Arts Journalism Awards


Entries are now open. Entries close April 26.

Through the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund we are thrilled to announce that in 2018 both the winner of the Arts Journalism Award and the winner of the Walkley Pascall Award for Arts Criticism will each receive $5000 in prize money.

Both winners will also receive up to $1000 in financial support to attend Storyology.

Judging Criteria
Terms & Conditions

The prestigious Pascall Prize has joined the Walkley Foundation’s suite of mid-year awards — along with a new award for arts journalism.

The Pascall Prize for arts criticism has been Australia’s only major award for critical writing about the arts since its inaugural award to David Malouf in 1988. The continuing aim of the prize will be to reward engaging and exciting voices, both new and established, whose work reveals critical thinking without preconceptions, that is sceptical of received wisdom and shows loyalty only to balanced, rational argument about the subject at hand.

The Pascall commemorates the flamboyant journalist and critic Geraldine Pascall, who worked for The Australian from 1970 until her sudden death from a stroke in 1983.

All Media: Arts Journalism

This new award recognises a significant contribution in reporting, writing, news breaking and analysis of arts issues. This may include profiles of artists, features and investigations, reporting on the structures and personalities involved in the creation of contemporary culture, and examination of the creative arena. Judges will consider research, news-gathering skill, storytelling ability and engaging, illuminating voices. Entries in this category must be a single piece of work or a series of no more than three related reports. Open to individuals or group entries up to three people.

All Media: Walkley-Pascall Award for Arts Criticism

The Arts Criticism award, previously the Pascall Prize, celebrates the unique contribution of critics to our cultural landscape, and the specialist, detailed knowledge they draw on to contextualise works of art. Criticism includes both reviews responding to the work itself, and deeper criticism placing work in the context of the artist’s oeuvre, specific genres and/or the current social/political/cultural landscape. Judges will consider critical thinking, balanced, rigorous argument and evaluation, depth of knowledge and ability to contextualise, and engaging, illuminating voices. Entries in this category must be a single piece of work in any medium. Open only to individual entrants.


Any person engaged in the practice of writing or broadcasting about the arts is eligible to apply for the Walkley Arts Awards. Work entered may relate to any aspect of the creative or performing arts. The word ‘arts’ is to be interpreted broadly so as to include, for example, journalism and criticism covering radio and television, photography, architecture, film, food and wine as well as literature, visual arts and performing arts. Entrants self-nominate and work must have been published or aired between June 16, 2017 through to April 26, 2018.

All entrants are required to establish  must certify that the entry is their original work; apart from normal sub-editorial/production treatment, they have adhered to the MEAA Code of Ethics in its preparation; they undertake to abide by the Code of Ethics; and have complied with all copyright requirements.

For more information, contact Lauren Dixon with questions: or (02) 9333 0913.

2017 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 arts awards!

Arts Journalism Award: John Shand, and The Sydney Morning Herald, for Meaning It: Truth, Trump Universality and Cultural Amnesia

Walkley-Pascall Award for Arts Criticism: Kate Hennessy, The Guardian, for The Drover’s Wife review – plot twist leaves Australian classic spinning on its axis

See the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.

Finalists were previously announced here.

Past Pascall winners

The Pascall’s 26 past winners include Roger Covell, Andrew Ford, Bruce Elder and Robert Forster (music), Sandra Hall, Julie Rigg, Andrew Martin, Noel Purdon, Paul Byrnes and Evan Williams (film), Robert Nelson and Joanna Mendelssohn (art), Alison Croggon and John McCallum (theatre), Elizabeth Farrelly (built environment), Mark Mordue, James Bradley, Gerard Windsor, Geordie Williamson, Kerryn Goldsworthy, James Ley, Marion Halligan, Andrew Riemer and Peter Craven (books and literature) and the late Alan Saunders (gastronomy).

David Malouf won the inaugural Pascall Prize in 1988.