In 2010, when it was first given, this award was known as the ABR Short Story Competition. Australian Book Review renamed the award in honour of Elizabeth Jolley, and first awarded it under its new name, the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, in 2011. The prize is awarded for an original single-authored short story in English of between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
Elizabeth Jolley wrote for twenty years before her first novel was published.With the publication, in 1983, of both Miss Peabody's Inheritance and Mr Scobie's Riddle, her reputation soared. In 1998, Jolley was named one of Australia's 100 National Living Treasures. She died in 2007.
'We are wading out, the five of us. I remember this. The sun an hour or two from melting into the ocean, the slick trail of its gold showing the way we will take.'
'I phoned my father when I arrived. He said, Your mum's just round at Aunty El's, in such a awy that I knew she wasn't; that she'd left the room with her hand to her mouth when he'd first said, Hullo love, and I felt so sorry for us all.' (Introduction)