Blog Archives

Stella Prize Longlist Book of the Day

Here is a message from the Stella Prize people:

stella 2016

Since the announcement of the 2016 Stella Prize longlist on 9 February, we’ve had a huge response from readers who are loving the 12 books in contention for the prize.

To celebrate, we’re focusing on a different longlisted book each weekday from now until the announcement of the shortlist on 10 March. Check our website each day to learn more about our Book of the Day, and keep your eyes on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, too – we’re giving away longlisted books daily.

The Stella Shortlist Book Club is back for 2016!

From Monday 14 March, you’re invited to join us on Twitter every Monday night, 8–9pm AEDT to discuss one of the books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist. Stella will lead the discussion on Twitter (@thestellaprize) and we’d love you to join in using the #stella16 hashtag. You don’t have to contribute every week – just swing by if you’ve read that week’s allocated book (or even if you haven’t!) and feel like a chat. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these twelve outstanding books and your predictions on who will be the winner!

Sign up here to register your interest in joining the Stella Shortlist Book Club. One lucky reader will win a full set of the shortlisted books. To enter the draw, simply sign up before the announcement of the 2016 shortlist on 10 March.

Find out more about the Stella Shortlist Book Club here.

Shadow Reading Groups

Could your book club read six books in six weeks? We’re looking for Shadow Reading Groups to take up the Stella Shortlist challenge by selecting their own winner from our judges’ shortlist.

If your book club is interested in becoming a 2016 Stella Prize Shadow Reading Group, please email for more information.

Upcoming Stella Events

Stella Reviewing Masterclass with Felicity Plunkett
Saturday 5 March, 10:30am–4:30pm
Queensland Writers Centre
A good review can make or break a book. Suitable for bloggers and writers submitting to magazines, websites and journals, this masterclass, led by Felicity Plunkett, delves into all elements of compelling critique. You will learn practical skills for dissecting a book’s characters, themes and story, and examine ethical issues that come into play when reviewing. By the end of the day, you will have a strong grasp of what makes a great review and where you can pitch them.

Stella Diversity Survey Public Forum
Thursday 17 March, 5–8pm
The Wheeler Centre, Workshop Space
The Stella Prize and Writers Victoria invite members of the writing community to contribute to the upcoming Stella Diversity Survey at this open forum discussion. This will be an opportunity to help shape the survey by sharing and discussing any thoughts, feedback, concerns or questions. We are particularly interested in input from writers who identify as belonging to marginalised or minority groups.

This public forum is free, but attendees are requested to register their attendance at the Writers Victoria website.

The Stella Prize in Conversation
Thursday 17 March, 5:30–7pm
Noted Festival, Canberra
Stella Schools Ambassador Simmone Howell and Stella Schools Program Coordinator, Bec Kavanagh, will talk about the need to maintain recognition of outstanding women’s writing. They will also be announcing the first ACT Stella Schools Ambassador.

The Stella Prize and Australian Women Writers: A Panel Discussion
Thursday 17 March, 6:30–8pm
Books Kinokuniya, Sydney
To coincide with the Stella Prize shortlist announcement, Books Kinokuniya Sydney is running a campaign to showcase and celebrate Australian women authors throughout March. This panel discussion will focus on the Stella Prize and the current climate of women’s writing in Australia today. Hosted by writer and academic Alecia Simmonds, and featuring authors Anna Clark (Private Lives, Public History), Fiona McFarlane (The High Places), Emily Maguire (An Isolated Incident) and Sarah Ayoub (The Yearbook Committee).


Free books for book clubs

Book Group discussion

Do you belong to a book club?  Pantera Press are giving book clubs the chance to win 5 signed copies of the Pantera Press title of their choice.

All you have to do is tell them, in 25 words or less, what is your group’s favourite genre and why.

To enter* simply send your answer with your book club name and location, the number of people in your group and a contact email address to:

*Full Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy are available here.

The 2014 Stella Prize Longlist

stella prizeOnly in its second year, The Stella Prize is a major literary award, named after Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin and is awarded to celebrate Australian women’s writing. (It is not to be confused with the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Australian fiction which is open to men also).

Unusually for a literary prize, both non-fiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.

The Stella Prize 2014 longlist  has recently been announced and includes:

Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide (Fiction)

Moving Among Strangers : Randolph Stow and my family by Gabrielle Carey (Non-fiction)

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Fiction)

Night Games by Anna Krien (Non-fiction)

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko (Fiction)

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Fiction)

Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson (Non-fiction)

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers (Non-fiction)

Madeleine : a life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Fiction)

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Non-fiction)

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Fiction)

stella longlist

You can read the full judges’ report and much, much more on the Stella Prize website. The shortlist will be announced by  Thursday 20 March.

Stella Prize Shadow Reading Group

Could your book club read six books in six weeks? The Stella Prize organisers are looking for book clubs to read alongside the Stella Prize judges and select their own winner from the judges’ shortlist of 4 to 6 books. If you are interested, contact the Stella Prize Manager, Megan Quinlan, to register your club’s interest:  That could be fun!

