Walkley Book Award


The 2017 Walkley Book Award shortlisted finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Julia BairdVictoria: The Queen, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Steve CannaneFair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers
  • Louise MilliganCardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, Melbourne University Press

The winner will be announced at the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner on November 29 in Brisbane. 

About the Walkley Book Award

Terms & Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions

The 2017  Walkley Book Award will acknowledge the work produced by an Australian journalist or writer, published in the year from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.

As in past years, we stagger entries so that the judges don’t have to read six dozen books all at once. (There’s no difference between the two rounds for entrants.)

First round entries close June 16.
Second round entries close Aug. 31.

The Walkley Book Award celebrates the value and importance of long form journalism, acknowledging the proud line-up of Australian writers who have taken subjects of enduring topicality and consequence from news bulletins, eye-witness reporting, investigations and historical records and provided readers with expanded factual detail, revelation and greater clarity of analysis in book form.

For information on the Walkley Book Award please contact awards manager Lauren Dixon on 02 9333 0913 or lauren.dixon@walkleys.com

Stan Grant Wins 2016 Walkley Book Award

In Talking to My Country Stan Grant has artfully interwoven the personal and the public, driving forward a needed discussion: How to right the wrongs that have been done to First Australians and prove that we are a great country with a big heart?

Grant spent several years reporting on conflict and dispossessed people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe for CNN. He saw hardship and suffering on an horrific scale. And then he reached an epiphany. These human tragedies reminded him of his own people. Grant expressed his anguish in a series of articles for Guardian Australia and in a number of powerful speeches. And then he sat down to write a book.

Talking to My Country is part memoir, part meditation on race, culture, national identity — what it means to be an indigenous man in Australia today, and what the journey has been like particularly for Grant.

Judges Comments: Stan Grant, one of journalism’s most gifted practitioners, has produced a work that will go on to grace Australian bookshelves and perhaps Australian curriculums for decades to come. Grant writes with a power and a passion that evokes a visceral reaction in the reader. His message is important. But his great triumph is to cloak it in a narrative that is so personal and yet has the potential to touch the soul of every Australian. Anger is never far below the surface in this tome. Yet Grant is, at heart, optimistic about Australia and writes lovingly of his country. As he says, we can and must do better.

Walkley Book Award Chair – Colleen Ryan

RYAN. 091113. AFR ONLINE PIC BY PETER BRAIG. Colleen Ryan, afr journalist in shanghai, china , WRITER FOR AFR ONLINE. SPECIAL 111111

Colleen Ryan has a journalistic career spanning almost four decades. She is a former Editor of the Australian Financial Review and during her career she was Washington correspondent for the AFR and more recently China correspondent, based in Shanghai for 6 years.

Colleen’s journalism career included a decade with the Sydney Morning Herald and five years with National Times. She has won three Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley and received a Centenary Medal for services to journalism and publishing.

Colleen was co author of Corporate Cannibals, The Taking of Fairfax –published in 1992; and the author of Fairfax: The Rise and Fall published in 2013. She is also the co author of Sell Up Pack Up and Take Off, published in 2014.

Past winners

The 2017 winner will join the ranks of some of the most celebrated non-fiction writers in Australia: Stan Grant (Talking To My Country), Chip Le Grand (The Straight Dope), Paul Kelly (Triumph and Demise), Pamela Williams (Killing Fairfax), George Megalogenis (The Australian Moment), Russell Skelton (King Brown Country), Shirley Shackleton (The Circle of Silence), Graham Freudenberg (Churchill and Australia), Don Watson (American Journeys), Chris Masters (Jonestown), Neil Chenoweth (Packer’s Lunch) and Bob Connolly (Making Black Harvest). Entries can encompass subject matter including true crime and biographies, political analysis, business writing, war reporting, investigative journalism and foreign correspondence.


Judging is a two-tier process comprising senior representatives from the media and publishing community. Judges will determine a long list and shortlist of nominees before winners are announced at the 62nd Walkley Awards in November 2017.