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2023 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship shortlist announced

2023 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

Nine Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2023 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, worth $20,000.

‘This year we are very pleased to see proposals from every state and territory, reflecting the diverse range of approaches to writing biography and memoir in Australia today,’ said Della Rowley, sister of biographer Hazel Rowley.

‘The quality and calibre of proposals has been outstanding, and it is particularly pleasing to see proposals from First Nations writers, including in the shortlist, in the year that will see a referendum on the Indigenous Voice to parliament.’

‘We are proud to be a partner in the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship,’ said Lucy Hamilton, CEO of Writers Victoria, which administers the award. ‘The support of $20,000 awarded to a writer for a work in progress makes it a significant literary award in Australia today. The Fellowship has helped eight writers achieve publication, with more expected in 2023.’

The nine shortlisted writers are:

  • Belinda Probert (VIC), for her proposal ‘Secrets and War: Ambition and identity in 20th century Britain’, a book about her father Bill Probert.
  • Aunty Elly Chatfield (NSW), a Gamillaroi woman, writing her memoir and about the broader impact of the Stolen Generations experience.
  • Charlie Ward (NT), writing about Jean Zakaria/Culley and her Australian-Indonesian family.
  • Gabrielle Carey (NSW), for a biography of her father Alex Carey, an academic and political activist.
  • Jo Oliver (NSW), for a biography of Yvonne Boyd, artist and wife of Arthur Boyd.
  • Diane Bell (ACT), for her proposal ‘The Queen and the Protector’, about Ngarrindjeri woman Louisa Karpany and South Australian Sub-Protector of Aborigines, George Mason.
  • Jane McCredie (NSW), for a biography of Jane Eastment, one of the so-called ‘incorrigible prostitutes’ sent to Tasmania in 1832.
  • Carolyn Dowley (WA),for a biography of Sadie Canning, a Wongutha woman, a member of the Stolen Generations and Western Australia’s first Aboriginal nurse.
  • Susan Wyndham (NSW), for a biography of Australian writer Elizabeth Harrower.

The winner of the 2023 Fellowship will be announced at a special event during Adelaide Writers Week on Wednesday 8 March at 3:45PM. This will follow the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture, which is a discussion between Kerryn Goldsworthy and Ann-Marie Priest. Ann-Marie is the 2017 Hazel Rowley Fellow and the biographer of My Tongue is my Own: A Life of Gwen Harwood.

The 2023 Fellowship will be judged by writers Clare Wright 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. Eight of our recipients have published to date: Mandy Sayer (Those Dashing McDonagh Sisters: Australia’s first female filmmaking team), Ann-Marie Priest (My Tongue is My Own: A Life of Gwen Harwood), 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).

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.

To find out more about the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, visit this page on our website here.

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