The shortlists for the Kibble and Dobbie literary awards have been announced.
These prestigious awards were established in 1994 to support and recognise female authors. Nita B Kibble was successful in gaining a position at the Public Library of NSW, now the State Library of NSW, after her signature on the application form had been mistaken as a male’s. The Kibble and Dobbie awards have, since their inception, recognised many of Australia’s leading women writers and reflect Nita Kibble’s interest in literature. Kibble also worked to raise the profile of the library and information services profession, being a foundation member of the Australian Institute of Librarians, this commitment to the profession is reflected in the formation of the judging panel: each year a staff member from the Library is asked to sit on the panel for these awards.
The Kibble Literary Award recognises the work of an established author while the Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work.
The authors recognised on the 2016 Kibble Award Shortlist are:
- Elizabeth Harrower for, A Few Days in the Country, which brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives.
- Drusilla Modjeska for, Second Half First, a new memoir which begins with the disastrous events of the night before her fortieth birthday.
- Fiona Wright for, Small Acts of Disappearance, a collection of essays describing her affliction with an eating disorder through the different stages of her life.
The 2016 Dobbie Award Shortlist recognises the following authors:
- Shirely Barrett, Rush Oh!, tells the story of Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, NSW. Chronicling the particularly difficult season of 1908, telling a poignant and hilarious drama-filled story of misadventure.
- Magda Szubanski, Reckoning, the heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic and intimate memoir of one of Australia’s most beloved performers.
- Lucy Treloar, Salt Creek, the story of the Finch family, who chance their luck as graziers willing to chance their luck in the beautiful and inhospitable coastal region of Coorong, in the new province of South Australia.
The Kibble and Dobbie Awards judging panel consists of Humanities Australia Editor and Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Webby AM, Dr Rachel Franks, Coordinator, Education & Scholarship State Library NSW and the internationally renowned novelist, Dr Rosie Scott.
Winners will be announced at an event at the State Library of NSW on 14 July 2016.