Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Margaret & Colin Roderick Literary Award

Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award

The award recognises the best Australian book of the year that deals with any aspect of Australian life.

In 2024 the Foundation is pleased to advise that The Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award prize value will increase to $50,000. This significant increase was made possible following a generous annual contribution from the trust of the late Margaret Roderick and puts the award firmly among the largest and most prestigious prizes for writing in Australia.

Nominations for the 2024 award closed on Friday 15th December 2023.

Nominations for the 2025 award will open on Monday 16th September 2024.

Books published from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024 will be eligible for submission into the 2025 award 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 $50,000 in prize money and be presented with the silver H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal.

Longlist for 2024 Awards: 9th July 2024
Shortlist for 2024 Awards: Early August 2024
2024 Winner Announced: October 2024

Nominations open for 2025 Awards: Monday 16th September 2024
Nominations close for 2025 Awards: Monday 16th December 2024

The winner of the Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award for 2023 was Sarah Holland-Batt for her collection of poetry The Jaguar, published by University of Queensland Press.

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

Judging Panel

JCULeigh Dale taught Australian and other literatures at the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Queensland, and the University of Wollongong, where she also supervised honours, masters and doctoral theses on Australian literature. She was editor of the journal Australian Literary Studies from 2002 to 2015, having previously been the reviews editor, and is the author of The Enchantment of English: Professing Literature in Australian Universities (Sydney University Press, 2012) as well as Responses to Self Harm (McFarland, 2015).

Leigh has published criticism of Australian writers including Thea Astley, Barbara Baynton, Lionel Fogarty, Miles Franklin, Charles Jury, David Malouf, Dorothy Porter, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Kenneth Slessor and Christos Tsiolkas, as well as articles and book chapters on higher education, colonial history, and the history of teaching literature. With Graham Barwell, she is preparing a critical edition of the novel Coonardoo. She has been a judge of the Colin Roderick Award (2017 to 2021), the inaugural Barbara Jefferis Award (2008), and of prizes awarded by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL).

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.