We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2016 Stella Prize is Charlotte Wood for her novel The Natural Way of Things.

The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature. It was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds. In 2014, the winner was Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, and in 2015 the winner was Emily Bitto for The Strays.

Brenda Walker, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, says of the winning book:

The Natural Way of Things is a novel of – and for – our times, explosive yet written with artful, incisive coolness. It parodies, with steely seriousness, the state of being visible and female in contemporary Western society.

“With an unflinching eye and audacious imagination, Charlotte Wood carries us from a nightmare of helplessness and despair to a fantasy of revenge and reckoning. The Natural Way of Things is a riveting and necessary act of critique.”

Read the full judges’ report here.
Read Brenda’s Award Night speech here.

Of winning the 2016 Stella Prize, Charlotte Wood says:

“I’m honoured beyond words to be recognised with the Stella Prize. I’m so grateful to the Stella organisers and benefactors who give their expertise and time, their goodwill and their money to this cause of literature, created by women. They overcame enormous hurdles to set up this prize, and its success in seizing the public imagination so forcefully in such a short time has been utterly extraordinary.

“Much of this achievement has been in taking the Stella Prize ethos of justice and equity far beyond the magnificently generous gift of financial breathing space for a single writer. The way the Stella team celebrates and supports all writers on its long- and shortlists, the way they’ve brought booksellers into that celebration, and their unstoppable efforts to persuade schools and universities to give fair attention to literature by women is a gift to all Australian writers and readers.”

Read Charlotte’s acceptance speech here.

The Stella Prize was awarded at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday 19 April. The winner received $50,000, sponsored this year by National Australia Bank. Each of the shortlistees received $2000 courtesy of the Ivy H Thomas and Arthur A Thomas Trust managed by Equity Trustees, and a three-week writing retreat supported by the Trawalla Foundation.

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of nonfiction, and for three years edited The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, is the winner of the 2016 Stella Prize. It will be published in the UK and North America in 2016. Her work has been shortlisted for various prizes including the Christina Stead, Kibble and Miles Franklin Awards. Two novels – The Children and The Natural Way of Things – have been optioned for feature films. The Australian newspaper has described Charlotte Wood as “one of our most original and provocative writers.”

The Stella Prize is open to works of both fiction and nonfiction by Australian women. From more than 170 entries, this year’s Stella Prize judges – author and academic Brenda Walker (chair); writer and social commentator Emily Maguire; award-winning writer and essayist Alice Pung; literary critic and author Geordie Williamson; and bookseller and founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Suzy Wilson – selected a longlist of twelve books that they then narrowed down to a shortlist of six.

Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight
Hope Farm by Peggy Frew
A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower
The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright

Find out more about the shortlisted books here.

For more information, or to request an interview with the 2016 Stella Prize winner, Charlotte Wood, please contact:

Debbie McInnes
02 9550 9207 / 0412 818 071

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