Rosemary van den Berg Prize

Rosemary van den Berg Prize for First Nations Criticism

The aim of this biennial prize is to celebrate a work of criticism (understood broadly, to include
writing about literature published online and in print, in review and scholarly publications) written by
a First Nations critic in Australia and published within the period of 30 April 2021 and 30 April 2023.
Pieces for consideration are to be submitted by nomination. The winner will receive $5000.
This prize is offered in partnership by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and the
Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

The judging panel for the inaugural Rosemary Van den Berg Prize for First Nations Criticism:
Evelyn Araluen, Graham Akhurst and Anne Brewster. 


The Winner of the 2023 Rosemary van den Berg Prize:

Jeanine Leane, ‘Returning to our Futures’, Sydney Review of Books

Rosemary van den Berg judges’ report


Conditions of Entry


    1. This competition is open to First Nations writers across Australia, at any stage of their career.
    2. The Prize opens at 9am on 3 April 2023 and closes at midnight on 19 May 2023. Late nominations
      will not be accepted. The winner will be announced at the ASAL conference and on the ASAL
      website no later than 30 July 2023.
    3. Entries are to be submitted by nomination. Nominators must seek permission from authors before
      nominating a work. Self nominations are permitted.
    4. Entries must have been published in print or online between 30 April 2021 and 30 April 2023.
    5. Entries must be submitted in PDF form: either a scan of a print publication or PDF generated from
      an online publication.
    6. Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet including the author’s name, email address, phone
      number, and 250 word biographical note. Authors may include a brief (max 300 word) statement
      justifying the inclusion of a specific format as a work of criticism.
    7. Any entries not adhering to the Conditions of Entry will be set aside.
      The winning author will receive:
    8. A cash prize of $5000.
    9. Fully subsidised conference fees to attend the annual conference of the Association for the Study of
      Australian Literature.
      Judging Process
    10. There will be three judges, at least two of whom will be First Nations writers, scholars or critics.
      Judges will receive a stipend of $750.
    11. Judges will receive entries as soon as practicable after the close of nominations.
    12. The judging panel should check entries abide by Conditions of Entry. If an entry does not follow
      submission guidelines, or meet eligibility criteria, it should be set aside.
    13. The judging panel will be charged with selecting a ranked shortlist of no more than three entries
      (1st to 3rd). The judging panel may also select to nominate ‘Highly Commended’ entries.
    14. Judges will provide a short (max. 500 word) report commenting on the winning entry. This should
      be provided to the Association for the Study of Australian Literature no less than 2 working days prior
      to the announcement of the prize.
    15. Judges should not enter into correspondence or discussion about the outcome of the Prize.



Judging Criteria
Judges will use their expertise in the form to determine the strongest overall entry which adheres to
the Conditions of Entry. Nominations must be emailed to [email protected].

The decision of the judging panel is final, and no negotiation will be entered into.

PDF terms and conditions are available here:

Rosemary van den Berg Prize




About Dr. Rosemary van den Berg

Dr. Rosemary van den Berg was a respected Aboriginal elder, who worked as an
editor (with Magabala), a consultant, public speaker, researcher, teacher and writer.
She was born at the Moore River Native Settlement and spent her childhood years at
Pinjarra with her family. Her father was a Mulba/Marlba man from the Palkyu people
and her mother was a Nyoongar woman from the Bindjareb people. Her books include
her father’s life story, No Options No Choice: The Moore River Experience (1994), a
scholarly monograph, Nyoongar People of Australia: Perspectives on Racism and
(2002), a co-edited anthology Those who remain will always
remember. An Anthology of Aboriginal Writing
(2002) (with Anne Brewster and
Angeline O’Neill), and a memoir, Clogs and Bare Feet (2012). She also published
scholarly articles, journalism and short stories. She was awarded the Indigenous
Higher Education Award (2010) and the National Aboriginal & Islander Day
Observance Committee Scholar of the Year Award (2000). She worked as a lecturer
at Murdoch University and an Associate Professor at Curtin University.