Stella’s Statement on Gender

The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s writing and is an organisation that champions cultural change.

As an agent for change, Stella advocates for a nuanced conversation around gender inequality, particularly the relationship that language and power have in creating and perpetuating it.

In our role in celebrating women’s writing and working with writers and readers to question gender disparities and challenge stereotypes, we recognise and support women — in their diverse and holistic expressions of their gender identities.

As traditional binaries around gender continue to be challenged both politically and socially, we recognise that what it means to be a woman is not static.

Regarding eligibility for the Stella Prize, we welcome authors who identify with Stella’s mission to celebrate Australian women’s writing in ways that reconcile with their understanding of their own gender identity.

We do not believe gender identity is reducible to the body, and we do not require any statement beyond an author’s self-identification.

In our work with young people through our Schools Program, we aim to be welcoming to all, regardless of their gender identity. This includes girls, boys, non-binary and gender-diverse teens; cis, trans and everything in-between. We have been inspired and challenged by the young people who have contributed their depth of experience of what it means to feel limited by gender and their understanding of how language can be used to liberate and empower.

Each year, we compile an annual Stella Count. Traditionally, we have identified authors’ genders on the basis of published information, both within authors’ own work and the related media coverage. This data is then anonymised and aggregated to ensure that individual can be identified. However, if an author believes they have been incorrectly considered in a particular gender category, or have subsequently changed their gender identity, Stella will make every effort to rectify that error.