KIBBLE AWARDS FOR WOMEN WRITERS

Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers

Amongst some of Australia's most prestigious awards for women writers, the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards (the Kibble Awards) aim to encourage Australian women writers to improve and advance literature for the benefit of our community.

The Awards recognise the works of female authors of fiction or non-fiction classified as 'life writing'. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.

The Kibble Literary Award recognises the work of an established author while the Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work.

> 2016 KIBBLE AWARD WINNERS MEDIA RELEASE


Since the inception of the Kibble Literary Awards in 1994, many of Australia's leading women writers have received prizes, each benefiting from Nita Dobbie's foresight and vision.

As trustee of the Awards, Perpetual has a responsibility to maintain the Trust into perpetuity. To ensure female authors continue to benefit from the prize, the awards will now be offered on a biennial basis, and will next be awarded in 2018.

Application information for the 2018 awards will be available in late 2017 on this website. Works published in Australia after 4 December 2015 will be eligible to apply.

To register your details to be notified when applications open please visit the applications page.

2016 Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers Winners

Fiona Wright

Small Acts of Disappearance

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author’s own actions and motivations. The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright’s life, at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney. They combine research, travel writing, memoir, and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts of family life, and detailed and humorous views of hunger-induced situations of the kind that are so compelling in Wright’s poetry. 

Fiona Wright’s poetry book Knuckled (Giramondo 2011) won the Dame Mary Gilmore Award for a first collection. Her poems and essays have been published in the Australian, Meanjin, Island, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure and HEAT. 

With her debut volume of poetry Fiona Wright, who was born in 1983, joins a generation of exceptionally talented young Australian women poets…highly literate and exacting in their use of language, while being diverse in their voices and subject matter. The distinguishing characteristic of Wright’s poetry is a social sense, of families and people in a particular place and time.

SYNOPSIS:

These are essays of startling intelligence and honesty, brilliant meditations on hunger in all its forms and the complex nature of creative desire. 

 – CERIDWEN DOVEY 

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the author’s affliction with an eating disorder which begins in university, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years.



Lucy Treloar

Salt Creek 

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Lucy Treloar was born in Malaysia and educated in England, Sweden and Melbourne. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT, Lucy is a writer and editor, and has plied her trades both in Australia and in Cambodia, where she lived for a number of years. Her short fiction has appeared in Sleepers, Overland, Seizure and Best Australian Stories 2013, and her non-fiction in a range of print media including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Womankind, G Magazine, The West, Visit Cambodia, RAM and Gardening Australia. Her first novel, Salt Creek, was published by Picador in 2015. Lucy lives in inner Melbourne with her husband, four children and two whippets.

SYNOPSIS:

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?


2016 Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers Shortlist

Elizabeth Harrower

A Few Days in the Country

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Elizabeth Harrower is the author of the novels Down in the City, The Long Prospect, The Catherine Wheel and The Watch Tower—all of which have been republished as Text Classics—and In Certain Circles, which was published in 2014 and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2015. Elizabeth lives in Sydney.

SYNOPSIS:

Internationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives—including ‘Alice’, published for the first time in 2015 in the New Yorker. Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship. 


Drusilla Modjeska

Second Half First

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Drusilla Modjeska is one of Australia's most acclaimed writers. She was born in England but lived in Papua before arriving in Australia in 1971. Her books include Exiles at Home; the NSW Premier's Award-winning Poppy; Sisters, which she co-edited; the Nita B. Kibble, NSW Premier's Award and Australian Bookseller's Book of the Year Award-winner The Orchard; Timepieces; and Secrets with Robert Dessaix and Amanda Lohrey. She is also the author of the bestselling Stravinsky's Lunch and her first novel, The Mountain, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Western Australia Premier's Award and the Barbara Jefferis Award.

SYNOPSIS:

A stunning new memoir from one of Australia's most highly acclaimed writers. 

Beginning with the disastrous events of the night before her fortieth birthday, in Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska looks back on the experiences of the past thirty years that have shaped her writing, her reading and the way she has lived. 

From a childhood in England, and her parents’ difficult marriage, to her time as a young newlywed living with her husband in Papua New Guinea; arriving as a single woman in Sydney in the 1970s and building close friendships with writers such as Helen Garner, with whom she lived in the bookish ‘house on the corner’, and the lovers who would – sometimes briefly – derail her, to returning to Papua thirty years later to found a literacy program, this new book by Drusilla Modjeska is an intensely personal and moving account of an examined life. 

In asking the candid questions that so many of us face – about love and independence, the death of a partner, growing older, the bonds of friendship and family – Drusilla Modjeska reassesses parts of her life, her work, the importance to her of writers such as Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, among many others. The result is a memoir that is at once intellectually provocative and deeply honest; the book that readers of Poppy, The Orchard and Stravinsky’s Lunch have been waiting for.


Fiona Wright

Small Acts of Disappearance

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author’s own actions and motivations. The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright’s life, at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney. They combine research, travel writing, memoir, and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts of family life, and detailed and humorous views of hunger-induced situations of the kind that are so compelling in Wright’s poetry. 

Fiona Wright’s poetry book Knuckled (Giramondo 2011) won the Dame Mary Gilmore Award for a first collection. Her poems and essays have been published in the Australian, Meanjin, Island, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure and HEAT. 

With her debut volume of poetry Fiona Wright, who was born in 1983, joins a generation of exceptionally talented young Australian women poets…highly literate and exacting in their use of language, while being diverse in their voices and subject matter. The distinguishing characteristic of Wright’s poetry is a social sense, of families and people in a particular place and time.

SYNOPSIS:

These are essays of startling intelligence and honesty, brilliant meditations on hunger in all its forms and the complex nature of creative desire. 

 – CERIDWEN DOVEY 

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the author’s affliction with an eating disorder which begins in university, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years.



Shirley Barrett 

Rush Oh! 

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier's Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier's Prize 2010. Rush Oh! is Shirley's first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

SYNOPSIS:

When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure. It's a season marked not only by the sparsity of whales and the vagaries of weather, but also by the arrival of John Beck, an itinerant whale man with a murky past, on whom Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush. But hers is not the only romance to blossom amidst the blubber... Swinging from Mary's hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is a celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history, when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of frisky Killer whales - and in particular, a Killer whale named Tom.


Magda Szubanski 

Reckoning 

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV’s Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning is her first book.

SYNOPSIS:

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story. 

In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on. 

Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.



Lucy Treloar

Salt Creek 

Kibble

BIOGRAPHY:

Lucy Treloar was born in Malaysia and educated in England, Sweden and Melbourne. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT, Lucy is a writer and editor, and has plied her trades both in Australia and in Cambodia, where she lived for a number of years. Her short fiction has appeared in Sleepers, Overland, Seizure and Best Australian Stories 2013, and her non-fiction in a range of print media including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Womankind, G Magazine, The West, Visit Cambodia, RAM and Gardening Australia. Her first novel, Salt Creek, was published by Picador in 2015. Lucy lives in inner Melbourne with her husband, four children and two whippets.

SYNOPSIS:

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?


PP

CREATE A LEGACY

Nita May Dobbie was passionate about supporting Australian women writers. Perhaps you have a cause you’re committed to supporting and would like to learn more about how to create your legacy. Download your free guide to learn about charitable giving and other practical tips for a fulfilling future.