatory, or anything ABR may deem to be inappropriate (general vulgar language is permitted).
  7. Essays entered but not publicly shortlisted, longlisted or commended in past Calibre Essay Prizes may be re-entered.
  8. Translations are not eligible.
  9. If entrants subsequently withdraw their entries, the entry fee will not be refunded.
  10. The winner and runners-up may be required to take part in events and media activities.
  11. The prize money also covers publication online and in the print edition.


  1. Our expectation is that the winning essays will require little editing apart from the application of house style. ABR will edit the three essays and show the authors changes for their approval. The essayists will be involved throughout and will be shown successive proofs.
  2. The winning essay will be published in the April 2024 issue (print and online). The runners-up will be published in the May, June, or July 2024 issue (print and online).
  3. Authorship of the winning essays will be fully acknowledged in the ABR print and online issues and in all related material.
  4. Copyright in the three winning essays resides with the authors. The winner and runners-up grant the Australian Book Review an exclusive licence to publish their winning essays in the relevant ABR issue (print and online edition) for three months from the date of first publication in the issue, and thereafter a non-exclusive licence indefinitely to publish in the relevant online issue.
  5. If syndication or anthologisation of the winning essays is mooted, ABR will consult the winning essayists for approval. The essayists will receive 50 per cent of any syndication fees and 100 per cent of any anthology fees.

The Judging Process

  1. Judging is completely anonymous.
  2. The entrant’s name must not appear in the Word file or in the file name.
  3. The judges for the 2024 Calibre Essay Prize are Amy Baillieu, Shannon Burns, and Beejay Silcox.
  4. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into about the judgements or the judging process.
  5. ABR reserves the right not to award a prize.

To be eligible, entrants must tick the declaration box on the online entry page.


I hereby declare that the essay entered in the Calibre Essay Prize is my own work, and has not been previously published, broadcasted, or awarded. I have read all the terms and conditions and agree to abide by them.