2021 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award longlist announced

30 August 2021

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

The Nib Award is Waverley Council’s annual celebration of excellence in research and writing and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

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.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Waverley Council was proud to be able to continue this valuable program and directly support Australian writers, especially during these challenging times.

“Despite the literary sector, and the Arts sector more generally, facing their most challenging period in recent history, 150 nominations from all over the country were received for the Nib and each with a unique and important story to tell,” Mayor Masselos said.

“Council is proud of the longevity of this prestigious prize and of our unwavering support of Australian writers and of the arts. I’d like to congratulate every author who entered and those named on this year’s longlist.”

The 2021 longlist is:

  • 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 Sydney,Tanya 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 Inc 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)

Since its inception, the Nib has distributed more than $400,000 directly to deserving Australian authors including previous winners Helen Garner, Erik Jensen, Gideon Haigh, Clare Wright OAM, Tim Low and Nadia Wheatley. A list of previous winners is here.

Prizes are awarded across three categories including the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize (6x $1,000), Nib People’s Choice Prize ($2,500) and the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award ($20,000).

The shortlist will be announced in September, with winners to be announced in November.


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.

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

Nib Award inquiries (excluding media): nibaward@waverley.nsw.gov.au