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Nature Writing Prize 2019

Calling all nature writers!

in Western Australia.
Cockburn Ranges in Western Australia. © Jan Glovac


The Nature Conservancy Australia is delighted to open the fifth biennial Nature Writing Prize.

The winner of the best essay (3,000 – 5,000 words) in the genre of ‘Writing of Place’ will receive a $5,000 award and will be published as an online multimedia essay by Griffith Review – Australia’s leading literary quarterly publication.

The prize will go to an Australian writer whose entry is judged to be of the highest literary merit and which best explores their relationship and interaction with some aspect of the Australian landscape.

The deadline for submissions was 1 February 2019 and the winner will be announced in May 2019. The prize is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents. Read the Terms & Conditions.

About the Judges

This year’s judges are writers and academics Dr Delia Falconer and Professor Tom Griffiths AO. 

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels (The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers) and Sydney, a personal history of her hometown. Her essays and critical writing have appeared in Australia, France and the US and been anthologised frequently in The Best Australian Essays. She teaches creative non-fiction at the University of Technology Sydney. Her review-essay “The Opposite of Glamour,” about how writers are responding to the Sixth Great Extinction, won the 2018 Walkley-Pascall Prize for arts criticism.

Tom Griffiths AO is a historian whose books and essays have won prizes in history, science, literature, politics and journalism including the Douglas Stewart and Nettie Palmer Prizes for Non-Fiction, the Ernest Scott Prize, the Eureka Science Book Prize and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. He is the author of: 

  • Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia
  • Forests of Ash: An Environmental History
  • Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica
  • Living with Fire (with Christine Hansen), and 
  • The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft

He is Emeritus Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Environmental History at Australian National University.

About the 2017 Prize

The 2017 prize was won by Sophie Cunningham for her essay entitled Biyala Stories – an account of the natural and social history of the red gums and waterways of Melbourne’s landscape. 

2017 shortlisted entries


The prize has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from the McLean Foundation, which promotes and celebrates the literature of nature in Australia.