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2022
Submissions open

Since 1996, the National Biography Award has celebrated excellence in biography, autobiography and memoir writing. With a prize pool of $42,000, it is the nation’s richest prize for Australian biographical writing and memoir.   

Read the Guidelines before entering. 

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The award is supported by the State Library of NSW Foundation and has been a fixture on Australia’s literary calendar thanks to the generosity of Dr Geoffrey Cains, the late Michael Crouch AC, and the Nelson Meers Foundation.  

In 2022 the National Biography Award will present the following prizes:  

•    $25,000 for the winner 
•    $2,000 for each of the six shortlisted authors 
•    $5,000 Michael Crouch Award for a first published biography, autobiography or memoir by an Australian writer 

For more information please contact the Senior Project Officer, Awards.

Email: awards@sl.nsw.gov.au
Telephone: (02) 9273 1582

Past winners

2021

2021
Truganini
Allen and Unwin
Winner
2021
The Lotus Eaters
Hardie Grant Publishing
Shortlisted
2021
One Bright Moon
HarperCollins Publishers
Shortlisted
2021
Max
Allen and Unwin
Shortlisted
2021
image of tell me why book cover
Simon & Schuster
Shortlisted
2021
Penny Wong: Passion and Principle cover
Black Inc. Books
Shortlisted

2017

2017
Cover image of Before Rupert
UQP
Winner
2017
Cover image of The Unknown Judith Wright
UWA Publishing
Shortlisted
2017
Cover image of Mick
UWA Publishing
Shortlisted
2017
Book cover Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood
Scribe
Shortlisted
2017
Cover Evatt
NewSouth Publishing
Shortlisted
2017
The Long Goodbye
Hardie Grant Books
Shortlisted
2020
Cover image of Tiberius with a telephone
Winner
2019
No Friend But the mountain
Winner
2018
Cover image of the enigmatic mr deakin
Winner
2017
Cover image of Before Rupert
UQP
Winner
2016
Book cover of Mannix by Brenda Niall
Winner
2015
Winner
2014
Winner
2013
Australian character actor Frank Thrings and Australian entrepreneur Frank Thrings on book cover of The Two Frank Thrings by Peter Fitzpatrick
Winner
2012
Winner
2011
Winner
2010
Winner
2009
Winner

2021 Judges

Suzanne Falkiner

Suzanne Falkiner

Panel Chair

Suzanne Falkiner is a Sydney writer. She has worked as an editor for book and magazine publishers, written book reviews and travel journalism, and run a small independent publishing company.

Among some dozen books of fiction and non-fiction, she has written a number of biographies, the most recent of which, Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, was shortlisted for several literary awards.

Rick Morton

Rick Morton

Rick Morton is the author of three non-fiction books. His debut memoir, One Hundred Years of Dirt (MUP, 2018) became a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the National Biography Award 2019, highly commended in the 2019 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and longlisted for the 2018 Walkley Book of the Year, both Biography Book of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year in the 2019 ABIA Awards. He is also the author of On Money (Hachette, 2020) and his latest, My Year of Living Vulnerably (4th Estate, 2021).

Rick is an award-winning journalist and is senior reporter at The Saturday Paper where he covers social policy, national affairs and science.

Mandy Sayer

Mandy Sayer

Mandy Sayer won the Vogel Award with her first novel, Mood Indigo.  Since then she has published six works of fiction, six works of non-fiction, and two literary anthologies. 

Her other awards include the National Biography Award, and Audio Book of the Year, (Dreamtime Alice: A Memoir); the South Australian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction and the AGE Book of the Year for Non-Fiction (Velocity: A Memoir) and the Western Australian Premier's Award for Non-fiction (shortlisted, The Poet's Wife: A Memoir).