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2016 Stella Prize Shortlist announced


The Stella Prize has announced the six extraordinary books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist.

From more than 170 entries, this year’s Stella Prize judges – author and academic Brenda Walker (chair); writer and social commentator Emily Maguire; award-winning writer and essayist Alice Pung; literary critic and author Geordie Williamson; and bookseller and founder of the Indigenous Literacy FoundationSuzy Wilson – selected a longlist of twelve books that they have now narrowed down to a shortlist of six.

In alphabetical order of author surname, the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist is:

Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Random House)

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew (Scribe)

A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower (Text)

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)

Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (Giramondo)

Brenda Walker, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, says:

“It has been a vibrant year for Australian women’s writing. The books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist are all exceptionally strong: finely composed and compassionate literary investigations of the fate of individuals interacting with the natural world and with social authority; with protection and self-protection in complicated environments; with the hard-won joy of living.”

The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature. It was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds. In 2014, the winner was Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, and in 2015 the winner was Emily Bitto for The Strays. The prize is worth $50,000, and both fiction and nonfiction books are eligible for entry.

This year, shortlisted authors will each receive prize money of $2000, proudly supported by the Ivy H Thomas and Arthur A Thomas Trust managed by Equity Trustees.

In addition, the Stella Prize is delighted to announce that, for the very first time, each of the shortlistees will be offered a writing retreat, generously sponsored by the Trawalla Foundation. The Stella Grass Trees Writing Retreat provides shortlisted authors with a three-week residency at a house in Point Addis on Victoria’s glorious coast, and includes associated travel expenses.

Carol Schwartz AM, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, says:

“The Trawalla Foundation is proud to support the Stella Grass Trees Writing Retreat. We admire the work that the Stella Prize does in terms of the celebration and recognition of Australia’s talented women writers, and we are delighted to offer each of the 2016 shortlistees this opportunity to immerse themselves in a new project. Virginia Woolf’s words about women needing ‘a room of one’s own’ still ring true, and we trust that the residency will nurture these six writers’ creativity.”

Tabitha Lovett, General Manager Philanthropy, Equity Trustees, says:

“Equity Trustees is proud to be involved in the Stella Prize by providing each of the 2016 shortlisted authors with $2000 in prize money. Reaching the shortlist is a great achievement, and one we are delighted to recognise through this donation from the Ivy H Thomas and Arthur A Thomas Trust managed by Equity Trustees.”

The 2016 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 19 April.