A Celebration of Stella
The 2015 Stella Prize shortlist is a powerful showcase of the diversity and depth of Australian women’s writing. These six extraordinary books offer deft explorations of identity, family, displacement and belonging, with distinctly Australian resonances. Of the six, two are debut works — highlighting the immense talent of Australian women writers, even those merely beginning brilliant careers as authors.
Following the announcement of the 2015 Stella Prize on 21 April, judges Caroline Baum and Melissa Lucashenko speak with shortlisted author Sofie Laguna and this year’s winner Emily Bitto in celebration of the best of Australian women’s writing.
Caroline Baum is a respected journalist and presenter. She has worked for the BBC, ABC, Time Life Books, Vogue magazine (UK and Australia), was the founding editor of Good Reading magazine and the editorial director of Booktopia.
Sofie Laguna was born in Sydney and moved to a farm in the country when she was 12. Beginning her career as an actor, she turned to writing in her 30s. She has written for children and young adults (Bird and Sugar Boy, My Yellow Blankie, Too Loud Lily and Bad Buster).
Emily Bitto has a Masters in Literature and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Strays, was shortlisted for the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and was published by Affirm Press in 2014. It was the winner of the 2015 Stella Prize.
Melissa Lucashenko is a Goorie writer whose work celebrates Aboriginal people and others living around the margins of the First World. Her most recent novel, Mullumbimby, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and Stella Prize, shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Award, and won the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing.