Writers Victoria has announced that author Jacqueline Kent has been awarded the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship for her proposed biography of political campaigner and women’s rights activist Vida Goldstein.

Kent was chosen from a shortlist of eight, and received her award at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on 8 March.

‘We are delighted to award the 2018 fellowship to Jacqueline Kent who is a distinguished biographer and will bring great insight and narrative flair to the extraordinary life of Vida Goldstein, a pivotal figure in the suffragette movement in Australia and internationally,’ said Jenny Hocking, one of the four judges.

This year’s judges also awarded a Special Hazel Rowley Award of $15,000 to author Drusilla Modjeska. Modjeska, said Della Rowley, sister of Hazel Rowley, is ‘one of Australia’s finest writers, and a great innovator in the art of biography and memoir’.

The announcement was followed by the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture, which was given by award judge and Gough Whitlam biographer Jenny Hocking, on the politics of biography.

First established in 2011, the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship encourages Australian authors to aim for ‘a high standard of biography writing and to commemorate the life, ideas and writing of Hazel Rowley’.



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