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The Stella Prize shortlist for 2016

Hard on the heels of the announcement of the 20 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize longlisted titles comes the Stella Prize shortlist for 2016.

Only in its 4th year, the Stella Prize is, like the Bailey’s prize, for women authors.  From an enormous 170+ entries, the last 6 titles have been chosen by the 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 Foundation Suzy Wilson.

Brenda Walker said, “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.”

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Click here for more information about each of the shortlisted titles and their authors.

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



The 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist


Appropriately for International Women’s Day, the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced.

The longlisted books are:

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2016 Chair of Judges Margaret Mountford said of this year’s longlist: “We had a hugely enjoyable and stimulating meeting, as there were a great many strong novels in contention. We are delighted with the quality, the imaginative scope and the ambition of our chosen books, a longlist which reflects the judges’ interests and tastes. We hope readers will enjoy the variety of outstanding work on offer.”

The judges now have the difficult task of choosing just six titles for the shortlist before finally choosing the winner which will be announced at an awards ceremony held in the Royal Festival Hall, London on 8th June 2016.

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).

Man Booker Prize Shortlist

Apologies, it’s been almost a fortnight since the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced by the chair of the judges, AC Grayling. I’m sure most of you booky types are well ahead of me on this one.

Have you read any of the nominated novels?

Top of the buzz here in Australia is our own Richard Flanagan whose novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North has been popular for a long time now.

There is a lot of talk about Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves too – sounds like a very good one for book groups to talk about.

Other novels shortlisted are To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris, The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee (an inviting title for a sticky-beak like me), How to be Both by Ali Smith and the simply titled J by Howard Jacobson.

You can read about them here at the Man Booker Prize website.


Man Booker Prize Longlist

Man Booker Prizelogo.pngLast week the 2014 Longlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced.

Previously for novels written in English and published in the UK, the Man Booker Prize now admits nominations from all over the world.

The six judges, headed by AC Grayling, have chosen this years Longlisted novels which includes six novels by British authors, four by Americans, two by Irish authors and one by our own Richard Flanagan.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan


History of the Rain – Niall Williams


How to be Both – Ali Smith


J – Howard Jacobson


Orfeo – Richard Powers


The Blazing World – Siri Hustvedt


The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell


The Dog – Joseph O’Neill


The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee

The Wake – Paul Kingsworth

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris


Us – David Nicholls


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler


The shortlist will be announced on 9th September 2014 and the winner on 14 October 2014.

Has anyone read any of these longlisted books? What do you think of the judge’s choice?


Judging books by their covers

When I’m not sure what I want to read next the cover really does have to jump out at me. My last random purchase was an edition of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell because it had such a lovely serene cover.

Here are the shortlisted books in the Australian Book Designers Association (ABDA) 2014 Book Design Awards. The categories are Literary Fiction, Nonfiction and Children’s Illustrated Books.

As you can see, some of the book designers have multiple shortlisted designs. Congratulations to all.


Designer : WH Chong

Literary Fiction : The Double by Maria Takolander

Literary Fiction : A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride


Designer : Sandy Cull

Nonfiction : The End by Bianca Nogrady


Designer : Jenny Grigg

Literary Fiction :  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


Designer : Alison Colpoys

Literary Fiction :  Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker

Nonfiction :  Madness: A Memoir by Kate Richards

Nonfiction :  The Coat Route by Meg Lukens Noonan

Nonfiction :  High Sobriety  by Jill Stark


Designer : Peter Long

Nonfiction :  Girt by David Hunt


Designer : Chris McKimmie

Children’s Illustrated Books : Scarlett and the Scratchy Moon by Chris McKimmie


Designers : Natalie Winter and Antonia Pesenti

Children’s Illustrated Books : Alphabetical Sydney by Antonia Pesenti & Hilary Bell


Designer : Ben Sanders

Children’s Illustrated Books : I’ve an Uncle Ivan by Ben Sanders


Designer : Shaun Tan

Children’s Illustrated Books : Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

 What do you think of these covers? Any that pique your interest?


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