Kibble Literary Award

Portraits of Miss Nita Kibble 1954 Portraits of Miss Nita Kibble 1954
Digital Order No. a928091 
Call No. P1/Kibble, Miss N B , 1927 & 1954 (BM)

For women writers of a published book of fiction or nonfiction classifiable as 'life writing'. Life writing for the purpose of this award includes novels, autobiography, biography, travel and other writing with a strong personal element.

Nita Kibble (1879-1962) was the first woman to be a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales. She held the position of Principal Research Librarian from 1919 until her retirement in 1943. Nita Kibble was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.

The Kibble Literary Award (currently valued at $30,000) recognises the work of an established Australian female writer.

The Dobbie Literary Award (currently valued at $5,000) recognises a first published work from an Australian female writer.

The State Library provides a judge for the award.

Dates and application forms

The award is administered by Perpetual Trustees. Applications open in the last quarter of the year. For history of these awards, dates, application forms, and the shortlist please visit the Perpetual Kibble Literary Awards website.


2013 marks the 20th year the Kibble Awards have celebrated the achievements and encouraged the recognition of Australian women writers.

The shortlisted writers for the $30,000 Kibble Literary Award for an established writer are Michelle de Kretser for Questions of Travel (Allen & Unwin), Annah Faulkner for The Beloved (Pan MacMillan Australia), and Cate Kennedy for Like a House on Fire (Scribe).

The shortlisted authors for the $5,000 Dobbie Literary Award for a first-time published writer are Romy Ash for Floundering (Text Publishing), Lily Chan for Toyo: A memoir (Black Inc.), and Courtney Collins for The Burial (Allen & Unwin).

Past Winners

Kibble Literary Award
The Kibble Literary Award for the work of an established Australian female writer was presented to Gail Jones for her novel Five Bells.

Dobbie Literary Award
The Dobbie Literary Award for a first-published work went to Favel Parrett for Past the Shallows

View the Peretual Trustees media release

View full list of shortlisted authors and prize winners  since the first Kibble Literary Awards made in 1994.

For more information

For more information, please phone 1800 501 227 or email

Quick Links

The State Library provides a free Information Request Service.

Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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