The judges extend sincere thanks to all writers who submitted essays this year. The 2019 shortlist will be announced in November.
The Horne Prize will open for entries once more in mid-2020, with more information to follow closer to this time. Please bookmark this page for updates.
Daniel James won the 2018 round of The Horne Prize for his essay Ten More Days —a unique, affecting account of intergenerational trauma.
In making their selection, the judges said: ‘This essay is a truthful work about a difficult subject. It takes the reader to an intimate place but then asks that they respect the sanctity of that place, that they accept the balance between memoir and intrusion.’
Ten More Days will be published in The Saturday Paper on December 22, 2018. It is available as a stand-alone publication in Aesop’s Australian stores for a limited time from the end of December.
Daniel James is a Yorta Yorta man living on Wurrundjeri land. He is a writer and advocate who has contributed to various publications, including SBS and IndigenousX.
We extend sincere thanks to all who entered their work in 2018. Opening and closing dates for the next round of the prize will be announced in mid-2019.
Aesop and The Saturday Paper are pleased to announce the 2018 shortlist for The Horne Prize, which honours excellence in narrative non-fiction. Each of the five essays interrogates an aspect of contemporary Australian life, and was selected from a field of more than 400 entries that spanned diverse themes and approaches.
The shortlisted writers are:
- Melanie Cheng for All the Other Stories, on the passing of time and the power of storytelling
- Claire G. Coleman for After the Grog War, on the Barunga Statement and the impact of the Northern Territory Intervention
- Joy Goodsell for Domestic Terrorism, on the language and shape of family violence
- Daniel James for Ten More Days, on Aboriginality and what is lost between generations
- Fiona Wright for State Your Intentions, on solitude, loneliness and the vagaries of desire
The winning essay will be announced in early December and published in The Saturday Paper on 22 December. This year’s judging panel comprises Erik Jensen, editor-in-chief of The Saturday Paper; Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s General Manager, Retail and Customer Service; and Professor Marcia Langton AM.
Established in 2016, the prize is named for the late Donald Horne AO, in recognition of his contribution to Australian letters. An eminent author, editor, journalist, academic and public intellectual, Horne is widely remembered for his book The Lucky Country, an incisive critique of Australian culture first published in 1964. The prize’s inaugural recipient was Anna Spargo-Ryan for her essay The Suicide Gene; in 2017 it was awarded to Dr Kerryn Goldsworthy for The Limit of the World.
The judges extend sincere thanks to all writers who submitted essays this year. The 2018 shortlist will be announced in November.
The Horne Prize will open for entries once more in mid-2019, with more information to follow closer to this time. Please bookmark this page for updates.
Aesop and The Saturday Paper take great pleasure in announcing that Adelaide writer, critic and former academic Dr Kerryn Goldsworthy has won the 2017 round of The Horne Prize, worth $15,000, for her essay The Limit of the World— a poignant, knowing work about her father’s experience of dementia and the state of elder care in Australia.
In making their selection, the judges said: ‘This is a beautiful and subtle essay. The writer has something to say, and she says it. Goldsworthy’s piece is sophisticated and simple at the same time, a very fine piece of writing.’ The Limit of the World will be published in The Saturday Paper on December 23 and available as a stand-alone publication in Aesop’s Australian stores for a limited time from mid-January 2018.
Dr Goldsworthy is a freelance writer and critic and former academic who lectured in literature at the University of Melbourne for 17 years. She is also the former editor of Australian Book Review, a member of the editorial team for The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2009) and the editor of four other anthologies of Australian writing. She has published essays, articles, reviews, short stories and literary criticism. Her most recent book is Adelaide (2011), in the New South Books ‘Cities’ series.
The judges also highly commended Blood on the Boundary by Sam Watson, the Brisbane activist, socialist politician, writer, filmmaker and former deputy director at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland. Watson’s essay examines the notion of Australian identity with particular reference to First Nations Australians in a wry, provocative and affecting voice. The judges commented that it ‘stands out for its vigour, for its muscularity and recklessness of style. It is also very funny, in its own weird way.’
