2016 Short List Announcement

2016 Short List Announcement

Image Credit

notJack is grateful to report that the judging process for the 2016 short list has concluded.

The Advisory Panel members were provided with seven equally ranked entries, yet no single entry received a double vote from the members. A decision on a particular entry could not be equitably reached, and so the prize will not be awarded for the 2016 round. The decision not to award the prize rests solely with the Panel. The money itself will be held over for the 2017 prize round.

While this process has taken considerable time to resolve, this reflects a genuine attempt to reconcile the various recommendations – even while that attempt ultimately proved not feasible.

* * *

Due acknowledgements and congratulations go to the following seven entries (in random order) for making the 2016 short list:

Double in Ourselves (Stephen Williams) 

Lighthouse (Cecilia Morris)

My Hands (Taylor-Jayne Wilkshire)

The Magpie Game (Wayne Marshall)

Getting It, Some Others, They (Catherine Wright)

* * *

From the sizeable collection of poems, plays, dialogues, short stories, vignettes, fictocriticism, narrative discursive and reflective essays, notJack is pleased to announce the long-list for the 2016 Open and Baringhup categories, and congratulates the following entrants:

Rachel Cameron              Endless Summer

Virginia O’Keeffe             A Summer Tale

Jared Chinnery                 Stalag 324

John McGlade                   Daffodils

Taylor-Jayne Wilkshire    My Hands, For Expectations

Richard James Allen       Central Dreaming

Stephen Williams            Double in Ourselves

Karen Lethlean                 Assistance Dog

Julie Twohig                      The Bright Star

Cecilia Morris                   Don’t Go Home, Lighthouse

Judith Bridge                    Queen of the Park

Lisa Lang                           Running out of Light

Wayne Marshall               The Magpie Game

Myfanwy Appleton          Alice

Andrea Baldwin                Intertidal

Christine Kuchowsky      When You Open Your Eyes

Dougal Patey                     Fate

Catherine Wright            They, Design, The Prawn, The                                                            Amazign, Streets of Fes, Getting                                                         It, Some Others

Note that the Baringhup category was read as part of the Open category due to low entry numbers, and all Baringhup long-listed entrants are accordingly eligible for the cash prize.

Judging Update

Judging is underway.

One outstanding entrant is selected from the long list for the $5000 cash prize. A result will be posted no sooner than Janaury 31st 2017, and as best suits our wonder-folk volunteer judges.

As is traditional, notJack’s judges are representative of all stages and angles of the writing process, providing a rounded assessment in selecting a single entry of outstanding quality.

Commercial-Industry Representative

Brown & Bunting Booksellers is located at 237 High Street Northcote, and specializes in literature and children’s publications. This bookseller’s heartfelt belief in paper and ink (and bricks and mortar!) is the foundation on which the business is based. Within this store, the book is loved and respected as a tactile object, a piece of art and as an individual piece of history that is accessible to all.

Literary Agent Representative

Angus Tonkin is a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, and hails from Creswick, Victoria. He reviews regularly for Film Blerg, contributes to Australian Book Review, The Roar sports journalism, and Text Publishing blogging. He has held editorial positions for Emerge Inc journal, Executive Media and Macau Daily Times, in addition to interning at Affirm Press and Text Publishing. Tonkin holds a B.A in Linguistics, Media and Communications, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Editing and Communications), from the University of Melbourne.

Independent Author Representative

Eli Glasman’s debut novel, The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew (Sleepers Publishing), presents the life of a homosexual boy in the Melbourne orthodox Jewish community. Glasman began writing at an early age and continued the practice throughout his schooling. At seventeen, he decided that orthodox Jewish life wasn’t for him, and completed a B.A with Honours in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. Glasman combines writing with teaching through Writers Victoria, where he focuses on YA fiction and crafting authentic character. His short fiction has appeared in Voiceworks and Sleepers Almanac. In 2013 he was placed second in the Josephine Ulrick short story competition.




Artists & Place

Artists & Place

Here are a selection of Australian artists whose work thematises place, to reflect the introduction of the visual collaboration prize, for the 2016 Baringhup Category. These artists provide their viewers with expressions of love of place and identity, along with troubling or vexatious expressions of degradation, alienation, dispossession, colonialism, suffering and disaster. Sometimes the artwork is an invitation to think less on theme, and instead to simply respond to the atmospheric, quieting, moody or otherwise affective quality of the mark-marking.

