The 2021 Stella Prize winner in Conversation
In 2021, the Stella Prize longlist once again spoke to the ingenuity, varied perspectives and talent of Australian women writers. It spanned short stories, personal essays, a novel in translation, and a novel for young adults; works that explore people and animals through the lens of fiction and non-fiction; and an extraordinary five of the twelve nominated books are by debut authors.
Established in 2012 to combat widespread gender bias in Australian literature, the Stella Prize elevates the writing of Australian women and non-binary writers with an annual $50,000 literary prize, and offers a dynamic snapshot of the richness and diversity Australian literature has to offer.
On 23 April, Evie Wyld was announced as the winner of this year’s award for her novel The Bass Rock. Listen to her in-depth conversation with 2021 Stella Prize judge Elizabeth McCarthy. Wyld appeared via video-link from her home in the UK to discuss her gothic tale of toxic masculinity, and the impact the Stella Prize continues to have on the Australian literary landscape.
Presented in partnership with The Stella Prize
Evie Wyld grew up in Australia and the UK. She is part owner of Review, a small independent bookshop in London. Her first novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 she was listed as one of the Culture Show’s Best New British Novelists. She was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. In 2013 she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Evie’s second novel, All The Birds, Singing, was published in 2013. It was longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She is the winner of the 2013 Encore Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the 2014 Miles Franklin Award. Her graphic novel with illustrator Joe Sumner, Everything Is Teeth, was published in 2015. Her third novel, The Bass Rock, was published in 2020 and won the 2021 Stella Prize.
Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for 20 years. She produces the breakfast show at Australia’s biggest independent broadcaster, 3RRR, and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. In 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and from 2013–2017 she anchored Triple R’s flagship books and writing show, Multi-Storied.
She regularly interviews writers at live events and public conversations for the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and more. She has previously worked as a music reviewer, and from 2002 – 2006 she was the drummer and co-lyricist for Melbourne swamp-rock grrrl band, The Muddy Spurs.