Kibble & Dobbie Literary Awards

According to the award website,


The Awards recognise the works of female authors of fiction or non-fiction classified as ‘life writing’. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.
The Kibble Literary Award recognises the work of an established author while the Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work.


Nita May Dobbie established the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in recognition of her aunt, Nita Bernice Kibble. Miss Kibble raised her from birth after her mother died and was also the first woman to be appointed a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales.

In the late 1800s, Miss Kibble had successfully answered an advertisement for a junior assistant at the Public Library of New South Wales, when her signature was taken for a man’s. She later became the first female librarian with the State Library of New South Wales and held the position of Principal Research Officer from 1919 until her retirement in 1943. Throughout her career she worked hard to raise the status of the library profession and was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.
Miss Dobbie followed her aunt into the library profession and recognised the need to foster women’s writing in the community and so established the Awards through her will.

The awards became biennial from 2016.

2020 – no award ‘due to a review of the funding trust and the award processes’.


Kibble Shortlist – The High Places by Fiona McFarlane
The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner

Dobbie Shortlist – The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein
Troppo by Madelaine Dickie
The Healing Party: A Novel by Micheline Lee

Kibble Shortlist – Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright
A Few Days in the Country by Elizabeth Harrower
Second Half First by Drusilla Modjeska

Dobbie Shortlist – Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
Reckoning by Magda Szubanki


Kibble Shortlist – The Golden Age by Joan London
Warning The Story of Cyclone Tracy by Sophie Cunningham
This House of Grief by Helen Garner

Dobbie Shortlist – Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
The Strays by Emily Bitto
After Darkness by Christine Piper


Kibble Shortlist – Boy Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson
Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide
Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

Dobbie Shortlist – Madness A Memoir by Kate Richards
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
High Sobriety My Year Without Booze by Jill Stark


Kibble Shortlist – The Beloved by Anna Faulkner
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Like A House on Fire by Cate Kennedy

Dobbie Shortlist – Toyo: A Memoir by Lily Chan
Floundering by Romy Ash
The Burial by Courtney Collins


Kibble Shortlist – Five Bells by Gail Jones
Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
Animal People by Charlotte Wood

Dobbie Shortlist – Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett    (R)
End of the Night girl by Amy T Matthews
Bearings by Leah Swann


Kibble Shortlist – Reading by Moonlight by Brenda Walker
Sydney by Delia Falconer
Barbara Hanrahan: A Biography by Annette Stewart

Dobbie Shortlist – Night Street by Kristel Thornell
My Sister Chaos by Lara Fergus
Come Inside by G L Osborne


Kibble Shortlist – The Ghost at the Wedding by Shirley Walker
The Real Possibility of Joy by Josephine Emery
The China Garden by Kristina Olsson

Dobbie Shortlist – The Book of Emmett by Deborah Forster
Little White Slips by Karen Hitchcock
The Nature of Ice by Robyn Mundy


Kibble Shortlist – An Exacting Heart: The Story of Hephizbah Menuhin by Jacqueline Kent
Births, Deaths, Marriages by Georgia Blain
The After Life: A Memoir by Kathleen Stewart

Dobbie Shortlist – Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas
Arthur Boyd: A Life by Darleen Bungey
Addition by Toni Jordan


Kibble Shortlist – Nights in the Asylum by Carloe Lefevre
Sorry by Gail Jones
Burning In by Mireille Juchau

Dobbie Shortlist – The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee
Nine Parts Water by Emma Hardman
A Curious Intimacy by Jessica White


Kibble Shortlist – Careless by Deborah Robertson
Agamemnon’s Kiss by Inga Clendinnen
Captain Starlight’s Apprentice by Kathryn Heyman
Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones
Ida Leeson, A Life by Sylvia Martin

Dobbie Shortlist – Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch
Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan
Waterlemon by Ruth Ritchie


Kibble Shortlist – The Wing of Night by Brenda Walker
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
The Butterfly Man by Heather Rose

Dobbie Shortlist – An Uncommon Dialogue by Debra Drake
In My Skin by Kate Holden
Out of the Silence by Wendy James
Balanda, My Year in Arnheim Land by Mary Ellen Jordan


