16 February 2018

Stella Executive Director to step down – May 2018

The Stella Prize Board announces today its reluctant acceptance of the resignation of Executive Director, Aviva Tuffield, who has decided to concentrate her full attention on her ‘first love’ – working closely with Australian writers as a publisher.

Board chair, Caroline Ryan, said Aviva has made an outstanding contribution to Australian women’s writing throughout her career, including co-founding the Stella Prize and her leadership of its operations since 2014.

‘Aviva has been an integral part of the Stella Prize’s success over the last 7 years. While we are very sad to see Aviva go, she leaves the organisation in great shape, with the Prize now one of the most important in Australian literature. During this time, Aviva has continued to work in publishing, in addition to her role as Executive Director of Stella. Aviva’s exceptional dedication to Australian writing and, in particular, women’s writing, will continue with her work as a publisher. Aviva should be incredibly proud of what she has achieved with Stella,’ Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said the Stella Board wishes Aviva every success and thanked her wholeheartedly for her outstanding contribution to Stella. Given Aviva’s commitment to supporting Australian women writers, the Board is confident that Aviva will maintain her strong links with the Stella community of which she has been – and continues to be – such an essential part.

Ms Tuffield said the decision had not been an easy one, but she has no doubt that Stella is firmly established in Australia’s literary landscape, and has a promising future.

‘After much reflection – and with some regret – I have made the decision that it is the right time to focus on my passion and first love, working closely with writers as a publisher. I have been involved with Stella since its inception in 2011, as a co-founder, former Board chair and, since 2014, as inaugural Executive Director. I am very proud of the organisation’s achievements over those years, including that the Stella Prize is now an important and much-loved feature of the literary landscape and has contributed significantly to the recognition of women’s writing in Australia,’ Ms Tuffield said.

Ms Tuffield will be stepping down in May 2018, following the announcement of the 2018 winner of the Stella Prize in Sydney on 12 April 2018.

Ms Ryan said the recruitment process would begin shortly, and that there would be a smooth and well-managed leadership transition under Board guidance.

About The Stella Prize

The Stella Prize, worth $50,000 to the winner, was awarded for the first time in 2013. It is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing. The prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin. Both nonfiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry. The Stella Prize runs events around Australia, and also compiles the annual Stella Count, tracking the number of books by men and women reviewed in our major newspapers and literary magazines. The Stella Schools Program, which aims to empower young people to develop their creative voices, challenge stereotypes and imagine a future not limited by their gender, was launched in 2014.

About Aviva Tuffield

Aviva Tuffield has been Executive Director of the Stella Prize since 2014, during which time she has worked concurrently as a publisher. She has been in publishing for twenty years. She is currently a publisher at Black Inc. and was previously a publisher at Affirm Press and Associate Publisher at Scribe Publications, where she was responsible for building an award-winning Australian fiction list. Before that, she was Deputy Editor at Australian Book Review.

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