The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship supports Australian writers of biography, and extends to include a writer who is working on an aspect of cultural or social history. The Fellowship awards $20,000 to assist with travel and research.
Applications for the 2022 Fellowship open: 1 October 2021
Applications close: 16 November 2021
Shortlist announced: January 2022
Winner announced: March 2022, following the Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture.
Mandy Sayer was announced as winner of the 2021 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship on Wednesday 3 March, in front of a large audience at Adelaide Writers’ Week.
Mandy Sayer was awarded $15,000 for her proposed biography of Australian silent filmmakers the McDonagh sisters, Paulette, Isabelle, and Phyllis. Between 1926 and 1933 the three sisters wrote, produced and directed the films, while one of them acted in the main roles.
“Announcing our 10th Fellow is a significant milestone,” said Della Rowley. “This year also marks 10 years since my sister died and we established the Fellowship to honour her life and work. Since we started the Fellowship, we have given away over $150,000 to support Australian writers of biography.”
“We are delighted to award the 2021 Fellowship to Mandy Sayer for her proposal on the McDonagh sisters,” said Fellowship judge Jeff Sparrow. “Her biography promises to restore three fascinating and talented women from the dawn of Australian film to the prominence they deserve.”
Lance Richardson was awarded the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, following the cancellation of the Hazel Rowley memorial lecture due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Della Rowley, Hazel’s sister, made the announcement on the 18th of March, saying “At the annual lecture, we announce the Fellowship winner for the year, and it gives me great pleasure to announce Lance Richardson as the winner of the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship for 2020. Lance has won for his proposed biography of writer, naturalist and Zen Buddhist, Peter Matthiessen.”
“The judges all agreed that his proposed biography of Peter Matthiessen is an outstanding choice for this year’s Fellowship,” said Jenny Hocking, one of the four judges.
“Lance’s subject is probably best known as the author of 'The Snow Leopard', the account of his journey in remote Nepal on the Tibetan Plateau. The judges were impressed by the quality of Lance’s writing and the international reach of this ambitious proposal”.
Eleanor Hogan was awarded the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship during Adelaide Writers’ Week, following the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture given by award-winning author Maria Tumarkin on Monday 4 March 2019. Her project, 'Into the Loneliness', is a speculative biographical work about the collaboration between journalist Ernestine Hill and self-taught ethnologist Daisy Bates.
“Eleanor Hogan’s study of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates promises to be a fascinating exploration of women’s relationships in 20th century Australia, even as it offers fresh insight into the problematic formation of an ethnological consensus about Indigenous Australia,” said Fellowship judge Jeff Sparrow.
"Eleanor’s idea of a joint biography of two feisty women within a fascinating and important period of our history won over the judges," said Della Rowley, sister of the late biographer in whose name the Fellowship has been established. "Her proposal recalls Hazel’s own interest in exploring the complex relationships between two people whose lives are intertwined.”
In 2018, the Fellowship was awarded to Jacqueline Kent (NSW) for her proposed biography of Vida Goldstein (1869-1949). The judges also awarded a Special Hazel Rowley Award of $15,000 to Drusilla Modjeska (NSW) for her proposed memoir, 'First Half Second: Volume 2'.
In 2017, the Fellowship was awarded to Anne-Marie Priest (QLD) biography of Australian poet Gwen Harwood (1920-1995). For the first time, the Fellowship also made a highly-commended award of $3,000 to Suzanne Spunner (Vic) for her biography of East Kimberley artist Rover Thomas.
The 2016 Fellowship was awarded to Matthew Lamb (TAS) for his proposed cultural biography of the Australian writer Frank Moorhouse.
The 2015 Fellowship winner was announced at Adelaide Writers Week. Caroline Baum will use the $10,000 Fellowship to write a biography of Lucie Dreyfus (1870-1945).
The 2014 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship was awarded to Maxine Beneba Clarke (Vic). Maxine's autobiography ‘The Hate Race’ – a memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia – was published by Hachette in August 2016.
The 2012 winner, Mary Hoban, worked on a biography of Julia Arnold (nee Sorell, 1826-1888).
The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship is supported by the Hazel Rowley Literary Fund; a sub-fund of Australian Communities Foundation.