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2022
Submissions closed

About the Prize

  • The Christina Stead Prize ($40,000) is offered for a book of fiction.
  • The award may be made for a novel or a collection of stories.
  • A collection of stories may contain some previously published work. In such a case the judges will determine whether the new work is sufficient, in quantity and quality, to merit an award. It is the nominator’s responsibility to clearly identify previously published material.
  • Works of creative non-fiction, including fictionalised memoirs, are eligible for consideration under this category, but not under the Douglas Stewart Prize. Works of multiple authorship, including anthologies, are not eligible for nomination. 

The Judging Panel

Beth Yahp

Beth Yahp

Chair

Beth Yahp’s fiction and creative non-fiction include: The Red Pearl and Other Stories (Vagabond Press, 2017); a memoir Eat First, Talk Later (Gerakbudaya, 2018; Penguin Random House, 2015), which was shortlisted for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Award for Literature (Non-Fiction); and a novel The Crocodile Fury (Vagabond Press, 2017; Angus & Robertson, 1992) which was translated into several languages.

Beth wrote the libretto for composer Liza Lim’s opera Moon Spirit Feasting, which won the APRA Award for Best Classical Composition in 2003. Her current projects include a collection of creative non-fiction articles on women, politics and the arts in Malaysia and a series of Small Pleasures set in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. She lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney.

Nicole Abadee

Nicole Abadee

Nicole Abadee is a books writer, podcaster and festival moderator. She reviews regularly for Good Weekend and Australian Book Review, and appears as a moderator at writers’ festivals, includng Sydney Writers’ Festival, Byron Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week. She also has a literary podcast, Books, Books, Books, in which she interviews top Australian and international writers including Kate Grenville and Lionel Shriver about their latest books.

Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen is the author of five previous novels, a children’s book and, most recently, the short story collection When I Saw the Animal (UQP).

Bernard’s 2013 novel The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies was the inaugural winner of the Russell Prize for Humour Writing. He has also won the Australian Vogel Literary Award, an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award and is the only writer to appear three times on the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists list.

In 2006, Bernard founded The Writing Workshop www.writingworkshop.com.au. Since then, he has taught creative writing to about 100,000 young people.

He lives in Sydney.

Past winners and shortlists

2021

2021
A Room Made of Leaves
Text Publishing
Winner
2021
Murmurations
Spinifex Press
Shortlisted
2021
Cherry Beach
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2021
The Dictionary of Lost Words
Affirm Press
Shortlisted
2021
The Weekend
Allen & Unwin
Shortlisted
2021
The Bass Rock
Penguin Random House Australia
Shortlisted

2020

2020
Cover image of the book Exploded View.
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book The Electric Hotel.
Allen & Unwin
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book Wolfe Island.
Picador Australia
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book The Palace of Angels.
Wild Dingo Press
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book The White Girl.
University of Queensland Press
Shortlisted

2019

2019
Border Districts Book Cover
Shortlisted
2019
The Everlasting Sunday Book Cover
Shortlisted
2019
Man Out of Time cover
Shortlisted
2019
cover image of the shepherd's hut
Shortlisted
2019
Boy Swallows Universe cover
Shortlisted

2018

2018
UWA Publishing
Shortlisted
2018
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2018
Taboo Cover Image
Shortlisted
2018
Text Publishing
Shortlisted
2018
Common People Cover Image
UQP
Shortlisted

2017

2017
Book Cover for The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
Allen & Unwin
Shortlisted
2017
Book cover for Where the Light Falls by Gretchen Shirm
Allen & Unwin
Shortlisted
2017
Book cover image for Vancouver 3 in the series Wisdom Tree by Nick Earls
Inkerman & Blunt
Shortlisted
2017
Book Cover Image for Their Brilliant Careers The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers by Ryan O’Neill
Black Inc.
Shortlisted
2017
Book cover for After the Carnage by Tara June Winch
UQP
Shortlisted

2016

2016
Locust Girl
Winner
2016
Book cover of A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones
Shortlisted
2016
Book cover of Clade by James Bradley
Shortlisted
2016
Book cover of The Life of Houses by Lisa Gorton
Shortlisted
2016
Book cover of The World without us by Michelle Juchau
Shortlisted
2016
Cover of Ghost River by Tony Birch
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book The Yield.
Penguin Random House
Winner
2019
Photo of the life to come book cover
Allen & Unwin
Winner
2018
Text Publishing
Winner
2017
Front cover of The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
Allen & Unwin
Winner

About Christina Stead

The award commemorates Christina Ellen Stead (1902-1983), Australian novelist and short story writer. Stead was born in Rockdale, New South Wales. She published fifteen novels beginning with The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934). Her most well-known novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940) was based on her childhood in Sydney. Stead lived most of her life overseas, in Europe and the US, but retained a strong sense of national identity, reviewing Australian novels for the New York Times Book Review and keeping up with news from Australia through family correspondence. Her work, including several volumes of short stories, is acclaimed for her satirical wit. Stead’s literary popularity in Australia increased significantly after her return in 1974. The same year she received the inaugural Patrick White Literary Award to recognise her lifetime achievement.