Shortlists announced for Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award


Waverley Council is thrilled to announce the shortlists for the 2017 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, the Military History Prize and launch this year’s People’s Choice Prize competition.

The prestigious award, now in its 16th year, recognises excellence in literary research, encouraging both emerging and established writers to submit any genre of literature.

Each of the six shortlisted authors for The Nib Award have received the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize ($1000) and are now in contention to win the People’s Choice Prize of $1000 as well as the $20 000 major award.

The 2017 Award shortlisted finalists and Alex Buzo Prize winners are:
Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness (Text Publishing)
Kate Cole-Adams

Ghost Empire (Harper Collins)
Richard Fidler

Those Wild Rabbits: How they shaped Australia (Wakefield Press)
Bruce Munday

The Phoenix Years: Art, resistance and the making of modern China (Allen and Unwin)
Madeleine O’Dea

The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art (Text Publishing)
Sebastian Smee

Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing (Text Publishing)
Ashleigh Wilson

The Military History Prize was initiated in 2015 with the support of the Bondi Junction, North Bondi, and Rose Bay RSL Sub-Branches to commemorate the ANZAC centenary. This category is offered to a work that illustrates the service and sacrifice of Australian service men and women, families or the broader home front, during or in relation to any threat(s) of war. The overall winner of the military section will receive $3000.

The 2017 shortlisted finalists for the Military Prize are:
Jewish Anzacs: Jews in the Australian Military (New South Books)Mark Dapin
The Secret Code-Breakers of Central Bureau: how Australia’s signals-intelligence network helped win the Pacific War. (Scribe)David Dufty

Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth (Penguin)Paul Ham

Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent (New South Books)Peter Brune & Neil McDonald

This year’s judges, Jamie Grant, Katerina Cosgrove and Ursula Dubosarsky considered quality research, literary merit, readability and value to the community when deciding on an overall winner and the shortlists.

Head judge, Jamie Grant who is also a poet, writer and literary reviewer said he is constantly surprised by the calibre of talent entering the award.

“Reducing the entries to a selection of just six is no easy matter, as many of the entries are of an equal quality; one way we can achieve this is to aim for the final list to have as many different kinds of book as possible on it.

“Thus we have chosen biography, history, a work of art criticism, travel, agriculture, memoir and medical science among the subjects covered by our shortlist. Our only regret is that we could not find room for more.”

Acting General Manager, Cathy Henderson said Council is extremely proud of the contribution our Nib Award has made to literature in Australia.

“The Nib is the only literary award of its type awarded by a council and is an important part of the Australian literary landscape.”

“Congratulations to the shortlisted authors. I wish them the best of luck for the announcement on the 23 November,” she said.

Members of the public can vote for a People’s Choice Prize winner from the shortlisted authors. Voting is online (, in person at Waverley Library, the Customer Service Centre (55 Spring Street), or Gertrude and Alice Bookshop and Café.  Voting closes on 20 October.

Those who vote will also go into a draw to win a prize pack containing a $100 gift voucher for Gertrude and Alice Bookstore and Café, a set of shortlisted books and an invitation to the Nib Award Ceremony.

The Nib is proudly supported by Waverley Council, Mark and Evette Moran, Friends of Waverley Library (FOWL), Gertrude and Alice Bookshop and Cafe, and Bondi Junction, North Bondi, and Rose Bay RSL Sub-Branches.