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National Biography Award 2020 Shortlist announced

National Biography Award 2020 Shortlist announced

In further book award news this week, the shortlist for the State Library of NSW 2020 National Biography Award has been announced.

The award, which is supported by the Nelson Meers Foundation, celebrates excellence in biography, autobiography and memoir writing. It is the richest prize for Australian biographical writing, with a prize pool of $42,000.

The award, established by Dr Geoffrey Cains, has been running for 24 years. It was supported by the late Michael Crouch AC to encourage the highest standard of biographical writing and promote public interest in the genre.

In 2018, the Nelson Meers Foundation took over the funding of the award, and increased the value of prize money for each shortlisted author to $2000.

The winner, announced on August 28, will receive $25,000.

The shortlist is competitive, with The Girls by Chloe Higgins having already won the People’s Choice Award for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards this year 

See the full shortlist below!


The Girls by Chloe Higgins   Buy | Borrow

Beyond Words: A year with Kenneth Cook by Jacqueline Kent   Buy | Borrow

Idling in green Places: A life of Alec Chisholm by Russell McGregor   Buy | Borrow

Tiberius with a Telephone: The life and stories of William McMahon by Patrick Mullins   Buy | Borrow

Things Nobody Knows But Me by Amra Pajalić   Buy | Borrow

Hearing Maud by Jessica White   Buy | Borrow