Twelve female writers have been named on the first ever longlist of the Stella Prize, a major new prize for Australian women writers worth $50,000.
The first crop of finalists were selected from almost 200 entries, with the shortlist to be announced in March and the winner in April. Author Kate Grenville, writer and critic Kerryn Goldsworthy, actor and producer Claudia Karvan, bookseller Fiona Stager and ABC broadcaster Rafael Epstein worked on the selection panel.
The list of twelve represents a diverse mix of imagination and skill in women's writing, according to Stella Prize judge Kerryn Goldsworthy.
"The list includes a collection of short stories, a fantasy novel, a speculative-fiction verse novel, and three non-fiction books with very different subjects and styles," she says. "There are mixed-genre books involving biography, history, memoir and art; there are novels about real people, and nonfiction books using the beautiful writing techniques of fiction."
Stella Prize chair Aviva Tuffield says the team is delighted with the longlist. "The Stella Prize judging criteria are that the works be original, excellent and engaging, and thanks to our dedicated judges, we are convinced that book-lovers now have a wealth of reading treasures ahead of them,' she says.
Writers on the 2013 Stella Prize longlist include:
- Floundering by Romy Ash (Text Publishing)
- Mazin Grace by Dylan Coleman (UQP)
- The Burial by Courtney Collins (Allen & Unwin)
- The People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny (Penguin/Viking)
- Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
- Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth (Scribe Publications)
- The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson (5 Islands Press)
- Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy (Scribe Publications)
- Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
- The Mind of a Thief by Patti Miller (UQP)
- An Opening by Stephanie Radok (Wakefield Press)
- Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany (Pan Macmillan/Picador)