The Stella Prize

The Stella Prize, Australia’s first major literary prize for women’s writing, will be awarded for the first time in April 2013.

The $50,000 Prize will be presented for the best work of literature published in 2012 by an Australian woman.

Entries are open from now until Thursday 15 November.

‘The Stella Prize will raise the profile and the sales of books by women,’ says Aviva Tuffield, chair of The Stella Prize. ‘We want to encourage future generations of women writers, by increasing the recognition for Australian women’s writing and supporting strong female role models. We also want to celebrate women’s contribution to Australian literature.’

The Stella Prize will be open to fiction and non-fiction books published between 1 January and 31 December 2012.

‘We hope to erode the self-perpetuating cycle of underrepresentation that confronts all women writers. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to seek out and popularise excellence in women’s writing. Women’s ideas must be heard, just as their stories must be told,’ says Aviva Tuffield.

Bestselling author Helen Garner, an official ambassador of The Stella Prize, is just one writer whose work hovers on the increasingly permeable boundary between fiction and non-fiction. She says, ‘I hope The Stella Prize, with its graceful flexibility about genre, will encourage women writers to work in the forms they feel truly at home in, instead of having to squeeze themselves into the old traditional corsets.’

Inspired by the hugely successful UK Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly The Orange Prize), The Stella Prize is named for Stella Maria Miles Franklin, the iconic Australian feminist and author of My Brilliant Career. She established the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award from a bequest in her will to reward and encourage Australian writing. ‘We’re very pleased to be announcing The Stella Prize in the week of Miles Franklin’s birthday,’ says Aviva Tuffield.

The inaugural founding patron of The Stella Prize is Ellen Koshland and the Koshland Innovation Fund.

The winner will be decided by a panel of judges, chaired by respected critic and writer Kerryn Goldsworthy and comprising Kate Grenville (author), Claudia Karvan (actor), Fiona Stager (co-owner of Avid Reader bookstore and immediate past president of the Australian Booksellers’ Association) and Rafael Epstein (ABC broadcaster).

The Stella Prize