Foundation for Australian Literary Studies News & Events Media Release: Top Australian authors shortlisted

Media Release: Top Australian authors shortlisted

Wednesday 12th July 2017

The finalists for one of Australia’s longest established literary awards have been announced by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies.

The shortlist of eight titles for the Colin Roderick Award was chosen from over 150 nominations. Chair of the Judging Panel, Professor Stephen Torre said the judges were impressed by this year’s submissions, which were of a uniformly high standard across several genres including biography and memoir, history and social commentary, and fictional and imaginative work.

“The short list was chosen from an exceptionally strong and varied field and comprises poetry, prose, fiction, memoir, historical non-fiction and literary exploration” said Prof Richard Nile.

The Colin Roderick Award, an annual literary prize, is named after the late Professor Colin Roderick, author and academic who established the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies in 1966.

The Foundation increased the prize money for the annual award to a generous $20,000 last year in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The winning author will also receive the H. T. Priestley Memorial Medal, in recognition of their contribution to Australian literary culture.

The H. T. Priestly Memorial Medal remembers the influential service that founding chairperson Deputy Chancellor Tom Priestley had on the Foundation in its early years. The medal is presented to the winner of the annual literary award for their outstanding contribution to Australian literary culture.

The 2017 award and medal will be presented to the author of the best book, in the judges’ opinion, dealing with any aspect of Australian life and published within Australia during 2016.

The shortlist of six books for the 2017 award are:

  • Clark, Maxine Beneba. Carrying the World
  • Earls, Nick. Wisdom Tree: Five Novellas
  • Gleeson, Madeline. Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru
  • Griffiths, Tom. The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft
  • McKenna, Mark. From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories
  • McLennan, Cathy. Salt Water.
  • Serong, Jock. The Rules of Backyard Cricket
  • Wilson, Josephine. Extinctions.

The judging panel consists of Professor Leigh Dale, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, Adjunct Professor Stephen Torre and Ms Mary Vernon.

The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies is based at James Cook University and aims to foster the study and appreciation of Australian literature. The Foundation is funded through the generosity of Mrs Margaret Roderick in memory of her husband the late Colin Roderick CBE.

The winner of this year’s award and medal will be announced at the annual dinner to be held in Townsville, 30th October 2017.

Further information:

Prof Richard Nile, Chair of the Board
Mobile: 0450 0707 37 |