Here are exemplary storytellers new and established working across fiction, investigative journalism, memoir and short story – six powerful books by women that bring to light diverse experiences of illness, family life, friendship, domestic abuse, and ultimately the human condition.

Stella’s judges — publisher, writer and reviewer Louise Swinn (Chair), award-winning journalist Monica Attard, senior editor and journalist Jack Latimore, memoirist and editor Zoya Patel and poet and educator Leni Shilton — have selected the 6 outstanding books for the 2020 Stella Prize shortlist.


The 2020 Stella Prize shortlist is: 

See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill (Black Inc.)

Diving Into Glass by Caro Llewellyn (Penguin Random House)

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)

Here Until August by Josephine Rowe (Black Inc.)

The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House)

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)

Chair of the 2020 Stella Prize judging panel, Louise Swinn, says of the shortlist:

“Writers across the gamut of their career appear on the 2020 Stella Prize shortlist, which includes authors who are household names alongside some we are just getting acquainted with. The six books on this year’s shortlist are all outward-looking, and they tell stories – of illness, family life, friendship, domestic abuse, and more – in remarkable ways. If language is a tool, or a weapon, then these writers use their skills with tremendous courage. We found a lot to be hopeful about here, too – not just at the stories being told, but at the quality of the art being produced.”

Along with $2,000 in prize money, each shortlistee receives a three-week immersive retreat at a house in Point Addis on the Victorian coast. These Stella Grasstrees Writing Retreats are possible thanks to the vision and commitment of Trawalla Foundation, who have been major supporters of Stella from the very beginning. Carol Schwartz AM, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, says:

“The Trawalla Foundation is a proud supporter of the Stella Prize, an impactful initiative that values and elevates the work of Australian women writers. We congratulate all of the 2020 shortlistees and invite each of them to the Stella Grasstrees Writing Retreat— a place to contemplate, create and craft amongst a beautiful Australian landscape.”

UPDATE: Monday 23 March 2020

We are thrilled to invite Stella’s community of writers, publishers, donors, booksellers, supporters, and friends to the announcement of the winner of the 2020 Stella Prize.

Tune in at from 8pm (AEST) on Tuesday 14 April 2020 as we celebrate the vibrancy and quality of Australian women’s writing and our rich literary community.

Our 2020 online announcement features guest speaker, the Hon. Julia Gillard AC. We’ll also hear from Louise Swinn, chair of the Stella judging panel, along with other speakers yet to be announced.

Now in its eighth year, the Stella Prize awards one author with a $50,000 prize, thanks to the generous support of the Wilson Foundation. This buys a writer some measure of financial independence and thus time – that most undervalued yet necessary commodity for women – to focus on their writing.

Presented in partnership with the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas.

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