2020 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award Winners announced

12 November 2020 | Council News

Waverley Council is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award. For the first time in Nib Award history, these winners were announced in an online celebration at 8am, Thursday 12 November.

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

It is the only literary award of its type in Australia presented by a local council. Winners are determined by a highly respected expert judging panel using the specific Nib Award criterion of quality of research, literary merit, readability and value to the community.

The 2020 winners are:

  • Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award ($20,000): Fathoms: The World in the Whaleby Rebecca Giggs (Scribe Publications)
  • Nib People’s Choice Prize ($1,000): The Deceptions by Suzanne Leal (Allen & Unwin)

Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award winner Rebecca Giggs said she was thrilled that her debut book had won the award.

“In a year when it has been difficult to connect directly with readers and bookstores, and with other writers, this prize feels consequential in a new way; as a gesture of community, as well as of esteem,” Griggs said.

Fathoms: The World in the Whale blends natural history, science and philosophy in a work of narrative non-fiction. Through her engaging prose, Rebecca Giggs explores how the lives of whales can not only shed light on the condition, of our seas and the environment, but the very core of humanity.

“I do hope people will seek out all the books on the shortlist this year — some of the most exciting Australian nonfiction I have ever read is contained within these pages,” Griggs said.

Nib People’s Choice Prize winner Suzanne Leal garnered more than half of the total votes received in the public vote for her fictional work The Deceptions. Inspired by a true story, the novel moves from wartime Europe to modern day Australia and traces the legacy of long-buried family secrets.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos said the Nib judges were presented an array of thought-provoking ideas and themes to consider.

“The Nib Award is one of Waverley Council’s most prestigious Arts offerings, so I thank Mark and Evette Moran for their ongoing support of the Nib. I also congratulate all the winners and shortlisted candidates,” Mayor Masselos said.

"During this COVID-19 pandemic, books have become even more of an invaluable commodity. They provide comfort, strength and inspiration, and give us the opportunity to learn something new as we all spend more time at home, or in isolation.

“Every finalist should be very proud of their achievement and contribution to Australian literature. Now in it’s 19th year, The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award sits alongside Australia’s other major literary prizes, Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Stella Prize and Premier’s Literary Awards.”

Nib Award Principal Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran congratulated Rebecca Giggs and Suzanne Leal on their wins.

“Though it has been a challenging year, the role of our writers, our historians, our story tellers, our interpreters of the past and present could not be more important, the Nib Award more relevant,” they said.

“We, along with (our children) Max and Saphira, are delighted to be the Principal Sponsors of the Award.”

Both winners were chosen from a standout shortlist announcement in September. Each finalist receives the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize ($1,000) and will be publicly acknowledged at the virtual award celebration.

The finalists, and winners of the Alex Buxo Shortlist Prize ($1000) are:

The announcement was aired on Waverley Council’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/WavCouncil. You can watch it on demand here.

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All media enquries: DEBBIE MCINNES, DMCPRMEDIA | 02 9550 9207 | debbie@dmcpr.com.au