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2020
Shortlist announced
Cover image of the book The White Girl.
Tony Birch
University of Queensland Press
Cover image of the book The Palace of Angels.
Mohammed Massoud Morsi
Wild Dingo Press
Cover image of the book The Electric Hotel.
Dominic Smith
Allen & Unwin
Cover image of the book Exploded View.
Carrie Tiffany
Text Publishing
Cover image of the book Wolfe Island.
Lucy Treloar
Picador Australia
Cover image of the book The Yield.
Tara June Winch
Penguin Random House

Shortlist comments

The 110 books entered for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the 41 books entered in The UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing primarily explored some aspect of contemporary Australian life. These texts represent diverse and imaginative responses to the pressing issues of our time, in particular climate change, domestic violence and the contemporary consequences of colonisation. The judges were particularly impressed by the many complex and stylistically innovative ways the authors approached these topics and the vast amount of research that obviously went into these many thoughtful texts.

The People's Choice Award

Vote for your favourite book shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction:

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The judging panel

Jane McCredie

Senior Judge

Jane McCredie is an award-winning journalist, writer and reviewer who has been widely published in Australia and internationally. A former book publisher, she is the CEO of Writing NSW and the founder and director of the Quantum Words Festival of writing about science. She is the author of Making Girls and Boys: Inside the science of sex and was coeditor of the 2013 anthology of The Best Australian Science Writing. Jane is a graduate of the Australia Council’s arts leaders program and has previously chaired both the Christina Stead and Douglas Stewart panels of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Photo of Felicity Castagna

Felicity Castagna

Felicity Castagna won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction for her previous novel, The Incredible Here and Now, which was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and adapted for the stage by the National Theatre of Parramatta. Her collection of short stories, Small Indiscretions, was named an Australian Book Review Book of the Year. Castagna’s work has appeared on radio and television, and she runs the storytelling series Studio Stories coordinating the mentorship program The Finishing School. Her latest book No More Boats was a finalist in The Miles Franklin Literary Award.

photo of mireille juchau

Mireille Juchau

Mireille Juchau is an award-winning novelist and critic. Her third novel, The World Without Us was published by Bloomsbury in the US, UK and Australia and won the Victorian Premiers Literary Award for Fiction. Her essays have been published most recently in LitHub, The Monthly, Sydney Review of Books, Best Australian Essays and Tablet.  Mireille was the 2018 Charles Perkins Centre writer in residence at the University of Sydney.

photo of michael sala

Michael Sala

Michael Sala was born in the Netherlands in 1975 to a Greek father and a Dutch mother, and first came to Australia in the 1980s. He lives in Newcastle. His critically acclaimed debut, The Last Thread, won the 2013 NSW Premier’s Award for New Writing and was the regional winner (Pacific) of the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. Michael's second book The Restorer was shortlisted for the Victorian and NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 2018 and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. 

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. 

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.

Past winners and shortlists

2019

2018

Bram Presser
Text Publishing
Catherine Cole
UWA Publishing
Jennifer Down
Text Publishing
Taboo Cover Image
Kim Scott
Michael Sala
Text Publishing
Common People Cover Image
Tony Birch
UQP

2017

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

2016