Competitions and programs (70)

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.

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.

Syndication

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.

Giveaways

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. 


By the Grace of God

Tickets: 10 x double passes available. In cinemas November 28.

By the Grace of GodBy The Grace Of God is the highly anticipated new film from acclaimed French director François Ozon. When Alexandre learns by chance that the priest who abused him as a boy is still working with children, he decides to take action to 'lift the burden of silence' - but the repercussions and consequences will leave no one unscathed. The film stars Melvil Poupaud (Laurence Anyways), Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds), and Swann Arlaud (Les Anarchistes), with a screenplay by Ozon and cinematography by Manuel Dacosse (The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears).

A gripping, timely and deeply moving exploration of courage, family, faith, and speaking truth to power, By The Grace Of God won the Silver Bear award at the 2019 Berlin International Film and will be out in limited national release in Australia on 28 November 2019.

Thanks to Sharmill Films

 

Knives Out

Tickets: 10 x double passes available. In cinemas November 28.

Knives OutWhen renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his eighty-fifth birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. Knives Out releases nationally on 28 November and features an all-star ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, and many more.

Thanks to StudioCanal.

2020 Porter Prize Judges

Monday, 15 July 2019 09:43 Written by Australian Book Review

John HawkeJohn Hawke is a Senior Lecturer, specialising in poetry, at Monash University. His books include Australian Literature and the Symbolist Movement, Poetry and the Trace (co-edited with Ann Vickery), and the volume of poetry Aurelia, which received the 2015 Anne Elder award. He is ABR's Poetry Editor.

 

 

 

Bronwyn Lea CBronwyn Lea was born in Tasmania and grew up in Queensland and Papua New Guinea. She is the author of Flight Animals (UQP, 2001), winner of the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and the FAW Anne Elder Award, and The Other Way Out (Giramondo, 2008), which won the WA Premier’s Book Award for Poetry and the SA Premier’s John Bray Poetry Prize. 

 

 

Philip Mead CPhilip Mead has worked at the University of Melbourne, as Lockie Fellow in Creative Writing and Australian Literature, at the University of Tasmania, and at the University of Western Australia as the inaugural Chair of Australian Literature and Director of the Westerly Centre. He has co-edited The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (with John Tranter) (2004) and is the author of Networked Language: Culture and History in Australian Poetry (2010) and of the Vagabond Press poetry collection, Zanzibar Light (2019).

2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 11:26 Written by Australian Book Review

The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is now closed.


Entries are now closed for the 2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. We look forward to publishing the five shortlisted poems in our January-February 2020 issue. The Porter Prize, which is worth a total of AU$9,000, was open until midnight, 1 October 2019.

The Porter Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry. It honours the life and work of the great Australian poet Peter Porter (1929–2010), an honoured contributor to ABR for many years. All poets writing in English are eligible to enter.

 

First Prize: AU$7,000

Four other shortlisted poets: AU$500 each

Judges: John Hawke, Bronwyn Lea, and Philip Mead

Entries close: midnight, 1 October 2019

 

Application Guidelines

Entries must be an original single-authored poem of not more than 70 lines written in English. Poems must not have been previously published. The five shortlisted poems will be published in the January–February 2020 issue and the winner will be announced at a ceremony later that month.

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

 

Exclusivity

Entries may be offered elsewhere during the judging of the Porter Prize. If an entrant is longlisted and has their poem offered elsewhere, the entrant will have 24 hours to decide if they would like to withdraw their poem on offer elsewhere or from the Porter Prize. Exclusivity is essential for longlisted poems. 

 

Past winners of the Porter Prize

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

 

Entry fees

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

  • Non-subscribers will receive digital access to ABR 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 + digital subscription - $65
Online entry + Print subscription (Australia) - $100
Online entry + Print subscription (NZ and Asia) - $165
Online entry + Print subscription (Rest of World) - $185

 

We gratefully acknowledge the long-standing support of Morag Fraser AM and Andrew Taylor AM.

