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2022
Submissions open

About the prize

The Douglas Stewart Prize ($40,000) is for a prose work other than a work of fiction. Books including biographies, autobiographies and works of history, philosophy and literary criticism may be nominated provided they display literary qualities. Oral histories are ineligible unless the author claims artistic responsibility for the majority of the text. Books compiled by an editor and/or consisting of contributions of more than four writers are not eligible for the Douglas Stewart Prize. An award will not be given for a work consisting principally of photographs or illustrations unless the text is of substantial length and of sufficient merit in its own right. In such cases, no part of the prize money will be paid to the photographer or illustrator. Nominators should be selective about the works entered into this category. Works must be considered literature. 

The Judging Panel

photo of catriona menzies-pike

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Chair

Catriona Menzies-Pike has been the editor of the Sydney Review of Books since 2015. Her book The Long Run was published in 2016. Her essays and reviews have been widely published.

Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based writer and academic. He is the author of two books: Tiberius with a Telephone: the life and stories of William McMahon (2018), which won the National Biography Award and Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, and The Trials of Portnoy (2020).

Zora Simic

Zora Simic is a Senior Lecturer in History and Gender Studies in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales. Her research expertise is in twentieth century Australian history, with a particular focus on feminism, sexuality, gender and migration. She is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded collaborative history of domestic violence in Australia, 1850-2000.

In addition to her co-authored book The Great Feminist Denial (2008), she has contributed to numerous edited collections including The Australian Face (2017), Dangerous Ideas About Mothers (2018) and Gender Violence in Australia: Historical Perspectives (2019). As a literary critic and cultural commentator, she is published regularly in Australian Book Review and Inside Story, among other outlets.

She was born and raised on the lands of the Darug people, and currently lives and works on Gadigal and Bedegal lands.

Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane is Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory) and Director, Culture Strategy at the University of Sydney. A political theorist and human rights advocate, from 2013 to 2018 Tim was Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner.

His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain. He is the author of five books: On Hate (2019), I’m Not Racist But … (2015), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009).

Past winners and shortlist

2021
Father of the Lost Boys
Fremantle Press
Shortlisted
2021
In the Time of Manaroans
Victoria University Press
Shortlisted
2021
Womerah Lane
Giramondo Publishing
Shortlisted
2021
A Question of Colour
Magabala Books
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of the book Tiberius with a Telephone.
Scribe Publications
Winner
2019
deep time dreaming book cover
Black Inc.
Winner
2019
the trauma cleaner book cover
Text Publishing
Winner
2018
Cover image of Passchendaele
Penguin Random House Australia
Winner
2017
Book cover for Our Man Elsewhere In Search of Alan Moorehead by Thornton McCamish
Black Inc.
Winner

About Douglas Stewart

The award was established to commemorate the lifetime achievement of Douglas Alexander Stewart (1913–1985), poet, essayist and literary critic. Stewart, born in Eltham, New Zealand, published his first poems while still at school. He later worked as a journalist for the local newspaper before travelling overseas. A large number of his poems were first published in The Bulletin. Stewart would take on the position of literary editor in 1940 until the magazine changed ownership in 1961. It was in this role that he encouraged a number of poets of his generation, including David Campbell and Judith Wright. Stewart moved to become publishing editor with Angus & Robertson until 1972.