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Walkley Book Award

First-round entries open 20 May for the 2024 Walkley Book Award

The Walkley Book Award honours longform journalistic endeavours that have been published in book form in Australia. It acknowledges writers who have used journalistic skills and processes to craft a compelling and readable narrative for a general readership. Skill in storytelling, newsbreaking, newsworthiness, deep research, analysis, public impact, structure, readability and creative use of the book medium will be among the qualities assessed. The focus is primarily on books of journalism, not literary works.

Books must be entirely works of non-fiction and can be based on an Australian or international topic. Entries can encompass longform journalistic approaches to a range of subjects. Examples of these may include newsworthy issues or historic events, true crime, biographies, political analysis, business writing, war reporting, sports reporting, investigative journalism and books by foreign correspondents.

Memoirs will only qualify if they include significant additional journalistic research and offer a balanced approach to the topic. A memoir told in the first person, solely from the perspective of the author is not eligible for this award.

In the case of authorised biographies, the entrant must detail any approval process and indicate how their book adhered to journalistic practice and ethics to ensure balance and accuracy in preparing a work of public interest. Ghostwritten books are not eligible. Works of life writing as well as books on lifestyle, information and self-help, along with academic and educational books will not be considered. Anthologies with multiple writers will not be considered and books will not be eligible if more than 20 per cent of the book has previously been published in book form.

Writers who are not working journalists may apply provided they can demonstrate they have adhered to the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics in the preparation of their work. A book will not be eligible simply because its author is a journalist. Self-published books will be considered provided they meet all criteria.


The judging criteria used for assessing entries into the Walkley Book Award include:

  • Journalistic merit
  • How the book was initiated (with particular credit given for originality)
  • Timeliness, including exclusivity
  • Newsbreaking and newsworthiness
  • Structure and readability
  • The power of the narrative
  • Creative use of the book medium
  • Deep research, investigation and analysis
  • Balance, accuracy and ethics
  • Consideration of the resources available
  • Public impact or benefit


Each entry into the Walkley Awards is judged on how well it meets the: 

  • category description; and
  • judging criteria.


Terms and Conditions:

All entrants must be either:

  • Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, or people residing in Australia with an appropriate work visa and an Australian publication deal; or
  • Australian citizens working abroad whose work is available to an Australian audience.

All entries must have been published in Australia between September 1, 2023 and August 19, 2024

There are two submission rounds for the Walkley Book Award:

  1. Round 1 is open from Monday, 20 May 2024 to Sunday, 30 June 2024. If your book is already published, it is highly recommended you submit it in Round 1.
  2. Round 2 is open Monday, 1 July 2024 to Monday, 19 August 2024.

In the case of authorised biographies, the entrant must detail in their Entry Statement any approval process and indicate how their book adhered to journalistic practice and ethics.

In the case of audio or electronic originals, the judges must be provided with a .PDF or printed copy of a final press-ready manuscript.

Entrants must declare in their Entry Statement if and how AI was used in the preparation of the narrative and detail how it assisted the journalistic process.

Six hard copies of the book must be posted the Walkley Foundation once this online entry form is complete (audio and electronic originals excepted). Please address them to:

The Walkley Book Award, First Floor, 245 Chalmers St, Redfern, NSW 2016

If you have any questions please contact Margie Smithurst,

Congratulations to Antony Loewenstein, winner of the 2023 Walkley Book Award

The Palestine Laboratory, Scribe Publications

The Palestine Laboratory jacket copy describes the book as an exploration of how Israel has become a leader in developing spying technology and defence hardware that fuels some of the globe’s most brutal conflicts – from the Pegasus software that hacked the phones of Jeff Bezos and Jamal Khashoggi, to the weapons sold to the Myanmar army that have murdered thousands of Rohingyas, and the drones being used by the European Union to monitor refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean.

Antony Lowenstein explained in his entry statement: “The thinking behind The Palestine Laboratory began when I was living in East Jerusalem between 2016 and 2020. I didn’t want to write a book just about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, as brutal as it is, but engage in a deep investigation into the ways that Israel has tested weapons on Palestinians and then promotes them as ‘battle-tested’. I was seeing this with my own eyes across the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, from drones to spyware… It required years of convincing often reluctant sources to speak and uncovering previously classified documents.”

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist, best-selling author, filmmaker and co-founder of investigative journalism site Declassified Australia. He has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and many others. His books include Pills, Powder and Smoke and Disaster Capitalism.

Past winners

The 2023 winner joins the ranks of some of the most celebrated non-fiction writers in Australia: Bronwyn Adcock (Currowan), Lucie Morris-Marr (Fallen), Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day), Helen Pitt (The House), Louise Milligan (Cardinal), 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 the winner is announced at the 69th Walkley Awards in November 2024.

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