 

ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship – worth $10,000

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 10:10 Written by Australian Book Review

Hessom RazaviHessom RazaviAustralian Book Review has much pleasure in naming Hessom Razavi as the recipient of the ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship. The Fellowship, worth $10,000, honours the artistry, courage, and moral leadership of Behrouz Boochani, the award-winning author of No Friend But the Mountains (2018), who has been imprisoned on Manus Island since 2013. Dr Razavi will make a significant contribution to the magazine in 2020 with a series of three substantial articles on refugees, statelessness, and human rights. The Fellowship is funded by Peter McMullin, a lawyer, philanthropist, and businessman. Hessom Razavi was chosen from a quality international field. The selection panel comprised Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, Michelle Foster (Director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at the University of Melbourne), and Peter Rose, Editor of ABR.

 

About Hessom Razavi

Hessom Razavi is a writer and doctor based in Perth. He was born in Iran in 1976. In 1983 his family fled Iran to escape political persecution. He grew up in Pakistan and the United Kingdom before migrating to Australia when he was thirteen. He completed his studies as an ophthalmologist in 2015 and has visited Manus Island and Nauru in a medical capacity. He also writes poetry and essays, and he is currently working on his first collection. He describes himself as an exile, migrant, professional, and ‘perennial outsider’. His early experience of exile and state violence, and his subsequent qualifications as a writer and clinician, give him an unusual perspective on the plight of the millions of people around the world who are oppressed, anathematised, and endangered. 

 

‘It’s an honour and delight to receive ABR’s inaugural Behrouz Boochani Fellowship. I accept it in the spirit of mutual respect for asylum seekers, refugees, the Australian people, and our regional neighbours. I am grateful to the magazine and to Peter McMullin. I very much look forward to working with ABR and the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness in 2020. My goal will be to help shift awareness and raise empathy among those Australians who remain uninformed or ambivalent, particularly moderate conservatives, young people, and those who are open to reason. Ultimately, I work to contribute to the collective moment – medical, legal, artistic, political – that advocates for more humane, sustainable outcomes for vulnerable people who seek protection in Australia.’

Hessom Razavi

‘For decades, Australia has normalised the indefinite imprisonment of refugees. This is a critical time: we need to support writers inside the prison camps and also those people who are recording this history outside the prisons. It is extremely important that we support the writers and researchers recording this history in any way we can. The Fellowship is long overdue but also a great step in helping to document the history and to transform the present situation. What Australian Book Review is doing is valuable for many reasons. The Fellowship promises to be an important contribution to the discourse.’

Behrouz Boochani

 

Interviews

Hessom Razavi is available for interviews. To arrange one, contact Peter Rose: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Click here to find out more about the ABR Fellowship program.

Click here to find out more about current Fellowships.

Click here to find out more about published Fellowships.

ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship - Frequently Asked Questions

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 10:06 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 is Behrouz Boochani?

This Fellowship honours the immense artistry, courage and moral leadership of Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian-Kurdish poet, journalist, memoirist, film producer and human rights activist who has been held on Manus Island since 2013. Behrouz Boochani’s memoir, No Friend But the Mountains (Picador, 2018, translated by Omid Tofighian) won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature and Victorian, plus the New South Wales Premiers’ Literary Awards.

Who can apply for the 2019 ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship?

This Fellowship is open to English-speaking writers around the world. Any writer with a publication record is eligible. ABR staff and Board members are ineligible, as are staff, board members, and PhD students at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. Contributors to ABR are encouraged to apply.  

What is the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness?

The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness was established at the Melbourne Law School in February 2018 as a result of the generous support of Peter and Ruth McMullin.  The Centre undertakes research, teaching and engagement activities aimed at reducing statelessness and protecting the rights of stateless people in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and as appropriate more broadly.  Learn more about the work of the Centre at https://law.unimelb.edu.au/centres/statelessness

Are the Fellowships themed?

Some are, some aren’t. The ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship is. We look for applications about any aspect of refugees, statelessness or human rights.

Is this a purely academic Fellowship?

Not at all. We welcome applications from a broad range of 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. We seek cogent proposals for non-fiction articles to be developed over the course of the Fellowship, in collaboration with the Editor. Unlike the Calibre Essay Prize, 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 on $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 and must persuade the panel that their articles would complement other writings in ABR and win us new readers. Applications 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?

