The $7,500 Calibre Essay Prize Is Currently Open! (Expired)

Entries are currently open for the 2020 Calibre Essay Prize, one of the world's leading prizes for an original non-fiction essay. The prize worth a total of AU$7,500 is open to all essayists writing in English.

We seek essays of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. We welcome essays of all kinds: personal or political, traditional or experimental.

The winner will receive $5,000; the runner-up will receive $2,500.

Use the online entry form to submit your essay. 

Click here to find out information about past winners.


AU$15 for current ABR subscribers and full-time students or AU$25 for non-subscribers.

Entrants who are not current ABR subscribers can choose to subscribe when submitting their essay for the special combined rates listed below:

Entry + ABR Online subscription - $65

Entry + Print subscription (Australia) - $95

Entry + Print subscription (NZ and Asia) - $165

Entry + Print subscription (Rest of World) - $180

Terms and conditions apply, see website for details.

Non-subscribers will receive a four-month digital subscription free of charge from entry.

The Judges

J.M. Coetzee was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and the United States. He has published nineteen works of fiction, as well as criticism and translations. Among awards he has won are the Booker Prize (twice) and, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is currently Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide.

Lisa Gorton, who lives in Melbourne, is a poet, novelist, and critic, and a former Poetry Editor of ABR. She studied at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, she completed a Masters in Renaissance Literature and a Doctorate on John Donne at Oxford University. Her review essays and poetry have appeared in ABR since 2002. Her first poetry collection, Press Release (2007), won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. She has also been awarded the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize and the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal. Lisa’s novel The Life of Houses (2015) shared the 2016 Prime Minister’s Award for fiction and received the NSW Premier’s People’s Choice Award. Her third poetry collection Empirical appeared with Giramondo in 2019.

Peter Rose has been Editor of Australian Book Review since 2001. His reviews and essays have appeared mostly in ABR. He has published six books of poetry, two novels, and a family memoir, Rose Boys (Text Publishing), which won the 2003 National Biography Award. His most recent publication is a volume of poems, The Subject of Feeling (UWA Publishing, 2015).

Judges: J.M. Coetzee, Lisa Gorton, and Peter Rose

Closing: 15 January 2020


Thursday 31 October, 2019
Wednesday 15 January, 2020

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