Big Yam Dreaming
Big Yam Dreaming

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is one of Australia’s most significant contemporary artists. Emily was born at the beginning of the twentieth century and grew up in a remote desert area known as Utopia, 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, distant from the art world that sought her work.

Although Emily began to paint late in her life she was a prolific artist who often worked at a pace that belied her advanced age. It is estimated that she produced over 3000 paintings in the course of her eight-year painting career — an average of one painting per day.

For virtually two-thirds of her life she had only sporadic contact with the outside world. It was not until she was about 80 that she became, almost overnight, an artist of national and international standing.

Her remarkable work was inspired by her cultural life as an Anmatyerre elder, and her lifelong custodianship of the women’s Dreaming sites in her clan Country, Alhalkere.

Words: NMA     Image: ABC

Lake Eyre 1975
Lake Eyre 1975

John Olsen’s exuberant paintings, which were first exhibited in Sydney in the 1950s, are often celebrations of Sydney, Majorca, marine life, good food and sunshine. He is an abstract artist whose work remains grounded in the landscape or in evocations of poetry, a painter whose distinctive curvilinear style continually pays homage to the quality of a wandering line.

Words: DAAO     Image: Etching House

Night Cries A Rural Tragedy
Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy

Tracey Moffatt is probably Australia’s most successful artist ever, both nationally and internationally. She is certainly one of the few Australian artists to have established a global market for her work. A filmmaker as well as photographer, Moffatt has held around 100 solo exhibitions of her work in Europe, the United States and Australia. Her films, including Nightcries – A Rural Tragedy, 1989, and Bedevil, 1993, have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival, the Dia Centre for the Arts in New York and the National Centre for Photography in Paris.

Words: NSW Art Gallery     Image: Nua Nua

A Natural History of Swamps III, Heron in Swamp - Loy Yang Power Station.png
A Natural History of Swamps III, Heron in Swamp – Loy Yang

My work over the last thirty years has been a search to discover how we dwell and move within landscape. I have lived and worked all over the continent from the mountains of Tasmania to the floodplains of Arnhem land.  I see myself as a hybrid mix of artist and scientist; one who tries to relate the minutiae of the natural world – leaf, feather and beetle wing – to the abstract dimensions of the earth’s dynamic systems.  Using techniques of watercolour, collage, frottage, nature printing and other methods of direct physical or kinetic contact I am finding ways of collaborating with the actual plants, birds, trees, rocks and earth of a particular place.

Words: John Wolseley     Image: John Wolseley

The Bridge in Curve
The Bridge in Curve

Stella Bowen, painter and writer, grew up in Adelaide, where she studied with Margaret Preston. She left Adelaide in 1914 to live in England and France for the rest of her life. Over the course of a nine-year relationship with the English writer Ford Madox Ford she painted many portraits of their friends, including Aldous Huxley, Edith Sitwell, Gertrude Stein and TS Eliot. She achieved some success in the US, but she is best-known in Australia for the works of art she completed as an official war artist in Britain in World War II, particularly those depicting the actions of the Bomber Command and the return of prisoners of war from Germany. Many of these paintings are in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, which mounted a major retrospective exhibition of Bowen’s works in 2002.

Words: NPG   Image: Wikipedia

Collins St, 5pm
Collins St, 5pm

A realist painter of modern urban life, John Brack emerged during the 1950s in Melbourne as an artist of singular originality and independence. His highly cerebral, smooth and hard-edged painting style was unique in the context of both the expressive figuration of Melbourne contemporaries such as Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker, and the rapid growth of abstraction in his time. Delivering forthright social commentary both satirical and sympathetic, Brack’s paintings characteristically bear witness to the depersonalisation wrought by ritual. In particular the confined conditions of urban living gave him crucial insights into the loss of individuality revealed in in his stark evocation of city rush-hour crowds.

Words: NSW Art Gallery     Image: NGV

Annihilation of the Blacks
Annihilation of the Blacks

Because of the harsh light that Fiona Foley shines on the land swindles, sexual violations and wholesale massacres that have been perpetrated on Indigenous people, many observers regard her as a political artist. She rejects this label, however, and describes herself as an educator. She certainly understands the strategies used by skilled educators – story telling, surprise, humour and a huge amount of underlying research.

