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Walkley Book Award

The Walkley Foundation has tightened the criteria for the 2023 Walkley Book Award. Please read our media release here.

What are the Walkley Awards?

The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism are Australia’s most prestigious journalism accolades. The Walkley Book Award is one of 30 categories across print, television, radio, documentary and photography.

How do I enter the Walkley Book Award?

All entrants must fill in the online entry form and then send us 6 hard copies of their book.

When do entries open and close?

There are two rounds of entries: 

  • 2023 First-round entries open Monday, May 29 and close Friday, June 30 at 5pm
  • 2023 Second round entries close Thursday, August 31 at 5 pm

Is the entry process similar to other literary awards?

This award is structured within the Walkley Awards program, so it is unlike any other literary award in Australia. Some differences are outlined in detail below – including self-nomination by writers, no restrictions on how many books a publisher may enter, and an entry fee for non-members of MEAA is $260.00 (inc. GST).  Entry is free for financial members of MEAA.

Are there restrictions on how many books a publisher can enter?

No, publishers may enter as many titles as fit the criteria.

How many times can an individual author enter?

In line with the terms and conditions for all Walkley Awards – entrants may only enter once in each award category.

Can individual authors nominate themselves or does it have to be through the publishers?      

The Walkley Awards have a tradition of self-nomination but we do allow publishers to nominate their authors.

What are the conditions of entry?

All books must have been published in the 12 months from September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023. Authors must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia.

Do I need to be a journalist to enter?

No, all writers are encouraged to enter their work, so long as it is an example of journalistic non-fiction.

Do I need to pay the $260 entry fee if I am a financial member MEAA?

No, MEAA will cover the cost of entry for financial members as a benefit of membership. However MEAA only covers entry fees for financial members – suspended members who are not actively working in the journalism field can reactivate their membership at a special rate. For membership information, please call 1300 65 65 13.

If there is more than one author involved in a book, does each need to pay the $260 entry fee?

There is only one entry fee per publication. Entries, where all authors are members, do not require payment (this is covered by MEAA). Entries, where one or more authors are not members, require payment of the $260.00 entry fee. Entries can be a joint collaboration of up to five writers.

What types of books are considered non-fiction journalism?

Entries may cover a diverse range of issues, from true crime, memoirs and biographies, through to political analysis, business, war reportage, investigative journalism and foreign correspondence. Titles can be of Australian or international subject matter and/or historical in context.

Do I need to have the entry form authorised?

Yes, it is compulsory that you have it signed by your publisher to validate the work.

What will I be asked on the entry form?

You will be asked to provide a 200-word entry statement and a synopsis of the work you are entering.

The entry statement should contain things such as the author’s inspiration for the work, any hurdles in the research or publishing process and any additional information which may be of interest to the judges ie, has there been any consequence of the writing of the book (court action, media coverage, family reunions, new developments, etc).

How are the awards judged?

Judging is a two-tier process comprising senior representatives within the media and publishing community. Judges will determine a long list (top nine) and shortlist (top three) prior to the announcement of the Walkley Book Award winner, which takes place at the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner in November.

How are winners and finalists announced?

Longlist finalists will be announced in October and the shortlist will be announced in early November, 2023. Please watch  for further developments.

The Walkley Book Award winner will be announced as part of the festivities for the 68th Annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, held on Thursday November 23, 2023.

 For further information about the Walkley Awards please contact

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