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Stella Prize 2019 Shortlist announced

March 8, 2019

As you probably know, the Stella Prize is the award I particularly like to follow, though I don’t always post on the Longlist and the Shortlist as I am this year. The Longlist was announced on 7 February (my post), and the shortlist was announced, today, International Women’s Day, as has, appropriately, become tradition.

Here is the shortlist:

What an interesting list – and one for which I’ve already read two, and am currently reading a third. This year there are two, not one, non-fiction works on the list, out of the five on the longlist.

Louise Swinn, the 2019 Judging Panel Chair, says that:

The six finalists on the 2019 Stella Prize shortlist explode the myth of the death of the book, and they are a hearty response to the under-representation of women’s work in awards. This is an incredibly diverse knot of books, with broad subjects showing that identity is shaped across many continents and informed by many cultures. Non-fiction and fiction works stray from their formal constraints as authors give authentic voices to those who are otherwise under-represented. The books on this shortlist inform and entertain, and while they speak absolutely to our moment, their insights are timeless

Anyhow, what do I think about the list? Well, it is an intriguing one – and from what I’ve heard and/or read myself the list encompasses quite a variety of concerns and styles, and is not, probably, what you’d call conventional! Whether you agree with the judges choices or not, I like this.

The winner receives $50,000, and each shortlisted author receives $3000, as well as a three-week writing retreat on the Victorian coast. It’s a lovely generous prize. The winner will be announced on 9 April.

Now, I’ll get back to my reading … but if you have any comments on the list, I’d love to hear them.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2019 2:10 pm

    I think it’s a diverse list. Really surprised that The Arsonist didn’t make it and disappointed that Bluebottle wasn’t there… Murphy’s Law I’d read 5.5 of the longlist and only 1.5 appeared on the shortlist – I’m going to busy reading before the winner is announced!

    • March 8, 2019 2:35 pm

      Haha, Kate, I just commented on your post before seeing my comments here, and commented on The arsonist. You just never know do you! Murphy has a lot to answer for I reckon!!!

  2. March 8, 2019 2:11 pm

    Also Sue, Eggshell Skull didn’t make the shortlist…

    • March 8, 2019 2:37 pm

      Oh dear thanks, Kate. Life is really hectic here as I mentioned on your blog. I had pre-drafted my post with all the longlist in, so all I had to do was delete the ones not shortlisted but left that one in by mistake. Glad you spotted it promptly!

      • March 8, 2019 3:57 pm

        I drafted mine as well and was deleting as I listened to the ABC broadcast!

        • March 8, 2019 9:06 pm

          Unfortunately I couldn’t listen to the ABC, but saw a Twitter feed and then went to the website.

        • buriedinprint permalink
          March 14, 2019 2:19 am

          Hah! I love the idea of you both sitting there, poised to delete rather than add. In your world. all the authors made the shortlist (for just a moment, anyhow)!

        • March 14, 2019 8:42 am

          Haha, so they did Buried! I like that perspective.

  3. March 8, 2019 2:29 pm

    I have heard of several of these but not read them. Will be interesting to see which book is chosen.

  4. March 8, 2019 3:42 pm

    I’m disappointed that The Arsonist didn’t make it too, it really is outstanding reading.
    But I’m delighted to see The Bridge there: it’s a brilliant book and Enza is a writer who deserves the attention. Just think, if she wins it, she could take a year off work and write another book for me to enjoy.

    • March 8, 2019 6:07 pm

      My Mum gave my brother The bridge for Christmas, Lisa, and he liked it. I’m keen to read it. Haha, re the advantage of her winning!

  5. March 8, 2019 9:06 pm

    Enjoying all your comments about The Stella Prize. The guidelines state that the “winning book will be excellent, original and engaging.” I think that applies to all the books on this year’s list!

    • March 8, 2019 9:14 pm

      Thanks Michelle for reminding us of that. From what I know each of these books certainly meet one or more of these criteria. There’s not one I wouldn’t want to read.

  6. March 8, 2019 11:26 pm

    I’m so thrilled Little Gods is there! What a wonderful novel it is.

  7. March 9, 2019 8:20 am

    Thanks for linking to my review. It’s an interesting list … a great success for indie presses if nothing else.

    • March 9, 2019 8:45 am

      A pleasure, kimbofo. And it sure is. In fact I meant to mention that about indie publishers but I was under time pressure.

      • March 9, 2019 8:47 am

        I’ve never even heard of Brow. Is it new?

        • March 9, 2019 9:23 am

          It’s related to a literary journal The Lifted Brow. Been around a little while but very much at the more innovative end of writing I think. Supports playing with form and language, etc.

        • March 9, 2019 9:24 am

          Since 2016, kimbofo.

  8. March 11, 2019 8:18 pm

    I’ve not paid any attention to this prize in the past – maybe I should change that….

    • March 11, 2019 8:50 pm

      It’s an interesting one Karen – partly because it encompasses fiction and non-fiction.

      • March 12, 2019 6:40 am

        It must make judging so hard – I don’t know how you can evaluate fiction and non fiction against each other

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