The Stella Prize, Australia’s equivalent of the UK’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, will be awarded for the first time in April 2013.
Entries are now open for the $50,000 prize, which will be presented for the best work of literature by an Australian woman published in 2012. Works of fiction and nonfiction will be eligible for the prize. Entries will close on 15 November.
Critic and writer Kerryn Goldsworthy will chair the judging panel, and will be joined by author Kate Grenville, actor Claudia Karvan, Avid Reader co-owner Fiona Stager and ABC broadcaster Rafael Epstein.
Chair of the Stella Prize and Scribe fiction publisher Aviva Tuffield said the Stella Prize is pleased to announce details of the first prize in the week of Miles Franklin’s birthday. The prize is named after Franklin, whose first name was Stella, and was inspired by the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction, which was previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction. The Stella Prize committee was formed in 2011 after an International Women’s Day event following the release of statistics from VIDA in the US that showed a strong bias to men in the reviews pages of many US literary publications.
‘The Stella Prize will raise the profile and the sales of books by women,’ said Tuffield. ‘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 inaugural founding patron of the Stella Prize is Ellen Koshland and the Koshland Innovation Fund. Among the other donors to the prize are Avid Reader Bookshop in Brisbane, Readings’ owner Mark Rubbo and 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner Anna Funder.
For more information, visit the Stella Prize website here.