The ASAL Executive appoints three judging panel conveners from among its number each year–each convener to come from a different state to the convener for the award in the previous year. Nominations for each of the awards can be made to the chair of the respective prize committee or through any member of the executive.
The ALS Gold Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year. The Medal was inaugurated by the Australian Literature Society, which was founded in Melbourne in 1899 and incorporated into the Association for the Study of Australian Literature in 1982. The winner receives a gold medal. No nominations are required, though ASAL members are invited to propose potential winners to the judging panel.
The Chair for the 2016 ALS Gold Medal is:
Tony Simoes da Silva
University of Wollongong
For more information about the ALS Gold Medal and its recipients click here.
To view the 2015 ALS Gold Medal Judges' Report click here.
To view the 2014 ALS Gold Medal Judges' Report click here.
To view the 2013 ALS Gold Medal Judges' Report click here.
To be given to the best book of literary scholarship on an Australian subject published in the preceding two calendar years. Up till 1994 for an outstanding work of literary scholarship by a young or unestablished author (usually a first book). No nominations are required, though ASAL members are invited to propose books for consideration by the judging panel.
The Chair for the 2017 award is:
The joint winners for 2015 are:
Robert Dixon, Alex Miller: The Ruin of Time (Sydney University Press)
Michele Grossman, Entangled Subjects: Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text and Modernity (Rodopi)
Robert Dixon’s Alex Miller: The Ruin of Time (SUP) is an erudite and accomplished work on one of Australia’s major contemporary writers, showcasing deep engagement with the texts and their genesis, and powered by a highly contextualised biographical approach that places these works within their cultural moments in richly revealing ways. Dixon approaches Miller’s work through a framework of generosity and gifting, enacting this model in detailed discussion of the life and works.Alex Miller: The Ruin of Time draws on an impressive range of historical contexts, and theoretical frameworks and debates, to read across Miller’s extensive and awarded body of work.
Michele Grossman’s Entangled Subjects: Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text and Modernity (Rodopi) is a bold, ambitious and rigorous intervention into much-debated, high-stake questions about orality, literacy and the discursive construction of Indigeneity. It exhibits an impressive depth and range in its theoretical and critical engagement, venturing into complex international and interdisciplinary fields to address issues that remain at the heart of literary production and cultural history in the Australian context. At the same time, it models a way of doing scholarship that is highly aware of its own speaking position, and carefully positioned in relation to narrative constructions of traumatic subjective historical experience that indict settler imaginaries in fraught and unresolved ways.
To be given for the best first book of poetry published in the previous two calendar years (until 1999 for the best first book of poetry published in the previous calendar year).
The Chair for the Mary Gilmore Prize for 2016:
For more information about Mary Gilmore click here.
To view the 2014 Mary Gilmore Award Report click here.
The National Executive of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature awards the A. A. Phillips Award as occasion merits in recognition of outstanding contributions to Australian literary scholarship. Any member of the Association may make nominations to the executive at any time.
For more information about A. A. Phillips click here.
The Magarey Medal for biography is a biennial prize of at least $10,000. The prize is awarded to the female author who has published the work judged to be the best biographical writing on an Australian subject in the preceding two years. The awarding of the prize is administered and judged by a panel set up by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and the Australian Historical Association. The prize is very generously donated by Professor Emerita Susan Magarey.
To view the 2014 Magarey Medal Judges' Report click here.
The A.D. Hope Prize is awarded annually for the paper judged to be the best ASAL July annual conference paper delivered by a postgraduate student. The paper is to be sent to the judging panel, in publishable form, after the conference (date to be announced each year). The winning paper will receive publication in JASAL and $500.
The winner of the A.D.Hope Prize for 2015 is Catherine Seaton, for her essay titled: ‘Salvador Torrents and the Birth of Crónica Writing in Australia.’
This essay introduces readers to Salvador Torrents, a Spanish migrant from Catalonia who was the first writer of crónicas in Australia. Crónicas, ‘writings that comment on the happenings of daily life, social habits and the concerns of communities’, narrate most often the migrant experience. In uncovering Torrents’ work, which appeared in European and North American newspapers for a period of thirty-five years from 1915, this essay contributes significantly to the scholarly understanding of crónica that were being written from Australia in the first half of the twentieth century.
As Seaton notes, the appearance of Torrents’ crónica in papers such as the New York based anarchistic Cultura Proleteria (1927-1952), highlights not only his transnational conversation with ‘like-minded contributors and readers’, it also demonstrates that while he lived in remote North Queensland he was able to communicate effectively across the globe.
Seaton makes a strong case for appreciating the importance of Torrents’ work: ‘The writings of this self-educated, sugar-farming anarchist from Mataró occupy an important place in the study of early Spanish-language literature in Australia in general, and of crónicas in particular. Now, as then, his oeuvre provides an international readership with acute observations of the Europe that he had left behind, and the new Australia that he had joined’.
For more information about A.D. Hope click here.
To view the 2014 A.D. Hope Prize Report click here.
The procedure for deciding the winners of the ALS Gold Medal, the Walter McRae Russell Award, and the Mary Gilmore Award is the following: