Guidelines & Submission

General entries to the 2021 Stella Prize have now closed. This year we will be accepting late entries along with advanced review copies (electronic only) of books published between 3 October 2020 and 31 December 2020. Electronic files must be received before Friday 20 November, 2020. Please email info@thestellaprize.com.au at your next convenience if you intend to enter a book that falls under one of these categories. Please read the full Submission Guidelines prior to contacting the Stella Prize.


Each year, The Stella Prize awards one author with a $50,000 prize, thanks in 2021 to the generous support of the Wilson Foundation. Both nonfiction and fiction books by women writers, and non-binary writers, are eligible for entry. Books entered in the 2021 Stella Prize must be first published between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.


Eligibility Guidelines – 2021 Stella Prize

  1. The Stella Prize is open to books by women and non-binary writers who are either Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia at the time of entry.
  2. To be eligible for entry in the 2021 prize, books must have first been published commercially in English anywhere in the world between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  3. Both fiction and nonfiction books are eligible for the prize. This includes: novels of all genres, collections of short stories by a single author, memoirs, biographies, histories, verse novels, and novellas of at least 20,000 words. Illustrated books, including graphic novels, are eligible, provided they are accompanied by a substantial quantity of text.
  4. Books that are not eligible for the prize include: academic textbooks, guidebooks, self-help books, poetry collections, play or film scripts, books written primarily for children, books consisting of illustrations or photographs, and adaptations, unless they represent a significant and creative transformation of the original text.
  5. Submissions will be accepted only as valid ebook files via the submission form. All ebooks must be supplied as a valid ePub file. It is the publisher’s responsibility to ensure the file is properly formatted and renders correctly across platforms. We kindly request that you do not use a proprietary DRM solution or watermark across text as it may adversely affect the reading experience. Upon submission, the ePub file will be moved to a restricted folder accessible only to the judging panel and Stella staff via secure Kobo eReaders. The ebook file will not be shared with any party outside of the judging panel or the Stella Prize and the judges’ Kobo eReaders will be returned to Stella following their . If you do not have access to a valid ePub file, please contact us via info@thestellaprize.com.au.
  6. In light of the impact of Covid-19 on operations for many in our industry, we cannot accept hardcopy books at the submissions stage. It is the publisher’s responsibility to ensure hardcopies are not dispatched, and Stella is not responsible for the return of books shipped to its premises. However, for longlisted books and shortlisted books, print copies will be required and publishers notified of the necessary shipping arrangements.
  7. Books that are not eligible for the prize include books written by current Board members or employees of The Stella Prize Inc.
  8. Books can be co-authored, but edited collections will not be accepted. Books cannot be entered in the name of an editor or a committee. In the case of a book with multiple authors, all authors must meet eligibility criteria number 1.
  9. Self-published books and books published only in ebook form are ineligible for entry.
  10. Entries must be in English. Bilingual editions are eligible, as are books first published in another language and then translated into English and first published in English during the eligibility period.
  11. Books may be entered by publishers, writers or agents. If the book is being entered by a publisher or agent, the author’s consent to enter the work must be obtained. The author’s personal contact details must be included on the nomination form.
  12. It is the responsibility of the publisher and submitted authors to familiarise themselves with Stella’s Funding Sources, Sponsorship and Partnerships. In submitting their book, all longlisted, shortlisted and prize-winning authors commit to accept the source of the funds awarded to them.
  13. The shortlisted and winning authors will be asked to participate in a number of public and media events at the time of, and in the months following, the prize announcements. Entry into the prize confirms the author’s willingness to make themselves available, where possible, to a number of media commitments. All shortlisted authors are encouraged to attend the award ceremony, and publishers will be expected to contribute towards reasonable travel, media and promotional expenses.
  14. Publishers of books shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize will be expected to contribute between $500 and $2,000 per title towards the costs of marketing the 2021 Stella Prize Shortlist. This sliding scale is dependent on the size of the publisher.
  15. Each entry must be accompanied by the relevant entry fee.Early-bird entries will be eligible for a discounted entry fee of $55 (GST inclusive) and will be accepted from:
    9am AEST Wednesday 12 August until 5pm AEST Wednesday 2 September 2020.The rate for general entries is $77 (GST inclusive) General entries will be accepted from:
    9am AEST Thursday 3 September until 5pm AEST Friday 2 October 2020.
  16. This year we will be accepting late entries along with advanced review copies (electronic only) of books published between 3 October 2020 and 31 December 2020. Electronic files must be received before Friday 20 November 2020. Please contact us no later than Wednesday 23 September via info@thestellaprize.com.au if you intend to enter a book that falls under one of these categories.
  17. Stella welcomes all entries submitted in good faith and reserves the right to refuse entries submitted with malice or with the intent to mislead or deceive others, or which otherwise may harm the reputation of The Stella Prize Inc. All decisions of Stella and the Judging Panel are final. Stella and the Judging Panel will not enter into any discussions or correspondence regarding its decisions.

If you are unable to complete the online entry form, or pay the entry fee online, please contact us via info@thestellaprize.com.au before Wednesday 23 September to make alternate arrangements.

At the time submissions open, the 2021 Stella Prize longlist will be announced in early March 2021, and the shortlist in late March 2020. The winner will be announced in April 2020.

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