Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction

Last updated:  28 February 2024
Applications closed

The Douglas Stewart Prize ($40,000) is for a prose work other than a work of fiction.


Applications closed

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.

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
Headshot of author Patti Miller

Patti Miller

Panel Chair

Patti Miller is the author of ten books, including Australia’s best-selling life writing texts, Writing Your Life, The Memoir Book and Writing True Stories (A&U) as well as a novel Child (A&U) and nonfiction titles: The Last One Who Remembers (A&U), Whatever The Gods Do (Random House), The Mind of a Thief (UQP), long and short-listed for a number of prizes, winner of the 2013 NSW Premier’s Prize for History, Ransacking Paris (UQP), The Joy of High Places (NewSouth) and, her latest, True Friends (UQP). She is published regularly in national newspapers, magazines and literary journals. She teaches memoir and creative nonfiction and gives writing courses in Paris and London each year.

photo of kate holden

Kate Holden

Kate Holden wrote the Walkley Book Award-winning The Winter Road: A killing at Croppa Creek (Black Inc., 2021). It won the 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary award for Nonfiction, and for Community and Regional History, and the Sisters in Crime Davitt true crime award. Her bestselling In My Skin: A memoir, was published by Text Publishing in 2005. The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days, a second memoir, was published in 2010. Kate has published essays, short stories, and literary criticism in major journals, plus a column in The Age, appearing most recently in The Saturday Paper. She lives in the Illawarra.


James Jiang

James Jiang is Editor of the Sydney Review of Books. He is a critic and scholar who has worked as Assistant Editor at Griffith Review and Australian Book Review. Prior to becoming an editor, he taught in the English and Theatre Studies program at the University of Melbourne. He holds a PhD in modernist literature from the University of Cambridge and has written reviews and essays for a variety of publications in Australia (Sydney Review of Books, Australian Book ReviewCorditeLIMINAL Magazine) and abroad (Cambridge Quarterly, Ploughshares, Modernism/modernity). His interests range across poetry (contemporary and historical), the history and theory of criticism, diasporic writing, translation and sport.


Sarah Malik

Sarah Malik is a Walkley award-winning journalist and author of critically acclaimed memoir Desi Girl: On Feminism, Race, Faith and Belonging (UQP). She also wrote and edited a book of travel interviews Safar: Muslim Womens' Stories of Travel and Transformation (Hardie Grant).

photo of ryan oneill

Ryan O'Neill

Ryan O’Neill is the author of The Weight of a Human Heart and Their Brilliant Careers. He was born in Glasgow in 1975 and has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. His fiction has appeared in The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Ink, Etchings and Westerly. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and the Age Short-Story Prize. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.

Past winners


cover image of we come with this place
We Come With This Place
Echo Publishing


Cover image of the book Tiberius with a Telephone.
Tiberius With a Telephone
Scribe Publications


deep time dreaming book cover
    Joint winner
Deep Time Dreaming
Black Inc.


the trauma cleaner book cover
    Joint winner
The Trauma Cleaner
Text Publishing


Cover image of Passchendaele
Penguin Random House Australia


Book cover for Our Man Elsewhere In Search of Alan Moorehead by Thornton McCamish
Our Man Elsewhere
Black Inc.

About Douglas Stewart

The Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction 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. 

Award Information


For more information, please contact the Awards team.

Phone: (02) 9273 1767, or alternatively (02) 9273 1770.