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Colin Roderick Literary Award Shortlist 2020 Announced

Monday, 3 August 2020

The shortlist for one of Australia’s oldest literary awards has been revealed.

The Colin Roderick Literary Award was founded in 1967 and recognises the best original book, in the judges' opinion, that is published in Australia in the previous calendar year. Submissions must deal with any aspect of Australian life and can be in any field or genre of writing, verse or prose.

This year’s six shortlisted books feature literary novels and thrillers, a collection of poetry, and a history of the Australian newspaper industry.

Chair of the judging panel Dr Leigh Dale said being shortlisted for the Roderick is a significant achievement.

“We received 168 entries for this year’s award, so these six represent less than four per cent of all books entered,” she said. “There were some fantastic books that we just couldn’t find room for in the shortlist.

“I know some of the judges are heartbroken about some of the books that had to be cut, but we’re also convinced the shortlist reflects the strength and diversity of this year’s field.”

Dr Dale said the panel is looking forward to selecting the winner.

“We have six terrific books,” she said. “It’s always so exciting to be reading those again and talking about which is the best of the best.”

The winner is scheduled to be announced in October.

The award, valued at $20,000, is presented by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and is coupled with the silver H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal. The foundation is based at James Cook University and is funded through the generosity of the late Professor Colin Roderick CBE, his wife Mrs Margaret Roderick, as well as donations and membership from the general public.


The shortlist:

Garry Disher, Peace.

Catherine Jinks, Shepherd.

Alice Robinson, The Glad Shout.

Omar Sakr, The Lost Arabs.

Miriam Sved, A Universe of Sufficient Size.

Sally Young, Paper Emperors: The Rise of Australia’s Newspaper Empires.




Marg Naylor,
Foundation for Australian Literary Studies
0428 585 877