Read Watch Play Twitter Reading Group – October : Egoread

This month, prompted by the #egoread theme, I thought I’d take myself back to the spring of 2006 and our ‘big’ family holiday to Britain, Cyprus and Athens. We took that holiday knowing it was likely to be the last family holiday with all members of the family together.  I bought a journal and intended for all the family to write about the trip as it happened so we had a shared memory. It all started well with each member of the family writing a little bit at Sydney airport but that was the last time anyone but me wrote anything. But I did write something every day and it was lovely to relive our holiday with the photos at my side and tickets and brochures in the journal to browse through.

Two memoirists I’ve also loved are the incomparable Aussie author Clive James and British blue-stocking Diana Athill. I’ve been dipping in and out of her collected memoirs for over a year now. Have you given them a go? What has been your #egoread this month?

Share with us by joining this month’s live twitter discussion next Tuesday 29 October starting at 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Use the tags #egoread and #rwpchat as you discuss your furry reading, watching and playing.

The Twitter book group meets on the last Tuesday of every month so pop that in your diary, smartphone, MS Outlook, or tattoo it on your arm. Just remember and join in!

Katoomba Library Book Club

Book Group discussionWhat are you reading now? Once in a while we have a show-and-tell of our current reading.

Here’s a summary from our June meeting.

Laurel has been enjoying Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson. It’s set on San Piedro Island, located off the coast of mainland Washington in the Pacific Northwest of USA; a Japanese-American fisherman named Kabuo Miyamoto goes on trial for the murder of Carl Heine, a well-liked local fisherman and respected war veteran. Laurel was interested in the stark difference between the Japanese and the white American response to this crisis situation. The Japanese culture insists on respect for an authority greater than the individual, the white Americans by contrast were individualist, not group-oriented. The issue of race prejudice, and how it plays out, was also there in this story.

Pam has been reading Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, by Susan Cain: a reflection on how the dominant culture conditions whether we become introverts or extraverts. There’s a quiz in the book to do too: are you introvert or extravert?

Anne has been reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville; and That Eye the Sky, an early novel of Tim Winton’s. She enjoyed Winton’s vivid language, and his ability to show us the heart of a person, a landscape, a situation.

Shirley has been reading David Malouf’s Ransom. Priam, aged King of Troy, goes to his enemy, Achilles, to ask for the body of his son, Hector. The book is based on a story from Homer’s The Iliad, 8th century BC. Shirley’s also enjoying Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel.

Di has been reading a first novel, Past the Shallows by Australian writer Favel Parrett. There’s strong characterisation here, and an ability to conjure landscape. This title will turn up in our reading list for 2014.

Alan has been reading Voltaire’s Candide, for the fourth time. Candide attacks the passivity inspired by Leibniz’s philosophy of optimism. First published in 1759, it satirises the view that “this is the best of all possible worlds”. Voltaire’s fearless satire got him into some political hot water.

Alex read Leo Tolstoy’s The Cossacks on her Kindle. It’s set in The Caucasus; its main character decided he wanted to go and live amongst the Cossacks for a time. Alex enjoyed his observations of nature, and his bouts of introspection.

Barbara has been reading Willa Cather: a life saved up by Hermione Lee, an Oxford academic: and Sarah Dunant’s Blood and Beauty, about the Borgia family in Renaissance Italy.

Nick has been reading Love and Vertigo by Hsu-Ming Teo. It’s Teo’s first novel, published in 2000; it’s about Grace Teh and her family growing up in Malaysia. He’s also very much enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby, that seminal American novel by F Scott Fitzgerald, recently made into a movie.

Alison has been reading Shaun Micallef’s Preincarnate: a novella (wryly funny); and Giulia Giuffre’s A Writing Life: Interviews with Australian Women Writers, in which she records conversations with the older writing generation, eg. Kylie Tennant, Christina Stead, Eleanor Dark. She has also read Mary-Rose MacColl’s In Falling Snow. This absorbing story took her to a Cistercian abbey north of Paris, converted to a hospital (Royaumont) to treat soldiers wounded in the terrible trenches of the Somme, in the later years of World War I. Alison scurried to an atlas to check how close Royaumont was to the battlefronts on the Somme and further east, and was horrified anew at the torments suffered by front-line soldiers in that war.

Read Watch Play Twitter Reading Group – May : Indigiread

So, have you tried a new Indigenous author? We Librarians were very lucky last year with the smart, funny, interesting Dr Anita Heiss attending  at least two Library conferences. And Kim Scott has become a favourite of mine.

This is a reminder for the live twitter discussion next Tuesday 28 May starting at 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Use the tags #indigiread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching, playing that is your experience of indigenous reading, so others can join in the conversation too.

The Twitter book group meets on the last Tuesday of every month so pop that in your diary, smartphone, MS Outlook, or tattoo it on your arm. Just remember and join in!

%d bloggers like this: