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Shortlist announced


Book cover image of Cold Enough for Snow
Giramondo Publishing
Book cover image of Every Version of You
Affirm Press
Book cover image of Women I Know
Scribner an imprint of Simon & Schuster Australia
Book cover image of Iris
Pan Macmillan Australia
Book cover image of Bad Art Mother
Wakefield Press

Please note, Grimmish by Michael Winkler has been withdrawn from the 2023 NSW Premier's Literary Awards by Puncher and Wattmann. For further details in regards to eligibility please see our Guidelines

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.

This category is for works of fiction for adults. Writing for young adults and children should be entered into those respective categories.

Works of multiple authorship, including anthologies, are not eligible for entry.

Works that blend fiction and non-fiction may be entered in either the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction or the Douglas Stewart Prize for non-fiction but not both. It is the entrant’s responsibility to determine which prize is most suitable for their work.

The Judging Panel

Beth Yahp

Beth Yahp


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.

Photo of Michael Sala

Michael Sala

Michael Sala was born in the Netherlands in 1975 to a Greek father and a Dutch mother, and came to Australia in the 1980s. He lives in Newcastle. His first novel, 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. His second novel, The Restorer, was shortlisted for both the NSW and Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

photo of emily maguire

Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire is the author of six novels, including the Stella Prize and Miles Franklin shortlisted An Isolated Incident, and three non-fiction books. She works as a teacher and as a mentor to young and emerging writers and was the 2018/2019 Writer-in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney.  Her latest book is the novel  Love Objects.

photo of declan fry

Declan Fry

Declan Fry is a writer, poet and essayist. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, he has been awarded a Peter Blazey Fellowship, the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award for memoir, shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and nominated for the Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism. He currently lives with his partner, their pup, Walnut, and a cat, Turnip. 



Kate McClymont AM

Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a nine-time winner of journalism’s most prestigious award, the Walkley, including the Gold Walkley for her coverage of the Bulldogs salary cap rorts.  

She was named the 2012 NSW Journalist of the year for her investigations into the fraudulent activities of Michael Williamson, the head of the Health Services Union and the business activities of former NSW Labor minister, Eddie Obeid. 

McClymont is also the recipient of numerous other awards including eight Kennedy Awards, the Australian Shareholders’ Association award for excellence in financial reporting (1992), The NSW’s Law Society’s Golden Quill award for excellence in legal reporting (1990 and 1992), Australian Racing Writer of the Year (1995), Australian Sports Commission Media Award (2002). She also won the 2012 George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. 

In 2017 she was inducted into the Media Hall of Fame for her contribution to the industry. 

With her colleague Linton Besser, she has published He Who Must Be Obeid, which chronicles corruption in NSW. 

Her second book Dead Man Walking detailed the murder of Michael McGurk and other murky dealings of colourful Sydney business identities. 

In 2020 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to the print media and to investigative journalism. 

Past winners

Dark as Last Night
University of Queensland Press
A Room Made of Leaves
Text Publishing
Cover image of the book The Yield.
Penguin Random House
Photo of the life to come book cover
Allen & Unwin
Text Publishing
Front cover of The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
Allen & Unwin

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.