Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin

‘Tis the season for longlists and shortlists!

Those of us in the book industry love a good book award. The chance to debate and discuss the merits of our favourite books; to rail against or celebrate the judges choices is one of the many joys of our job.

Australia has two book awards in memory of the same woman.

Stella Miles Franklin was born in Talbingo, NSW in 1879. Her most famous book was My Brilliant Career (1901). It is probably fair to say that she had a love/hate relationship with the Australian media and publishing world from that time onwards.

Upon her death in Drummoyne, in 1954, Franklin bequeathed her estate to establish an award that would support and nourish Australian authors. Franklin believed that “Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil.”

The Miles Franklin Award began in 1957 to recognise Australian books of “the highest literary merit and presenting Australian life in any of its phases“.

The 2016 longlist was announced earlier this week. A couple of staff favourites got the nod. The winner will be announce in June.

All covers miles franklin 2016

  • Ghost River by Tony Birch  (UQP)
  • Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley  (Text)
  • Hope Farm by Peggy Frew  (Scribe)
  • Leap by Myfanwy Jones  (Allen & Unwin)
  • The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau  (Bloomsbury)
  • The Hands: an Australian Pastoral by Stephen Orr  (Wakefield Press)
  • Black Rock White City by A S Patric  (Transit Lounge)
  • Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar  (Pan Macmillan)
  • The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood  (Allen & Unwin)

The Stella Prize was first award in 2013. The award grew out of discussions happening at the time, about the under representation of women writers in literary awards, review articles and newspaper reports.

It was decided that Australia, like the UK with it’s Orange Prize (now called the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction), could and should have a female only award to address this massive imbalance.

Miles Franklin’s first name was reclaimed for this new award to honour and celebrate the best book (fiction or non-fiction) by an Australian woman.

The 2016 Stella Prize winner will be announced on the 19th April.

The shortlist consists of:


  • Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Random House)
  • Hope Farm by Peggy Frew (Scribe)
  • A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower (Text)
  • The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)
  • The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)
  • Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (Giramondo)

Please feel free to pop in to discuss your favourite books with us and let us know what you think of this year’s award contenders.

We always love a good book chat!


About braysbooksblog

Independent booksellers since 1969.
This entry was posted in A S Patric, Australian Books, Bronwyn, Charlotte Wood, Elizabeth Harrower, Fiona Wright, Lucy Treloar, Miles Franklin Award, Mireille Juchau, Myfanwy Jones, Peggy Frew, Stella Prize, Stephen Daisley, Stephen Orr, Tegan Daylight Bennett, Tony Birch. Bookmark the permalink.

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