As one of the most prominent Indigenous Australian artists she regularly exhibits work internationally, where her photographic and installation-based work fits comfortably into a wider context of world art and postcolonial discourse. A significant aspect of her role as an artist is revealing to other countries that a continuous tradition in Australia, tens of thousands of years old, can be an active participant in contemporary culture.

Words: Art Collector     Image: UQ

Almost Once.png
Almost Once

Brett Whiteley is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. He won the Art Gallery of NSW Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes several times, and his artistic career was bolstered by his celebrity status in Australia and overseas. He worked across painting, sculpture and the graphic arts, and is best known for his sensual and lyrical paintings of interiors, nudes and harbour scenes.

Words: NSW Art Gallery     Image: Wikipedia



notJack hearts the following wonder folk:

Prize Advisory Panel

Paul Kane     Helen Garner     Ailsa Piper     Robyn Davidson     Rod Moss     Christopher Cordner

Penny Hueston     Barry Hill     Drusilla Modjeska     Henry Rosenbloom

Martin Flanagan     Alex Miller     Maria Tumarkin     Nick Drake     James Walton

Ramona  Koval     Robert Adamson     Don Watson     Tony Birch     Anna Funder

Raimond Gaita     Michael Heyward     Robert Connolly     Chris Feik

Hannie Rayson     Richard Roxburgh    Kate Grenville     Richard Flanagan

2016 Judges

Angus Tonkin     Brown&Bunting Booksellers     Eli Glasman

2015 Readers &  Judges

Ross Vanner     Chong Weng Ho     Angus Tonkin

Melanie Ostell     Tamar Primoratz     Yana Canteloupe

Masterclass Teachers

Alice Pung     Tony Birch     Arnold Zable     Anne Manne

James Walton     Raimond Gaita

Promotional Material

Chong Weng Ho     Abby Davis     Chloe Mackenzie     Fallon Mody


Text Publishing     Bendigo Writers Festival     Coal Creek Literary Festival

Poster Foot Soldiers (you know who you are!) and…

Jack the Cockatoo

About notJack

About notJack

notJack was established to support and protect iconic Australian literary landscapes, by fostering creative engagement with place and promoting the significance of place for Australian writers, their work and readership.

notJack currently supports the protection of the Moolort Plains, from and in which the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Winner Romulus, My Father was written. The film of the same name was shot on site. In honour of this book, and the manner in which it crosses several genres to engage with place, the notJack writers’ prize accepts submissions from a wide variety of genres and writing styles.

Information on the Moolort Plains, its significance, and the threat posed to it, may be accessed here and here.

To donate or contribute to the Moorlort Plains campaign, please email the prize at: notjackwritersprize@gmail.com.



The notJack Writers’ Prize supports Australian writers in their creative engagement with place. Bush, country, coast, the countryside, land, property, suburbia – all these and more figure prominently in Australian writing, in shaping the significance of place for individual writers and in turn, forming iconic literary landscapes that sustain the cultural and national identities of readers. 

Open & Baringhup Categories open August 8th 2016 – November 1st 2016

Youth Category opens November 1st 2016 – March 17th 2016

** notJack offers plans and prizes anew for the 2016 Open and Baringhup Categories. This year will see the introduction of a visual collaboration prize, a $5000 cash prize and an anthology. Start scribbling! Entries are due by November 1st 2016. **  

The prize welcomes submissions from all genres – including prose, essay, flash fiction, short story, poetry, biography, memoir, plays, screenplay – in which place, and writing from place, figure prominently. Submissions are not limited by the specific examples provided here.

Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita

Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita


Romulus Gaita fled his home in his native Yugoslavia at the age of thirteen, and came to Australia with his young wife Christina and their infant son Raimond soon after the end of World War II.

Tragic events were to overtake the boy’s life, but Raimond Gaita has an extraordinary story to tell about growing up with his father amid the stony paddocks and flowing grasses of country Australia.

Written simply and movingly, Romulus, My Father is about how a compassionate and honest man taught his son the meaning of living a decent life. It is about passion, betrayal and madness, about friendship and the joy and dignity of work, about character and fate, affliction and spirituality.

No one will read this wonderful book without an enhanced sense of the possibilities of being alive.

Words by Text Publishing     Image by Text Publishing