Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 4, 2014

2014 Kibble and Dobbie shortlists

Thanks to Judith at  Honner Media for the Press Release below:)

Kibble Awards shortlist showcases Australian female literary talent

Perpetual announces final six authors competing for $35,000 

4 June 2014

The legacy of the State Library of New South Wales’ first female librarian, Nita B Kibble, continues to be honoured with trustee, Perpetual, today announcing the 2014 shortlisted authors for the Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards.

Established 21 years ago, the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards are open to Australian female writers who have published fiction or non-fiction classified as life writing.

The 2014 shortlisted authors are:

Kibble Literary Award for an established author ($30,000)

Debra Adelaide Letter to George Clooney Picador Australia
Melissa Lucashenko Mullumbimby *see my review University of Queensland Press
Kristina Olsson Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir University of Queensland Press

Dobbie Literary Award for a first-time published author ($5,000)

Fiona McFarlane The Night Guest *see my review Penguin Group (Australia)
Kate Richards Madness: A Memoir Penguin Group (Australia)
Jill Stark High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze Scribe

Judge and Humanities Australia Editor, Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Webby AM, said the shortlist represents a group of strong and talented women whose work fulfils the aims of Nita B Kibble’s legacy: to encourage female authors to improve and advance Australian literature for the benefit of the community.

“For my fellow judges and I, the joy of reading and assessing work of this calibre is a privilege. The six shortlisted books, while very different in theme and topic, all deal with significant contemporary issues and evoke a powerful and authentic reaction from the reader. These six books are beautifully written and each tells a compelling story with honesty and integrity,” Professor Webby said.

The judging panel also includes State Library of New South Wales Research and Discovery Manager, Maggie Patton, and internationally published novelist, Dr Rosie Scott.

Perpetual’s General Manager of Philanthropy, Andrew Thomas, said: “As trustee we’re honoured to play a part in celebrating the works of these gifted female authors and are proud to keep the legacy of Nita Dobbie and Nita Kibble alive.

“Perpetual congratulates all six shortlisted authors across the Kibble and Dobbie awards.”

The respective winners of the Kibble and Dobbie Awards will be announced at an event in Sydney on Wednesday 23 July.

For more information about the awards, please visit


  1. I went back to read your rv of The NIght Guest, because I’ve only just read it. I really can’t agree with you. I thought it was a very impressive debut, the resonances of the tiger symbol subtly handled and the creation of the carer, whose name I’ve temporarily forgotten (several glasses of red tonight) quite remarkable. I’m often disappointed by new Aus fiction, but this one really impressed me. I’d like to see her win this.


    • Well, I think you’re right about the carer, (Frida) – she is the character I remember from this novel. And obviously the judges are impressed too.
      I do say that it’s a promising debut, but I think that if someone like me who so rarely reads a psychological thriller can so easily predict the plot, well, it’s not very thrilling!
      I’m a bit surprised by the shortlist: when I look at the debut authors I’ve read this year (see I am disappointed not to see the best of them on this shortlist.


  2. They seem to have made a decision to choose only 1 fiction work. If so it’s probably the luck of the draw given so many to choose from. My money’s on the Kate Richards book because of the subject matter.


    • It must be terribly difficult to choose when NF is also eligible.


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