It’s an all-fiction shortlist for the inaugural Stella Prize, Australia’s first major new literary award for women’s writing that aims to “celebrate women’s contributions to Australian literature.”
Six works make it to the list, down from a longlist of twelve. While all are fiction, there is a variety of genres — with a collection of short stories (Like A House On Fire) and a verse novel (The Sunlit Zone) as well as speculative and historical fiction.
Chair of judges Kerryn Goldsworthy told Liticism “of the original almost-200 entries for the prize, the fiction entries outnumbered the nonfiction entries by almost 4 to 1.”
Half the books on the list are published by Allen & Unwin – the large publishing house continuing to be a fixture on major awards lists. However, the shortlist continues to represent small and independent presses, with titles by 5 Islands Press and Scribe.
The six shortlisted titles are:
- The Burial by Courtney Collins (Allen & Unwin)
- Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
- The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson (5 Islands Press)
- Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy (Scribe Publications)
- Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
- Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany (Pan Macmillan/Picador)
The overall winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced April 16th.