This week, Emily Bitto was announced as the winner of the $50,000 Stella Prize for her debut novel The Strays while Murray Middleton won the Vogel Literary Award, a publication prize from Allen & Unwin worth $20,000, for his short story collection When There Is Nowhere Else To Run.

These two wins cap a ten-day flurry of award announcements, including the Aurealis Awards for Australian speculative fiction, and the shortlists for the ABIAS (Australian Book Industry Awards), the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards shortlist and Bailey Prize for Women’s Fiction.

Women dominated in the Aurealis Awards winning seven of the eight Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marilliermajor prizes on offer:

  • Juliet Marillier for Dreamer’s Pool (Best Fantasy Novel)
  • Marianne de Pierres for Peacemaker (Best Science Fiction Novel)
  • Justine Larbalestier for Razorhurst (Best Horror Novel)
  • Jaclyn Moriarty for The Cracks in the Kingdom (Best Young Adult Novel)
  • Carole Wilkinson for Shadow Sister, Dragon Keeper #5 (Best Children’s Fiction)
  • Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter for The Female Factory (Best Collection)
  • Editors Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios for Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Fiction and Fantasy Stories (Best Anthology), and
  • Tim Molloy for Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye (Best Graphic Novel).

I am hoping that Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye is also up for a Best Book Title award somewhere! Isn’t it great?!

The Rosie Effect by Graeme SimpsionIt is wonderful to see a novel with romantic elements get a nod in the ABIAS. Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Effect is shortlisted for Best General Fiction Book of the Year.

Two Australians are shortlisted for the IMPAC – Hannah Kent for Burial Rites and Richard Flanagan for The Deep Road to the North. Both books are brilliant if you’re looking for a compelling and challenging read.

I have a particular fondness for the IMPAC prize because it’s an award voted on by librarians around the world that makes it more real and inclusive to me. The Irish have always punched above their weight in the world of letters and the creation and administration of this award for novels written or translated into English- by a city council with global vision – only emphasises their contribution. The prize is worth €100,000 euro – now there’s a reason to put butt in chair and keep those fingers flying over the keyboard.

Five women are shortlisted for the Bailey Prize for Women’s Fiction: Rachel Cusk (Outline), Laline Paull (The Bees), Kamila Shamsie (A God in Every Stone), Ali Smith (How To Be Both), Anne Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread) and Sarah Waters (The Paying Guests).

Bailey Prize shortlist 2014


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