2021 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award winners announced

24 November 2021 | Media Release

24 November 2021

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Waverley Council is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, Australia’s national literary awards celebrating excellence in research and writing.

Queensland’s Luke Stegemann won the Mark and Evette Moran Literary Award, and accompanying $20,000 prize, for his work Amnesia Road: Landscape, violence and memory (NewSouth Publishing). Amnesia Road is a compelling literary examination of historic violence in rural areas of Australia and Spain. It is also an unashamed celebration of the beautiful landscapes where this violence has been carried out.

Stegemann is a historian, Hispanist and editor and this winning work is invested in concepts of remoteness and anonymity: of geographies, histories, peoples.

“Winning the 2021 Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award is both a great surprise and a huge honour, not least considering the quality of the shortlisted finalists,” he said.

“I hope this award will mean Amnesia Road reaches a wider audience, as the book asks urgent questions about how we understand, and make political use of, our troubled past. My thanks to Waverley Council, to Mark & Evette Moran, the award judges and NewSouth Publishing. Finally, my warmest congratulations to all the shortlisted finalists this year.”

The popular Nib People's Choice Prize ($2,500) was awarded to art identity and Woollahra gallery owner Tim Olsen for Son of the Brush: A memoir (Allen & Unwin). The book presents Olsen's 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.

Emily Scott, General Manager, Waverley Council, congratulated this year’s winners and finalists.

“The Nib was initiated in 2002 by members of the Waverley community to promote and directly reward quality Australian writing, while also acknowledging the often lengthy and expensive periods writers spend researching their work,” Ms Scott said.

“Recent history has highlighted the tremendous importance of reliable information and I commend all this year’s finalists for their commitment to their craft. Waverley Council is proud to have presented this prestigious award for two decades and we look forward to many more years of supporting such great Australian talent.”

Celebrating 20 years of excellence in research and writing and a prize offering of $28,500, the Nib Award is the only literary award of its type in Australia presented by a local council.

Winners are decided by an acclaimed and honorable judging panel using the Nib Award criterion of quality of research, literary merit, readability and value to the community.

The Nib is governed 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.

The 2021 finalists were:

  • Only Happiness Here: In Search of Elizabeth von Arnim -  Gabrielle Carey (UQP)
  • The Winter Road: A Story of Legacy, Land and a Killing at Croppa Creek - Kate Holden (Black Inc)
  • 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)

Press images are available here.


Media inquiries: Matt Fraser, Publicity Manager, matt@originalspin.com.au or 0401 326 007.