The $5,000 biennial award is for an essay between 3,000 and 5,000 words in the genre of "Writing of Place." The prize will go to an Australian writer whose entry is judged to be of the highest literary merit and which best explores his or her relationship and interaction with some aspect of the Australian landscape. The competition's judges are Geordie Williamson—literary critic with The Australian—and Dr Janine Burke, distinguished biographer, art historian and author of The Nest.
The Nature Conservancy Australia Nature Writing Prize was created to promote and celebrate the art of nature writing in Australia as well as to encourage a greater appreciation of Australia’s magnificent landscapes. The prize has been made possible thanks to the generous support of The McLean Foundation, which is committed to promoting and celebrating the literature of nature in Australia.
Dr Michael Looker, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Australia Division, said today that he looked forward to building on the success of the first nature writing prize, which attracted over 130 writers.
The inaugural prize was won by Annamaria Weldon for her piece "Threshold Country," which the judges described as "a marvellously orchestrated, complex meditation on belonging. It is at once assured and yet gently voiced." Short listed writers included Will Mooney (Tasmania) for Cape Bernier; Stephen McAlpine (WA) forLiving on the Edge; Tanya Massy (Victoria) for Pulse; and Nick Drayson (ACT) for My Place.