Shortlist for Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards announced

Need a recommendation for more great books by Australian women? Well the shortlists for the Kibble and Dobbie awards have just been announced. The Kibble Literary Award ($30,000) recognises the work of an established Australian female writer, and the Dobbie Award ($5000) is for the first published work of an Australian female writer.

The shortlists for the two awards are as follows:


Five Bells by Gail Jones
(paperback available)

Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
(paperback + ebook available)

Animal People by Charlotte Wood
(paperback + ebook available)


End of the Night Girl by Amy T Matthews
(paperback + ebook available)

Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
(paperback and ebook available)

Bearings by Leah Swann
(paperback available)

The awards will be announced on 25 July. I’ll be at a conference then but I’ll try to put the news up as soon as possible. I’ve read the three novels in the Kibble shortlist, but surprisingly (as I feel like I read a lot of debut fiction) not the ones in the Dobbie shortlist. My pick for the Kibble is probably Foal’s Bread (also shortlised for the Miles Franklin). Though, honestly, it’s terribly difficult to say. Wood and Jones are two of my favourite authors and I’d be happy to see any of the shortlisted authors receive this honour. How about you? Have you reviewed any of the debut novels? Feel free to link to your reviews in the comments. Of course, Favel Parrett’s Past the Shallows is also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She’s having an amazing year! I think Past the Shallows will have to be the next book I buy.

Here’s some more info about the award, from Perpetual (who manage it):

Nita Dobbie established the Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in recognition of her aunt, Nita Kibble, who raised her from birth after her mother died.

In the late 1800s, Miss Kibble had successfully answered an advertisement for a junior assistant at the Public Library of New South Wales, when her signature was taken for a man’s. She later became the first woman to be appointed a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales and held the position of Principal Research Officer from 1919 until her retirement. Throughout her career she worked hard to raise the status of the library profession and was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.

Miss Dobbie followed her aunt into the library profession and recognised the need to foster women’s writing in the community and so established the Awards, named after her inspirational aunt, through her will.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors. You can read more about the awards here.

4 thoughts on “Shortlist for Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards announced

  1. I think Past the Shallows is an amazing debut, but my pick for the Dobbie would be End of the Night Girl because of the way Matthews interrogates the ethical stance of the writer writing someone else’s history as fiction. This is such a vexed question – who can/should fictionalise the Holocaust, Stolen Children, 9/11 and so on? I think she is a writer of great promise, not only able to write beautifully but also brave enough to tackle difficult ideas within the novel. And her central character is so convincing! But *smacks hand* I haven’t read Bearings yet, so I really shouldn’t comment!
    I’d love Animal People to win the Kibble, I think Charlotte Wood is one of our best authors.

    • Thanks for telling me more about End of the Night Girl, Lisa. Those questions are fascinating, aren’t they?
      You’re absolutely right about Wood, she is one of our best. The Children is one of my all-time favourite Australian books, and Animal People was so poignant. It was great getting to talk to her about the character of Stephen (and his outlook–the absurdity of everyday life) at SWF this year.
      But I think Foal’s Bread is in with a real chance.

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