Announcing the winners of the 2019 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award

14 November 2019

The 2019 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Awards were announced this morning at a breakfast event at North Bondi RSL, hosted by author, ABC broadcaster and literary champion Richard Glover.

Now in its 18th year, these prestigious national literary awards celebrate excellence in research and writing. The only award of its kind presented by a local council, The Nib sits alongside Australia’s other major literary prizes, The Stella, Miles Franklin and Premier Literary Awards, and offers a generous prize pool of $30,000. The awards are judged on the quality of research, literary merit, readability and value to the community.

Nadia Wheatley has been awarded the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award and $20,000 prize for her work Her Mother’s Daughter, a multi-layered memoir that provides a portrait of a fraught marriage and a lively and fascinating social history.

“My memoir requiredfour months of self-funded work in archives in New York, London, Paris and Germany. The cost of such a project underlines the importance of the Nib. I thank Waverley Council, and the award’s Principal Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran, for their vision,” Ms Wheatley said.

Dr Alice Gorman won the Nib People’s Choice Prize for her fascinating book on space age archaeology, Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the future, a cultural journey through the solar system and beyond, and a conceptual journey into human interactions with space.

The Nib Military History Prize has been awarded to Cecil Healy: A Biography by Olympic Gold Medallist John Devitt and Larry Writer. As part of their in-depth research, Mr Devitt and Mr Writer travelled to the UK and toured the battlefields of France, where Cecil Healy, also an Olympic gold medallist swimmer, died at war in 1918.

For 18 years, the Nib has recognised the highest calibre of writing and research from all around the country,” Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said of the prize.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and to our judges for presenting such a compelling list of titles. This year a group of exceedingly talented writers have received the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize, five out of six of whom are women. It is a first to have such strong female representation in our shortlist.”

“I am delighted that Waverley Council continues to host such an important award and I give thanks to Mark and Evette Moran for their wonderful support.”

Mark and Evette Moran, congratulated, the winners for their achievements.

“Well done to all this year’s winners especially Nadia Wheatley, Alice Gorman, John Devitt and Larry Writer. We are honoured to be a part of the Nib Award and be able to support and celebrate such quality Australian writing,” they said.

Winner Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award - $20,000

Her Mother’s Daughter: A memoir— Nadia Wheatley (Text).

Winner Nib People’s Choice Prize - $1000

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the future - Alice Gorman (NewSouth Books)

Winner Nib Military History Prize - $3000

Cecil Healy: A Biography – John Devitt and Larry Writer (Stoke Hill Press)

Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize - $1000 each This year’s Nib Award finalists were announced in August and formally acknowledged and presented with their prizes at the ceremony this morning. They are:

  • Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the future - Alice Gorman (NewSouth Books)
  • An Unconventional Wife: The life of Julia Sorell Arnold – Mary Hoban (Scribe)
  • The Arsonist — Chloe Hooper (Penguin)
  • Imperfect: How our bodies shape the people we become - Lee Kofman (Affirm)
  • Steve Smith’s Men - Geoff Lemon (Hardie Grant)
  • Her Mother’s Daughter: A memoir— Nadia Wheatley (Text)

The Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award is administered and presented annually by Waverley Council with the support of Principal Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran and the generous assistance of our community partners; Friends of Waverley Library (FOWL), Gertrude and Alice Bookshop and Cafe, Mark Moran Group and Bondi Junction, North Bondi, and Rose Bay RSL Sub-Branches.

For all Nib media inquiries, please contact: Debbie McInnes at DMCPRMEDIA on 9550 9207 or