Spanning fiction and non-fiction, the six titles shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize invite readers to reach beyond their own perceptions, to question social and political systems, and to examine their place in the world.
In alphabetical order of author surname, the 2021 Stella Prize shortlist is:
- Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs (Scribe Publications)
- Revenge: Murder in Three Parts by S.L. Lim (Transit Lounge)
- The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications)
- Witness by Louise Milligan (Hachette Australia)
- Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)
- The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld (Penguin Random House)
The 2021 Stella Prize shortlist showcases the extraordinary ingenuity and expertise on offer within the Australian book industry. These powerful books explore aspects of human nature and the natural world, as well as our place within the natural world; untold histories and stories; systemic flaws within the Australian justice system; tales of retribution; experiences unique to women and queer women; philosophical musings and scientific subject matter; as well as the role of family, community and inheritance.
Executive Director of Stella, Jaclyn Booton, says of this year’s shortlist:
“The 2021 Stella Prize shortlist exemplifies the talent, imagination, and dedication of the six authors; I congratulate them and thank them for these outstanding books. As recent events have shown, there’s significant cultural change needed in this country to ensure women’s voices are heard. Books can be a tool for positive social change – I encourage everyone to seek out these books and delve into the stories and perspectives within.”
Chair of the 2021 Stella Prize judging panel, Zoya Patel, says of the shortlist:
“The 2021 Stella Prize shortlist truly demonstrates the immensity of talent in Australian women and non-binary authors. This shortlist is varied, diverse, and reflects on urgent themes across the gamut of human experience. These books explore grief, loss, joy, hope, and anger. They feature strong and imposing women characters and authorial voices, and as diverse as they are in style, tone and topic, they are united by their expression of the Stella criteria of original, excellent and engaging.”
Stella is grateful to the ongoing support of The Trawalla Foundation, allowing each shortlisted author to receive $2,000. The winner of the 2021 Stella Prize will receive $50,000 thanks to the generous support of the Wilson Foundation.
Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, says:
“Recent events in Australia illustrate the continued need to support women’s voices and equal representation in every forum. The Trawalla Foundation is a proud supporter of The Stella Prize, an important and impactful initiative that promotes the diverse voices of Australian women writers. We congratulate all of the 2021 shortlisted authors and commend everyone involved for their commitment to fostering inclusive and equal representation in Australian literature.”
The winner of the 2021 Stella Prize will be announced in a special online evening of storytelling and ideas on Thursday 22 April from 7pm AEST.
Free, bookings recommended. Closed captions available.
Stella needs your support to continue our work celebrating women’s writing in Australia! Please consider a donation when booking for this free event; donations are tax deductible and every dollar counts.