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May 28, 2024

Announcing the 2024 Barbara Jefferis Award judging panel

We’re thrilled to announce the judging panel for the 2024 Barbara Jefferis Award: Hannah Kent (Chair), Jennifer Mills, and Melanie Saward.

Hannah Kent‘s first novel, the multi award winning international bestseller, Burial Rites, was translated into over 30 languages and is being adapted for film. Her second novel, The Good People was translated into 10 languages, nominated for numerous awards and is also being adapted for film. Devotion, her third novel, published in 2021, won Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Book, and was shortlisted for multiple industry awards. Her original feature film, Run Rabbit Run, was directed by Daina Reid and starred Sarah Snook. Hannah is also the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings, and has written for The New York Times, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Meanjin, Qantas Magazine and LitHub. She lives and works on Peramangk and Kaurna Country.
Jennifer Mills is an author, editor and critic based on Kaurna Yarta (Adelaide). Her latest novel, The Airways (2021), was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award and shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Horror. Dyschronia (2018) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, Aurealis (for Science Fiction), and Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Mills is a widely published essayist, an advocate for the rights of writers and artists, a MEAA freelance delegate and a current Director of the Australian Society of Authors.
Melanie Saward is a proud Bigambul and Wakka Wakka woman. She is a writer, editor, and academic based in Tulmur (Ipswich), Queensland. Her debut novel Burn was published by Affirm Press in 2023 and her first romantic comedy novel, Love Unleashed, will be published by Penguin Random House in 2024. She is the managing editor of Djed Press, and her writing has been published in Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now (UQP, 2021), New Australian Fiction 2019, Overland and Kill Your Darlings. She has had manuscripts shortlisted for the David Unaipon Award, the Harlequin First Nations Fellowship, Boundless Indigenous Mentorship, and the Penguin Write-It Fellowship.

About the Barbara Jefferis Award

The Barbara Jefferis Award celebrates women in literature and is awarded biennially for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.

The Award is named for highly regarded author Barbara Jefferis, a founding member and executive director of the Australian Society of Authors. It is supported by the Barbara Jefferis Literary Fund, which was established as a result of a bequest from Barbara Jefferis’ husband, ABC film critic John Hinde, who died in 2006. The Australian Society of Authors is the Trustee of the Fund.

The winner will receive a prize of $50,000, with $5,000 to be distributed among the shortlist, making this one of the most generous literary awards in Australia.

The winner of the 2022 Barbara Jefferis Award was S.L. Lim for Revenge: Murder in Three Parts.

This year’s shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 18 September 2024, with the winner announcement taking place at an in-person ceremony in mid-November 2024.