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 Prize for her book Signs & Wonders (Scribner Australia).
Falconer is the second author in the Nib Award’s celebrated 21-year history to win the $20,000 Nib Prize twice. She first won the award in 2011 for her extraordinary book sydney.
The Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Prize 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 the only major literary award of its kind in Australia presented by a local council and is judged on high literary merit, research quality, readability and value to the community.
In Signs and Wonders, Falconer explores what it’s like to live as a reader, writer, nature lover and mother of young children in a time of profound ecological change. The book builds on Falconer’s two acclaimed essays, ‘Signs and Wonders’ and Walkley Prize-winning ‘The Opposite of Glamour’, and was named 2021’s Book of the Year in the Sydney Morning Herald, Age and Australian book review.
The $2,500 Nib People’s Choice Award was presented to renowned Glebe scholars and psychologists Dr Rachel E. Menzies of the University of Sydney and Professor Ross G. Menzies of UTS for their co-authored work. Mortals (Allen & Unwin). Over 500 votes were received for the Nib People’s Choice award.
Mortals explores the theory that the fear of death has shaped human society and is the hidden driving force behind most of humanity’s endeavors. It examines the main human responses to death throughout history, from the development of religious systems denying the finality of death, to “immortality projects” involving enduring art, architecture and literature.
2,022 shortlisted authors were selected from a record 174 entries 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:
This year’s jury included renowned Sydney-based poet and anthologist, Jamie Grant, award-winning writer and author, Katerina Cosgrove, based in Noosa, Queensland, and author, famed mentor and teacher of writing Lee Kofman, from Melbourne.
The award judges praised the quality of the work nominated for this year’s award, noting:
We received a large number of applications this year and it was an absolute honor to read them. Our decision-making process was spirited and fun as always, perhaps even more so this year because the caliber of entries was so high and we had to choose from many worthy and deserving books.
Chief Justice Jamie Grant added:
“The six books we have chosen as finalists are linked by a common theme: in different ways, all six deal with mortality. It may sound morbid, but the approaches to this common theme take us along various and surprising paths. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said after 21 years, the Nib Award continues to spotlight extraordinary authors, compelling stories and fresh ideas, bringing quality literature to Australian readers and inspiring a wealth of talent creatives in our community.
“The Nib Award is a true people’s project, the only literary award of its kind awarded by a local government authority, offering a reward for the long, lonely hours that writers spend researching their work – most often at their own expense” , said Mayor Masselos.
“It is an honor for Waverley Council to be able to continue to present the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Prize with the generous support of Lead Sponsors Mark and Evette Moran, and the continued commitment and support of our partner community Gertrude and Alice Bookshop and Café in Bondi.
The winners of the main categories of the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Prize 2022 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 .