2022 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship Shortlist Announced

Thursday, January 13, 2022
By: 
Writers Victoria

The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

Ten writers have been shortlisted for the 2022 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, now worth $20,000.

‘We had an extremely strong field of applications this year, with a wide range of biographical subjects. This made the shortlisting hard,’ said Della Rowley, Hazel’s sister.  ‘We received a large number of high-quality proposals. Perhaps as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, writers were busy thinking about good topics for biographies.

‘The shortlist reflects a range of emerging and established writers, and a varied range of topics, from neglected historical subjects to contemporary artists.

‘This year is the 11th anniversary of my sister’s death and the establishment of the Fellowship in her name.’

The 2022 shortlisted writers are:

  • Sylvia Martin (NSW), writing about artists Eirene Mort and Nora Kate Weston.
  • Kelly Gellatly (Vic), for a biography of artist Rosalie Gascoigne.
  • Michelle Nayahamui Rooney (ACT), writing about her mother Nahau Rooney, one of the first women elected to the Papua New Guinea parliament.
  • Melanie Duckworth (SA), writing a biography of children’s author Christobel Mattingley.
  • Lorin Clarke (Vic), writing a memoir of her father, satirist and comedian John Clarke.
  • Mark Mordue (NSW), writing a biography of singer-songwriter Nick Cave.
  • Aunty Joy Murphy and Jessica Horton (Vic), jointly writing a biography of Jarlo Wandoon, Aunty Joy’s father.
  • Naomi Parry (NSW), writing about the life of Gai-mariagal man Musquito, who was killed in Tasmania in 1825.
  • Hannah Fink (NSW), also for a biography of artist Rosalie Gascoigne.

‘We are pleased to be a partner in the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship,’ said Lucy Hamilton, CEO of Writers Victoria, which administers the award. ‘This Fellowship provides writers with the time and means to research and write their work, and the increased Fellowship amount in 2022 is even more valuable at a time that has been so challenging for writers and other artists.’

The winner of the Fellowship will be announced at the Wheeler Centre on Wednesday 2 March 2022, after a panel discussion led by Fellowship judge, writer, journalist and broadcaster Jeff Sparrow. The panel will discuss the dilemmas involved with writers including themselves and their journey of research into their biographies.

The 2022 Fellowship will be judged by writers Jeff Sparrow and Clare Wright, along with Della Rowley and Hazel’s close friend Lynn Buchanan.

The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship has a strong track record for enabling biographers and writers of memoirs to complete and publish their works. We are proud of the writing proposals we have been able to support so far, with six resulting in publication: Eleanor Hogan (Into the Loneliness: The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates), 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). Their books have been highly acclaimed and shortlisted for various prizes.

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.

In 2021 Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan published Life as Art: The biographical writing of Hazel Rowley (MUP), an edited collection of Hazel’s essays, talks and journal entries.