The 2017 judging panel comprised Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper; Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s General Manager, Retail and Customer Service; writer Robyn Davidson; Professor Marcia Langton AM; and David Marr.
Opening and closing dates for the next round of The Horne Prize will be announced in mid- 2018.
Aesop and The Saturday Paper are pleased to announce the 2017 shortlist for The Horne Prize, honouring excellence in narrative non-fiction. Each of the five essays interrogates a particular aspect of Australian life, and was selected from a field of nearly 400 entries that spanned an extensive range of themes and stylistic approaches.
The shortlisted writers are:
- Alice Bishop for Coppering, on renewal of bushfire-razed landscapes and recovering psyches alike
- Kerryn Goldsworthy for The Limit of the World, on navigating the shift from child to carer as a parent declines
- Lucas Grainger-Brown for Without Heroes, on life as a young recruit in the Australian Defence Force Academy
- Jennifer Mills for Swimming with Aliens, on environmental change in the Spencer Gulf and the shifting fortunes of Whyalla’s steel industry
- Sam Watson for Blood on the Boundary, on colonisation, masculinity and structural violence
The winning essay will be announced in early December and published inThe Saturday Paper on 23 December. The judging panel comprises Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper; Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s General Manager, Retail and Customer Service; Robyn Davidson; Professor Marcia Langton AM; and David Marr.
Melbourne writer Anna Spargo-Ryan won the inaugural round of The Horne Prize for her essay The Suicide Gene. Praised by the judges for its craft and candour, The Suicide Gene is a poignant yet unsentimental account of the author’s experience of mental illness and questions stemming from her grandfather’s suicide.
In making their selection, the judges said: ‘The essay is shapely and always in the writer's control. It is a dexterous investigation of a complex issue, personal without ever succumbing to sentimentality.’ The Suicide Gene will be published in The Saturday Paper on December 24 and available as a stand-alone publication in Australian Aesop stores for a limited time from mid-January 2017.
Anna has written widely on mental health, relationships, parenting, and creativity, and is known for her short and longform fiction as well as non-fiction work. Her essays have been published by The Guardian, Overland, Kill Your Darlings and Black Inc., among others. Her first novel, The Paper House, was released to critical acclaim in 2016; the second, The Gulf, will be published in mid-2017.
The judges also highly commended Alexandra O’Sullivan’s essay Losing Teeth– a frank, affecting narrative of domestic violence and its consequences. Also based in Melbourne, and previously a professional jockey, Alexandra writes regularly for social justice and feminist website The Radical Notion.
Aesop and The Saturday Paper are pleased to announce the shortlist for the inaugural The Horne Prize. The five essays were selected from a field of almost 700 entries, a remarkable result that speaks of a prevalent interest in narrative non-fiction and what it can bring to public debate. The selection was made with the aim of the prize firmly in mind: to find those essays that illuminate Australian life, bringing insight and new thinking.
The shortlisted writers are:
Chelsea Bond for Mythologies of Aboriginal Culture
Barry Jones for The Courage Party
Anna McGahan for Brightness
Alexandra O’Sullivan for Losing Teeth
Anna Spargo-Ryan for The Suicide Gene
The winner will be announced and the winning essay published in The Saturday Paper on 24 December. The judging panel comprises Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper; Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s General Manager, Retail and Customer Service; Professor Marcia Langton AM; David Malouf AO; and David Marr.
Since its inception in 2014, The Saturday Paper has become a weekly fixture in the lives of Australians who enjoy its astute long-form coverage and analysis of news and cultural affairs. It has also become a valued cultural partner for Aesop, and it is our mutual pleasure to announce a new collaboration: The Horne Prize – a major award for essay writing valued at $15,000.
The prize will be awarded in late December for an essay of up to 3000 words, addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian life’. The winning essay will be based on reportage, bringing light to a person or issue that helps us to understand who we are. Entry is open between 6 August and 31 October; all writers are invited to enter.