2022 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award winners announced

16 November 2022

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Waverley Council is delighted to announce that Dr Delia Falconer, Newtown author and Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has been awarded the 2022 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award for her book Signs & Wonders (Scribner Australia).

Falconer is the second author in the Nib Award’s 21-year celebrated history to win the $20,000 Nib Award twice. She first won the Award in 2011 for her extraordinary book Sydney.

The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award celebrates excellence in research and writing and is presented annually by Waverley Council with the generous support of principal sponsors Mark and Evette Moran. It remains Australia’s only major literary award of its kind presented by a local council and is judged on high literary merit, quality of research, readability and value to the community.

In Signs and Wonders, Falconer explores how it feels to live as a reader, a writer, a lover of nature and a mother of small children in an era of profound ecological change. The book builds on Falconer’s two acclaimed essays, ‘Signs and Wonders’ and the Walkley Award-winning ‘The Opposite of Glamour’ and was named ‘Book of the Year’ in 2021 in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Book Review.

The $2,500 Nib People’s Choice Prize was awarded to Glebe academics and acclaimed psychologists, Dr Rachel E. Menzies, of Sydney University, and Professor Ross G. Menzies, of UTS, for their co-authored work Mortals (Allen & Unwin). More than 500 votes were received for the Nib People’s Choice Prize.

Mortals explores the theory that the fear of death has shaped human society and is the hidden driver behind most of humankind's endeavours. It examines the major human responses to death across history from the development of religious systems denying the finality of death, to 'immortality projects' involving enduring art, architecture and literature.

2022 shortlisted authors were selected from a record 174 nominations received across the country. Each shortlisted author received the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize ($1,000). Joining Delia Falconer and Rachel and Ross Menzies, the shortlisted authors were:

  • Two Afternoons In The Kabul Stadium by Tim Bonyhady (Text Publishing).
  • The Asparagus Wars by Carol Major (ES Press)
  • Mafioso by Colin McLaren (Hachette Australia)
  • Here Goes Nothing by Steve Toltz (Penguin Random House)
  • This year’s judging panel consisted of acclaimed Sydney-based poet and anthologist Jamie Grant, award-winning writer and author, Katerina Cosgrove, who is based in Noosa, Queensland and author, celebrated writing mentor and teacher Lee Kofman, of Melbourne.

    Award judges commended the quality of work nominated for this year’s award, noting: 
    We received a large amount of nominations this year and it was an absolute honour to read them. Our decision-making process was fiery and fun as always, perhaps even more so this year as the calibre of entries was so high and we had to choose among many worthy and deserving books.

    Head Judge Jamie Grant added: 
    “The six books we have chosen as finalists are linked by a common theme: in different ways, all six are concerned with mortality. This might seem morbid, but the approaches to that common theme lead us along diverse and surprising byways. Congratulations to all this year's winners”.

    Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said that after 21 years, the Nib Award continues to highlight extraordinary authors, fascinating stories and fresh ideas, bringing quality literature to Australian readers and inspiring the wealth of creative talent in our community.

    “The Nib Award is a true project of the people, the only literary award of its kind presented by a local government authority, offering some reward for the long, lonely hours writers spend researching their work – most often at their own great expense,” Mayor Masselos said.

    “It’s an honour for Waverley Council to be able to continue to present the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award 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 at Bondi.”

    The 2022 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award major category winners were announced this evening (Wednesday 16 November) at a community event hosted by author, broadcaster and comedian James O’Loghlin at the Council’s newly restored Bondi Pavilion.

    To learn more about the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, visit https://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/recreation/arts_and_culture/nib.


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

    Nib Award author and publisher inquiries: nibaward@waverley.nsw.gov.au