Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Margaret & Colin Roderick Literary Award

Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award

The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award will be valued at $30,000 in 2023. The award recognises the best Australian book of the year that deals with any aspect of Australian life.

Nominations for the 2023 award closed on 16th December 2022. 

Books published from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022 were eligible for submission into the 2023 round.

The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award is one of Australia's oldest and esteemed literary awards, founded in 1967 by Professor Colin Roderick, an Australian writer, editor, academic and educator.

Colin Roderick

The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award recognises the best original book, in the judges' opinion, that is published in Australia in the previous calendar year. Submissions must deal with any aspect of Australian life and can be in any field or genre of writing, verse or prose.

The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies presents the award annually at an event in Townsville.

The author of the winning book will receive $30,000 in prize money and be presented with the silver H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal.

Nominations opened for 2023 Awards: Wednesday 21st September 2022
Nominations closed for 2023 Awards: Friday 16 December 2022

Long list for 2023 Awards: Early July 2023
Short list for 2023 Awards: Early August 2023
2023 Winner Announced: Early October 2023

The winner of the Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award for 2022 has been announced and it is Emily Bitto for her novel Wild Abandon, published by Allen & Unwin.

With a record 230 entries this year, the competition also attracted a record number of entries from indigenous authors.

Check out the winners, short and long lists from previous years.

Judging Panel

Professor Alan Lawson

Professor Lawson is Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication & Arts at The University of Queensland, where he was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & International) and Dean of the UQ Graduate School. Professor Lawson has judged the Queensland Literary Awards for Non-Fiction (2014-16); Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards for Fiction (1999-2002); City of Brisbane Short Story Award (1988-89); and McGregor Literary Competition (1981, 1984); and reviewed fiction and non-fiction

Professor Lawson's research interests include post-colonial theory (especially 'settler' cultures), literary and cultural institutions, Australia-Canada comparative studies, Australian and Canadian fiction. He has published on Patrick White, Frank Moorhouse, Barbara Baynton, Henry Lawson, and George Johnston, etc and, with Ken Goodwin, co-edited The Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature. He has been an editorial board member of 12 journals (including LiNQAustralian Literary Studies, and Meanjin). Professor Lawson holds BA (H1), University of Newcastle; MA (ANU); and PhD (UQ). Since retirement, he has been a Consultant on Research Quality and Research Integrity for 13 Australian universities.

Mrs Mary VernonBorn in Perth Western Australia Mary has worked as a journalist in most states of Australia and several other countries.

As well as her considerable experience in writing, reporting, layout, editing and uploading web content she started reviewing books for The Australian in the early 1980s. She took over as Books Editor at the Townsville Bulletin when Colin Roderick retired from that position while also being, in turn, deputy editor, features editor, production editor, and daily columnist at the Townsville Bulletin in North Queensland. She has edited several books and anthologies and, like most journalists, is working on the Great Australian Novel, as well as having almost completed a history of food on Magnetic Island.

Besides working in print with a variety of regional papers, she has also worked in radio and is still heard most Friday afternoons on ABC Radio Townsville as part of their drive time show.

She worked as tutor and mentor for News Ltd’s online training college for young journalists for 10 years and spent six months in Myanmar in 2005, mentoring and training journalists on the Myanmar Times in Yangon, an experience she found very satisfying, although difficult.

In 2009 she graduated as a Master of Arts (Writing) from James Cook University in Townsville and although she hopes to complete a PhD in Social History is having a hard time finding a university willing to back a humorous thesis.

Susan K. MartinSusan K. Martin is Professor Emerita in English and a former Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.

Her current research is on the teaching of Australian literature, and Australian cultural production and the representation of drought. She has researched and published widely on contemporary and historical Australian writers, including Joseph Furphy, Miles Franklin, Ada Cambridge, Mary Gaunt, Ethel Turner, Patrick White, Peter Carey, Alexis Wright.

She has particular interests in Australian literature and the environment, and Australian book culture.  She was a member of the Australian Research Council ERA Research Excellence Committee (REC) Assessment Panel for Humanities and Creative Arts in 2018. She is a former President of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL).

Her books include Women and Empire (Australia)(Routledge, 2009) and Sensational Melbourne (2011) and Colonial Dickens (ASP, 2012) with Kylie Mirmohamadi.