Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award

The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award is presented annually by Waverley Council with support from Principal Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, the Nib remains Australia's only major literary award of its kind presented by a local council. Judging criteria includes high literary merit, quality of research, readability and value to the community.

Waverley Council is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award ($20,000) and Nib People’s Choice Prize ($2,500).

Watch the celebration event on demand


  Published in March,  Amnesia Road: Landscape, violence and memory (NewSouth) By Luke Stegemannwon the 2021 Queensland Literary Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards, Australian History Prize. Queensland based Luke Stegemann, a historian, has written on art, politics, and history for a wide range of Australian and Spanish publications, and is the author of The Beautiful Obscure (Transmission Press, 2017). In 2018 he received the Malaspina Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of cultural relations between Australia and Spain

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The Nib People's Choice Prize ($2,500) is awarded by popular vote. Congratulations to Tim Olsen, one of Australia's most recognised and respected art identities, successful gallery owner and now, prize winning author.  Tim Olsen is the son of arguably Australia's greatest living artist, John Olsen. Son of the Brush is his fascinating, candid memoir of what it was like to grow up in the shadow of artistic genius, with all its wonder, excitement and bitter disappointments.


Each of this year's finalists has won the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize ($1,000).

Congratulations to:

Only Happiness Here: In Search of Elizabeth von ArnimThe Winter Road: A Story of Legacy, Land and a Killing at Croppa CreekA Letter to Layla: Travels to Our Deep Past and Near FutureThe Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & FaithSon of the BrushAmnesia Road: Landscape, violence and memory

Meet the 2021 Mark & Evette Moran Nib Award finalists

2021 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award longlist

Waverley Council is delighted to announce the longlist for the 2021 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award.

  • The Truth about China: Propaganda, patriotism and the search for answers,
    Bill Birtles (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Husband Poisoner: Suburban women who killed in post-World War II SydneyTanya Bretherton (Hachette Australia)
  • Only Happiness Here: In Search of Elizabeth von Arnim, Gabrielle Carey (UQP)
  • Monsters: A reckoning, Alison Croggon (Scribe)
  • Brave New Humans: The Dirty Reality of Donor Conception, Sarah Dingle (Hardie Grant)
  • The Golden Maze, Richard Fidler (Harper Collins Australia)
  • The Climate Cure: Solving the Climate Emergency in the Era of COVID-19,
    Tim Flannery (Text Publishing)
  • The Last Lions of Africa, Anthony Ham (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Winter Road: A Story of Legacy, Land and a Killing at Croppa Creek, Kate Holden (Black Inc Books)
  • Where the Water Ends: Seeking Refuge in Fortress Europe, Zoe Holman (MUP)
  • A Letter to Layla: Travels to Our Deep Past and Near Future, Ramona Koval (Text Publishing)
  • The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith, Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing)
  • Who Gets to Be Smart: Privilege, Power and Knowledge, Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)
  • Return to Uluru, Mark McKenna (Black Ink Books)
  • Son of the Brush, Tim Olsen (Allen & Unwin)
  • A Paper Inheritance, Dymphna Stella Rees (UQP)
  • The Imitator, Rebecca Starford (Allen & Unwin)
  • Amnesia Road, Landscape, violence and memory, Luke Stegemann (NewSouth Books)


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Send award program inquiries to nibaward@waverley.nsw.gov.au

Media inquiries: media@waverley.nsw.gov.au or 0416 075 532

The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award is administered and presented annually by Waverley Council with the generous support of Principal Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran and the ongoing commitment and assistance of our community partner Gertrude and Alice Bookshop and Café.

The Nib Award acknowledges the important role played by the Friends Of Waverley Library (FOWL) in the establishment and success of the award.


About the Award

The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award is Waverley Council’s annual celebration of the best in Australian research and writing. Established in 2002 as The Nib Waverley Library Award for Literature, this prestigious prize has so far distributed around $350,000 directly to deserving Australian authors.

Entries are open to all Australian writers regardless of their experience, chosen subject matter or genre. Submitted works are judged against the specific award criteria of excellence in research, high level of literary merit, readability and value to the community. Winners are decided by an independent panel of three judges each of whom bring a wealth of experience from across the literary world.


Watch on demand

2020 Award Presentation

Watch the winners interview and the judges report here.

Recent panel discussions

The Nib Presents: Guwayu – For all Times

The Nib Presents: Australian Indigenous Voices in Literature

The Nib Presents: Not so pretty: International Women’s Day

2020 Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award Shortlist & Winners

Waverley Council is delighted to announce the 2020 winners: Congratulations to:

Fathoms       


Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award ($20,000) 
FATHOMS: The World In The Whale
by Rebecca Giggs (Scribe Publications)

The Deceptions       

Nib People's Choice Prize ($1,000)
The Deceptions
by Suzanne Leal (Allen & Unwin)


Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize ($1,000 each)
The Shortlist Prize is named in recognition of the distinguished author and playwright Alex Buzo, who was a Waverley resident and instrumental in the establishment of the Nib Award.

After the Count Fathoms The DeceptionsFriends and RivalsThe Hilton Bombing The Stranger Artist

  • Nothing New: A History of Second-hand, Robyn Annear (Text Publishing)
  • After the Count:The death of Davey Browne, Stephanie Convery (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Olive Cotton: A Life in Photography,
    Helen Ennis (Harper Collins Australia)
  • Fathoms: The World in the Whale,
    Rebecca Giggs (Scribe)
  • Benevolence, 
    Julie Janson (Magabala Books)
  • Displaced: A Rural Life, 
    John Kinsella (Transit Lounge)
  • The Deceptions,
    Suzanne Leal (Allen & Unwin)
  • Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing, David Lesser (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Joy of High Places,
    Patti Miller (New South Publishing)
  • The Trials of Portnoy,
    Patrick Mullins (Scribe)
  • Friends and Rivals,
    Brenda Niall (Text Publishing)
  • David Campbell: A Life of the Poet,
    Jonathan Persse
    (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
  • Truganni,
    Cassandra Pybus (Allen & Unwin)
  • Who Owns History?,
    Geoffrey Robertson
    (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Hilton Bombing, Imre Salusinksy
    (Melbourne University Press)
  • The Stranger Artist
    Quentin Sprague (Hardie Grant Books)
  • Fake, Stephanie Wood
    (Penguin Books Australia)

Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award finalists and Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize winners will be announced on 1 September. The People's Choice Prize and major award winners will be announced on 12 November.

Since its inception, the Nib has distributed more than $400,000 directly to deserving Australian authors including previous winners Erik Jensen, Gideon Haigh, Clare Wright OAM and Nadia Wheatley. In 2020, the Nib has a total prize pool of $27,000 on offer across three categories including the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize (6x $1,000), Nib People’s Choice Prize ($1,000) and the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award ($20,000). This year's long-listed titles now progress to the next round of judging and move closer to potentially sharing in total prize pool of $27,000. Winners are decided by an independent panel of three judges each of whom bring a wealth of experience from across the literary world.

Find out more

For further information or details about sponsorship opportunities please contact:
The Nib Award Producer - nibaward@waverley.nsw.gov.au

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