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2018 Hazel Rowley Fellowship shortlist announced

Eight Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2018 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship worth $15,000. 

“It’s exciting to see such a wide range of writing proposals coming to us from around Australia, said Della Rowley, sister of biographer Hazel Rowley. “This year we reached a record number of applications and the quality and calibre of proposals has been outstanding”.

“It is seven years since my sister died and we began the Fellowship in her name, so it is wonderful that Hazel’s legacy continues to encourage and support Australian writers and biographers.”

“We are proud to be a partner in the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship,” said Angela Savage, Director of Writers Victoria, which administers the award. “The number, breadth and quality of this year’s applications attests to the Fellowship’s growing prestige.”

The shortlist reflects a diverse range of proposed biographies with topics including political history, science, memoir, Aboriginal land rights, music and art.

The shortlist

  • Judith White (New South Wales) writing about Colin Lanceley: The artist’s world
  • Jacqueline Kent (New South Wales) for a biography on Vida Goldstein
  • Clem Gorman (New South Wales) for an authorised biography of Australian artist David Rankin
  • Drusilla Modjeska (New South Wales) for her proposed memoir, First Half Second: Volume 2
  • Jillian Graham (Victoria) writing about Australian composer, Margaret Sutherland
  • Andrew Ramsey (South Australia) for a biography of Mark Oliphant and Ernest Rutherford
  • Diana James (New South Wales) for her proposal Open Hearted Country: Nganyinytja’s Story
  • Catherine Bishop (New South Wales) for her proposal on Annie Lock: A Challenging Woman

Award night

The winner of the 2018 Fellowship will be announced at a special event at the Wheeler Centre on Thursday 8 March at 6:15pm. This follows the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture to be given by award-winning biographer, Professor Jenny Hocking. Professor Hocking will talk about ‘The Politics of Biography: Gough Whitlam, the Dismissal and Hidden History’.

The 2018 Fellowship will be judged by biographers Jenny Hocking and Arnold Zable, along with Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan, Hazel’s close friend.

Bookings can be made through the Wheeler Centre.

About the previous Fellows

In 2017 Ann-Marie Priest (Queensland) was awarded the Fellowship for her biography of renowned Australian poet Gwen Harwood.

The 2016 the Fellowship went to Matthew Lamb (Tasmania) for a cultural biography of Australian writer Frank Moorhouse due to be published in 2019.

In 2015, the Fellowship was awarded to Caroline Baum (New South Wales), for a biography of Lucie Dreyfus (1870-1945).

The 2014 Fellowship went to Maxine Beneba Clarke (Victoria) for her memoir, ‘The Hate Race’, about growing up black in white middle-class Australia. Published by Hachette in 2016.

Stephany Steggall (Queensland) used the 2013 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship to write a biography of Thomas Keneally, ‘Interestingly Enough…’ Published by Black Inc. in 2015.

The inaugural recipient of the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship in 2012, Mary Hoban (Victoria), has written about Tasmanian woman, Julia Sorell. Mary has secured a publishing contract with Scribe.

About Hazel Rowley

“My books are about people who had the courage to break out of their confined world and help others to do the same” – Hazel Rowley

Before her death in 2011, Hazel wrote four critically acclaimed biographies: Christina Stead: A Biography (1993), Richard Wright: The Life and Times (2001), Tête-à-Tête: The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (2005) and Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage (2010). Erudite and accessible, these studies brought fresh attention to the lives and works of significant figures both nationally and internationally.

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