The Wheeler Centre
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The Stella Prize in Conversation
In this talk, we hear from freshly-announced 2018 Stella Prize winner Alexis Wright in conversation with past winners Emily Bitto and Clare Wright, and host Toni Jordan. They talk about the impact the award has had on their writing, their careers and Australian literary culture.
In recent months, the stories of women – and with them, impediments to women’s media participation – have taken a pointed and particular prominence in mainstream culture, underpinning sustained social and political movements. One of many takeaways from those movements has been a widespread emphasis on how women might experience, and process, the world we all share.
Now in its sixth year, the Stella Prize was founded to do just that – and to elevate the writing of Australian women with an annual, $50,000 literary prize. Spanning both fiction and non-fiction, the prize also runs year-round programmes encouraging recognition of Australian women’s writing. Its shortlist is a deserving fixture on any discerning reader’s calendar.
Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition (2008) was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Fall Girl (2010) was published internationally and has been optioned for film, while Nine Days (2012) was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and named in Kirkus Review’s Top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Her latest novel is Our Tiny, Useless Hearts (2016). Toni has been published widely in newspapers and magazines.
Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the renowned author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book. Her most recent book, Tracker, was awarded the 2018 Stella Prize. She holds the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne.
‘I am a feminist therefore I commit feminist acts. I’m not going to undermine the political importance of what I do.’
La Trobe University historian Professor Clare Wright has worked as an author, academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant, and radio and TV broadcaster. Her latest book, You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World, has been praised by Senator Penny Wong and Anne Summers. Her earlier book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize and the 2014 NIB Award for Literature.
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.