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2021 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship Shortlist Announced

The Hazel Rowley Literary Committee and Writers Victoria are pleased to announce seven writers have been shortlisted for the 2021 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, worth $15,000.

“The shortlist reflects an exciting and diverse range of subjects both contemporary and historic, including artists, filmmakers, actors and writers,” said Della Rowley, Hazel’s sister. “This year, more than any other, it is vital to support writers. Given the impact of COVID-19, priority has been given to writers researching and writing within Australia.

“2021 marks the 10th anniversary of my sister’s death and the establishment of the Fellowship in her name. We are proud of the writers and proposals we have been able to support over the last decade, many of which have resulted in publication.”

“We are delighted to be a partner in the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship,” said Lucy Hamilton, CEO of Writers Victoria, which administers the award. “It is a privilege to administer a fellowship that provides writers with the time and means to research and write, all the more so in 2021. The seven shortlisted works represent biography writing across a breadth of subjects in the arts and beyond and we are excited to see how they develop.”

The seven shortlisted writers are:

  • Jillian Graham for a biography of Australian composer and Arts activist Margaret Sutherland.
  • Amanda Lourie writing on AW Howitt, English-born Australian anthropologist and explorer.
  • Jo Oliver for a biography of Australian modernist artist Adelaide Perry.
  • Sheila Ngoc Pham writing about Anne Spencer Parry, Australian science fiction writer and psychotherapist.
  • Kate Rice for a biography of Australian mother and daughter Marian Dunn and Marian Marcus Clarke.
  • Mandy Sayer for her proposal on the McDonagh sisters, Australia’s first female filmmakers.
  • Michelle Scott Tucker, writing a memoir for Aaron Fa’Aoso, Torres Strait Islander actor, film and television writer, director and producer.

The winner of the Fellowship will be announced at Adelaide Writers Week on Wednesday 3 March 2021, following the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture to be given by biographer and 2018 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship recipient Jacqueline Kent.

The 2021 Fellowship will be judged by biographers Jenny Hocking and Jeff Sparrow, along with Della Rowley, and Lynn Buchanan, Hazel’s close friend. The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship has a strong track record in enabling biographers and writers of memoirs to complete and publish their works. Five of the Fellowship recipients have published so far – Jacqueline Kent (Vida Goldstein: A Woman for Our Time), Gabrielle Carey (Only Happiness Here: In Search of Elizabeth von Arnim), Mary Hoban (An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold), Maxine Beneba Clarke (The Hate Race), and Stephany Steggall (Interestingly Enough… The Life of Tom Keneally). Three more of our Fellows are due to be published in the coming year.


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.


A PDF media release of this announcement can be downloaded here.

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