Kibble Shortlist – Plenty by Gay Bilson
Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner
The Broken Book by Susan Johnson

Dobbie Shortlist – The Secret World of Annette Robinson by Paulette Gittins
Salt Rain by Sarah Armstrong
The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies by Kimberley Starr


Kibble Shortlist – That Oceanic Feeling by Fiona Capp
Shot by Gail Jones
The End of Equality by Anne Summers

Dobbie Shortlist –  The Alphabet of Light and Dark by Danielle Wood
A Story of Light and Dark by Phyllis McDuff
Asylum: Voices Behind the Razor Wire by Heather Tyler


Kibble Shortlist – Black Mirror by Gail Jones
The Boyds: A Family Biography by Brenda Niall
The Water Underneath by Kate Lyons
The Truth About My Fathers by Gaby Naher  (R)

Dobbie Shortlist – The Bean Patch by Shirley Painter
Unearthed by Rebe Taylor
Borrowed Eyes by Saskia Beudel


Kibble Shortlist – A Certain Style – Beatrice Davis A Literary Life by Jacqueline Kent
The Fog Garden by Marion Halligan
Other People’s Words by Hilary McPhee

Dobbie Shortlist – The Indomitable Miss Pink: A Life in Anthropology by Julie Marcus
Mother Lode: Stories of Home Life and Home Death by Susan Addison


Kibble Shortlist – Tiger’s Eye: A Memoir by Inga Clendinnen
Journey from Venice by Ruth Cracknell

Dobbie Shortlist – Craft For a Dry Lake by Kim Mahood
Love and Vertigo by Hsu Ming Teo
Bruising by Mischa Merz
The Fishcastle by Elizabeth Stead


Kibble Shortlist – Stravinsky’s Lunch by Drusilla Modjeska
Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop by Amy Witting
Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
Out of the Sky She Came by Valerie Lawson
Drylands by Thea Astley

Dobbie Shortlist – Off the Rails by Margo Kingston


Kibble Shortlist – Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks    (R)
The Spotted Skin by Rowena Ivers
Watched by Ancestors by Kathy Golski
The Golden Dress by Marion Halligan
Xavier Herbert by Frances De Groen

Dobbie Shortlist – Hiam by Eva Sallis


Kibble Shortlist – Snake Cradle by Roberta Sykes
Dingo by Sally Dingo
Glass After Glass by Barbara Blackman
The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer
Paradise Mislaid by Anne Whitehead

Dobbie Shortlist – Steam Pigs by Melissa Lucashenko


Kibble Shortlist – True Stories by Helen Garner
The Tempest of Clemenza by Glenda Adams
Sex and Anarchy by Anne Coombs
Ethel by Suzanne Falkiner
Leaning Towards Infinity by Sue Woolfe

Dobbie Shortlist – Listening For Small Sounds by Penelope Trevor
Dirt by Catherine Ford
When You Grow Up by Connie Nungulla
Fairytales in Reality by Margot Orum
Night Surfing by Fiona Capp


Kibble Shortlist – Diaries by Judy Cassab
Hotel Albatross by Debra Adelaide
Caravanserai by Hanifa Deen
Penny Dreadful by Penelope Nelson
The Cross by Mandy Sayer

Dobbie Shortlist – No winner
H is for Homo by Alana Valentine


Kibble Shortlist – The Orchard by Drusilla Modjeska
The World Waiting to be Made by Simone Lazaroo
Georhiana by Brenda Niall
Heddy and Me by Susan Varga
Auntie Rita by Jackie and Rita Huggins

Dobbie Shortlist – No Winner
Lapping, Licking and Skinny – Dipping Distant Summers, Other Lives by Maria Cresa


Kibble Shortlist – Lover’s Knot by Marion Halligan
The Gripping Beast by Joan Dugdale
Over My Tracks by Evelyn Crawford
Christina Stead Bio by Hazel Rowley

Dobbie Shortlist – For Some Reason by Nola Fisher
My Daughter, My Forever Baby by Mary Burbridge

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