Gail Jones's novel Five Bells has won the 2012 Kibble Literary Award. The novel was inspired by Kenneth Slessor's well-known poem about Sydney Harbour. According to Professor Robert Dixon, chair of this year's judging committee: 'Jones’ characterisation of Sydney is an elegant and essential part of the novel’s emotional pull'.
The Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers comprise two awards (the Kibble and the Dobbie), presented annually. The Kibble (worth $30,000 in 2012) recognises the work of an established Australian female writer while the Dobbie (currently worth $5,000) recognises a first published work by an Australian female writer. The awards, first made in 1994, were established by Nita B. Kibble, a librarian, to give female writers a more prominent voice. They celebrate 'life writing' by women, and admissible genres include novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.
Favel Parrett, shortlisted for this year's Miles Franklin Award, is the 2012 Dobbie Literary Award winner for her first book, Past the Shallows. Dixon called her book 'a superbly written, raw and realistic story'.
Andrew Thomas, general manager of the Awards' administering trust, said: 'A limited number of opportunities exist to specifically acknowledge Australian female writers, so these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise some of the nation’s best creative talent.' The full list of shortlisted authors and prize winners since the award's inception is here.