Applications 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.

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

photos of fiona stager

Fiona Stager OAM

Panel Chair

Fiona Stager is the co-owner of two award winning bookshops, Avid Reader and Where the Wild Things Are located in the heart of West End, Brisbane. She has been a judge for the Stella Prize, the Walkley Awards and the Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona was awarded an OAM in 2023 and she received the Dame Annabelle Rankin Award in 2020 and the Johnno Award in 2009. 


Miles Allinson

Miles Allinson is a writer from Melbourne. His first novel, Fever of Animals won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2014 among other prizes. His second novel In Moonland was published in 2021 and won the Age Book of the Year Prize for Fiction in 2022.


Enza Gandolfo

Enza Gandolfo is a Melbourne writer and author of two novels, Swimming (shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Prize) and The Bridge (shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2019). She is also the co-author of two non-fiction books: Inventory: On Op Shops with Sue Dodd and It Keeps Me Sane: Women Craft Wellbeing with Marty Grace. Her short stories, essays and articles have been published in a range of literary and academic journals, magazines and newspapers. Enza has worked as a teacher, youth worker and academic and is an Honorary Professor in Creative Writing at Victoria University. 

photo of George Haddad

George Haddad

George Haddad is an award-winning writer, artist and academic practising on Gadigal land. His novella, Populate and Perish, was the winner of the 2016 Viva La Novella competition and his short story Kátharsis was awarded the 2018 Neilma Sidney Prize. George’s novel, Losing Face, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for The Readings Prize. In 2023 he was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist. He is a creative writing lecturer at the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University. 


Kate McClymont AM

Kate McClymont is the chief investigative journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a nine-time winner of Australia's most prestigious journalism award, the Walkley. In 2020 she was awarded an AM for services to the field of investigative journalism.

Past winners

Book cover image of Women I Know
Scribner an imprint of Simon & Schuster Australia
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.