Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 11, 2015

2015 Kibble and Dobbie Longlists

Once again the Kibble and Dobbie longlists have brought attention to some excellent books!

The nominations for the $30,000 Kibble prize for an established woman author include:

The nominations for the $5000 Dobbie prize for a first-time published author include:

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!


Responses

  1. Whenever these prizes come around, I can’t help but wonder why there was such a big fuss about creating the Stella Prize when there were already two good prizes for female writers out there. A bit more promotion and help, and these prizes would have done the job…

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    • Yes, indeed, Tony. But you have put your finger on the problem: these are not well-known prizes, and perhaps the fuss-makers did not know about them. Even now, the Trust which manages these Dobbie and Kibble prizes does not offer on its website the opportunity to opt-in for email notifications and I didn’t see any email press release about this year’s nominations in social media or anywhere else. Maybe they tweeted it, I don’t know. I found out about these nominations because one of the successful publishers sent out a press release about it.
      Yet, as you say, these are good prizes, especially the Kibble. I would like to see the Dobbie offer more money because emerging writers need the boost, but the prize was set up by a bequest and unless there is some way of augmenting it the prize will remain at its current level. Welcome, I am sure, to the recipient, but not enough to fund much in the way of dedicated writing time.
      Both the awards were established specifically to support women’s writing with a bequest by Nita Dobbie (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nita_Kibble_Literary_Award). It seems a pity to me that her gesture hasn’t had the recognition that (you’d think) feminists would want to celebrate.

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      • Forgive me for my scepticism, but I suspect that helping out an existing prize didn’t suit the agenda of the people who set up the Stella Prize. They preferred to proclaim that a new prize was required…

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        • You may be right *shrug*. I’m an old feminist from way back but I’ve kept out of all that agenda, and have cheerfully kept going with doing what I’ve always done, reviewed the books I like to read as and when they come along… and as it happens, because I monitor it, the gender ratio of the books I review turns out over time to be more or less even. There is no gender bias against women in reviewing at ANZ LitLovers, end of issue here.
          At the end of the day, I’m not interested in other agendas, what I as a reader want from a prize of any kind is for it to achieve two things: (a) support authors with money that buys writing time and/or other support so that the author of a high quality book writes another book for me to enjoy and (b) introduce me to quality books that I otherwise might not know about. The Stella has never done (b) for me, and lately the Miles Franklin hasn’t been doing it either. *shrug*

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      • The issue is, I think, that these prizes, wonderful as they are, have a focus – they are both for “life writing”. That can probably be (and is) interpreted fairly broadly, but it is narrower than the inclusive ambit of the Stella Prize. I don’t quite understand the criticism of the Stella? They are working very hard to support women writers, and are developing a range of outreach programs, including a Schools Program for boys and girls, years 7-10. (And as you know, I did quite a bit of work expanding the Wikipedia article on the Kibble Awards back in 2007/8, so I am very supportive of it too).

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        • Well, Sue, I can’t speak for Tony but oh, I find the whole Stella/women’s writing agenda tedious, and I’m not going to get involved. All prizes are good if they benefit authors, but that one originated in resentment.
          For me, the Kibble/Dobbie awards are awards deserving more recognition than they get because they’re another example of someone not rich, who loved Australian books and writing, endowing a literary award in perpetuity. I admire that kind of gesture and generosity of spirit.

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          • I do too, but I support any prize that genuinely benefits writers. My understanding is that women writers appreciate it immensely. Or, at least, I haven’t heard that they don’t. But, I guess we’ll just have to agree to differ on this. :-)

            It would be lovely if all prizes got more recognition – and I agree that the Kibble and Jefferis Awards need more – but that doesn’t mean to me that we can’t support the big ones too – like MF, Stella, the main State prizes – does it?

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            • I can’t keep track of them all. I used to try to, and to match them up with my reviews and read everything that was nominated, but really, they’ve all got their own publicity machines, and they don’t need it. And truth be told, sometimes I think their choices aren’t that great and they’re not the sort of books I’d be reviewing here anyway. I’d rather invest my time in promoting the smaller prizes that tend to be overlooked, and to concentrate on book reviews that interest me i.e. not the crime novels and thrillers and YA that are creeping into the MF and the other biggies.

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              • Oh yes, fair enough. I agree re promoting smaller ones. Certainly can’t do them all, but I also feel silly if we all post on the same awards. I don’t mind literary genre books appearing even if they’re not my preferred reading, because if they’re “literary” it usually means they are innovative, playing with form, just like, say, “literary” historical fiction that makes lists. Must say though, that, I haven’t really seen many crime or thriller books appear. Have you seen some recently? Which ones?

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  2. I checked, and ‘The Golden Age’ by Joan London still hasn’t made it to the United States, although ‘In Certain Circles’ by Elizabeth Harrower has.
    First time published authors are much more problematic as to arrival if at all.

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    • That surprises me, because Vintage is of course Penguin and they are an international publishing house. Maybe it’s got something to do with rights issues?
      And yes, first time authors are often difficult to source especially if they get their break into print through a small publishing house. (I’ve never heard of Xoum Publishing before this).

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      • I suppose my method of determining whether or not a book is published in the US is suspect. I figure that if the book is in the Minneapolis Public Library, it is published, since they get nearly every book there as soon as possible. However they may have missed The Golden Age even though they have other novels by Joan London.

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        • Wow, that must be a huge library!

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      • Hi Lisa, Xoum is the publisher that works with Seizure to put out the Viva la Novella winners each year. Nicole Smith’s ‘Sideshow’ was one of last year’s winners along with Julie Proudfoot’s ‘The Neighbour’, Hoa Pham’s ‘The Other Shore’ and Daniel Davis Wood’s ‘Blood and Bone’. I loved ‘Sideshow’, it’s a hard-edged odd little gem, full of angry hilarity.

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        • Thanks for this info, Jane, I love that there are all these small publishers, presumably making a go of things even though times are tough.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to see Joan London here. I thought “The Golden Age” was a wonderful book, so beautifully managed. But I suspect one of the others will win. Please, please, please, not Helen Garner.

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    • LOL you will see that I had scrupulously avoided commenting on La Garner apropos this prize. But you tempt me into wondering what sordid matter she wants to plunder next… I hope it’s not the Luke Batty tragedy, that would be even more despicable than the Farquason case.

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  4. […] Strays is an exceptionally good debut novel which deserves its nomination in the Dobbie Awards.  I’m glad I’m not on the judging panel because I’d be hard pressed to choose […]

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  5. […] Strays is an exceptionally good debut novel which deserves its nomination in the Dobbie Awards.  I’m glad I’m not on the judging panel because I’d be hard pressed to choose […]

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