Fellowship



The annual Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship commemorates the work of Hazel Rowley (1951-2011), one of the world’s leading biographers, who left behind a legacy of great writing, a passion for words and for exploring the lives and relationships of exceptional men and women.

The fellowship is open to Australian citizens. The focus is on biography, but extends to an aspect of cultural or social history compatible with Hazel’s interest areas.

Up to $10,000 will be awarded for travel and research to further a writing proposal or work in progress.

Preference will be given to projects that are about ‘risk-taking’ and expanding horizons, promote discussion of ideas, and make a significant contribution to public intellectual life.

Applications open in October, the shortlist is announced in January and the Fellowship is awarded in March.

For more information visit https://writersvictoria.org.au/support/fellowships/hazel-rowley-literary-fellowship


Fellowship 2016


In front of a packed audience at the Wheeler Centre, the 2016 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship winner was announced in Melbourne on 9th March 2016.

Matthew Lamb (Tas) was awarded the $10,000 Fellowship for his proposed cultural biography of the Australian writer Frank Moorhouse.

At the same event 3 previous recipients of the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship spoke about the Art of Biography : Stephany Steggall (Qld), Maxine Beneba Clarke (Vic) and Caroline Baum (NSW) on a panel chaired by Janine Burke, one of our judges. It will be available on podcast from the Wheeler centre.


Janine Burke, Stephany Steggall, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Caroline Baum

For the article on Matthew’s project in the The Age click here

For the article in the Sydney Morning Herald click here


Fellowship 2015


Caroline Baum was announced as the winner of the 2015 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship at the Adelaide Writers Festival on 4 March. The announcement followed the Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture, given by David Marr which is available below.

Media Release - Caroline Baum

Memorial Speech - David Marr



Fellowship 2014


Maxine Beneba Clarke was announced as the winner of the 2014 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship at the Writers Victoria Salon on 11th March 2014.

Clarke will use the $10,000 fellowship to work on part two of her proposed autobiography, ‘The Hate Race’ – a memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia. The fellowship will allow the Caribbean-Australian writer to ‘go back to where she came from’ – to travel from Australia to England re-tracing her parents’ journey, from England to the Caribbean re-tracing her grandparents’ migration, and from the Caribbean to Africa in search of the ancestors transported to the Caribbean as slaves.

“The opportunity to research and re-trace my family’s migration path will not only be momentous on a personal and emotional level, but will, I hope, result in a work of non-fiction which significantly contributes toward contemporary post-slavery dialogue on race, migration, colour, ancestry, genocide, and the various places we think of as home,” Clarke said. “I will set foot in my parents’ birthplaces for the first time and set out in search of family land lying dormant in Jamaica and Guyana. The Hazel Rowley Fellowship will make this life-changing journey, and my documentation of it, a reality.”

In 2013, Clarke won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript with her debut short story collection, ‘Foreign Soil’ (published by Hachette Australia in May 2014). Clarke is also the author of the poetry collections ‘Gil Scott Heron is on Parole’ and ‘Nothing Here Needs Fixing’, as well as being an Australian slam poetry champion.

The judges were Jim Davidson (biographer), Janine Burke (biographer), Lynn Buchanan (close friend of Hazel’s) and Della Rowley (Hazel’s sister).


Fellowship 2013


The 2013 Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture was given by Alex Miller at Adelaide Writers Week on 6th March followed by the presentation of the second Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship.

Alex Miller’s 2013 Hazel Rowley memorial lecture has been published in his most recent book, The Simplest Words 2015 Allen & Unwin in the chapter entitled ‘A Circle of Kindred Spirits’ pp 299-313




The 2013 award went to Stephany Steggall for her biography Interestingly Enough...the Life of Tom Keneally which was published in 2015 by Black Inc.



Fellowship 2012


The inaugural winner of the 2012 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship was Mary Hoban who is writing a biography of Julia Sorell. She speaks about her project with Jim Davidson and Della Rowley on Books and Arts Daily with Michael Cathcart on March 15th 2012.
Click here for Podcast

3CR Community Radio, Melbourne 25th May 2012
Inaugural winner of the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, Mary Hoban speaking about her project and Hazel Rowley speaking on Biography at Adelaide Writers festival in 2008.
Click here for Podcast

Article: Sydney Morning Herald:
Sisterly love continues Rowley's legacy