$57,000 on offer for Australian comic and biography writers

The State Library of NSW has opened entries for two significant literary awards – the 2023 National Biography Award, Australia’s richest prize for biographical writing and memoir, and the 2023 Russell Prize for Humour Writing, the only award of its kind in Australia.

According to State Librarian John Vallance: “Great writing makes sense of things we didn’t even know we didn’t understand. Thanks to the support of the State Library Foundation, we’re able to offer these two unique prizes that encourage writers to expand our own lives by illuminating the lives of others.”

The National Biography Award offers a total prize pool of $42,000. The overall winner will receive $25,000, with $5,000 awarded to the best debut biography or memoir. In addition, each of the six shortlisted authors will receive $2,000.

The biennial Russell Prize, established at the bequest of the late Peter Wentworth Russell, offers $10,000 to the best book of humour writing published in the previous two years. In addition, the Russell Prize for Humour Writing for Young People, valued at $5,000, is offered for a funny book aimed at children aged 5-12 years.

There will be an extended nomination period to allow for the Christmas and New Year break, with entries for both awards closing on Friday 3 February 2023.

Guidelines for each award and the online nomination forms are available here.