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. Please nominate two professional/literary referees (names, email addresses and phone numbers only). Note that we are looking for proposals – not finished articles or chapters. Applications must be received by the closing date of the relevant Fellowship. There is no application fee. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Editor before submitting them: (03) 9699 8822 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. NB applications  for the ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship are now closed.

How are Fellows selected?

The Fellowship will be awarded by Australian Book Review on the advice of a committee including Peter Rose, the Editor of ABR, and Professor Michelle Foster, Director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at the University of Melbourne, and author J.M. Coetzee. 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 Fellows.

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.

Are there opportunities for discussions with other writers or experts in the field?

We encourage Fellows to lead roundtable discussions with colleagues and specialists at a formative stage in the Fellowship. These can be held at the Centre on Statelessness in Melbourne. ABR assists with the organisation of these roundtables. Fellows usually chair these gatherings, which have been most fruitful in the past. The Fellow is also encouraged to participate in other events at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, including attending the monthly seminar series where relevant.

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.

Syndication

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

2019 Calibre Essay Prize winner: Grace Karskens

Monday, 27 May 2019 13:38 Written by Australian Book Review

Grace Karskens (photograph by Joy Lai)Grace Karskens (photograph by Joy Lai)The Calibre Essay Prize, now in its thirteenth year, has played a major role in the revitalisation and appreciation of the essay form. This year we received a record number of entries – 450 new essays from twenty-two countries. ABR Editor Peter Rose judged the Prize with J.M. Coetzee, author of several volumes of critical essays as well as the novels that won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003, and Anna Funder, author of the international bestseller Stasiland and the Miles Franklin Award-winning novel All That I Am.

This year, our two winning essays could hardly be more different: a remarkable contribution to Aboriginal and colonial history from one of our finest historians; and a highly personal account of an abortion – the body out of control and at sea.

Grace Karskens – Professor of History at the University of New South Wales and author of the award-winning The Colony: A history of early Sydney – is the overall winner of the Calibre Prize; she receives $5,000. Her essay, titled ‘Nah Doongh’s Song’, examines the unusually long life of one of the first Aboriginal children who grew up in conquered land. Born around 1800, Nah Doongh lived until 1898. Her losses, her peregrinations, her strong, dignified character are the subjects of this questing essay, in which the author states: ‘Biography is not a finite business; it’s a process, a journey. I have been researching, writing, and thinking about Nah Doongh … for over a decade now.’ The discoveries she makes along the way – the portrait she finally tracks down – are very stirring.

Nah Doongh’s Song’ appears in our Indigenous August 2019 issue.

Placed second in the Calibre Prize is ‘Floundering’ by Melbourne-based artist, photographer, and fine artist Sarah Walker. Sarah Walker told ABR: ‘The Calibre Essay Prize is an essential avenue for new writing to be published with profound care and respect. I am proud to be joining a lineage of extraordinary writing.’

In addition, the judges commended five essays, which will appear online in High Calibre. They are: 

  • John Bigelow: ‘The Song of the Grasshopper’
  • Andrew Broertjes: ‘Death and Sandwiches
  • Martin Edmond: ‘The Land of Three Rivers’
  • Michael McGirr: ‘Thicker Than Water’
  • Melanie Saward: ‘From Your Own Culture’ 

About Grace Karskens

Grace Karskens is Professor of History at the University of New South Wales. She is a leading authority on early colonial Australia and also works in cross-cultural and environmental history. Her books include Inside the Rocks: The archaeology of a neighbourhood and the multi-award winning The Rocks: Life in early Sydney. Her book The Colony: A history of early Sydney won the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the US Urban History Association’s prize for Best Book 2010. Her next book, People of the River: Lost worlds of early Australia, will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2020.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker is a Melbourne-based writer and fine artist. In 2017 she won the Sydney Road Writer’s Cup and the Sydney Road Storytelling Prize. She has been published in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of letters. She is also an award-winning photographer, theatre designer, anddirector, and is co-host of the podcast Contact Mic.


Further information

Click here to download the media release

Subscribe to ABR to gain access to this issue, plus the ABR archive.

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

We look forward to offering the Calibre Essay Prize again in 2020. 

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

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