The Dorothy Hewett Award was established in 2015 by UWA Publishing as a response to the changes to the WA Premier’s Book Awards announced earlier that year. Along with the majority of the Western Australian arts community, UWA Publishing expressed the view that the loss of $65,000 per annum and move to a biennial format undervalues the arts in a state that has produced some of the nation’s finest writers and thinkers. 

The aim of the Dorothy Hewett Award is to support literary talent both in and related to Western Australia, and to celebrate the life and writing of a stalwart Australian radical. The award will be an annual fixture designed to be a catalyst for writers beginning or furthering their professional writing careers. The award is funded by The Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund.

Hewett (1923-2002) is considered one of Australia’s leading writers whose work captures and disrupts ideas of normalcy in twentieth century Australian culture. As a staunch feminist and, for a long time, communist, Hewett gave voice to the marginalised. In 1986 Dorothy Hewett was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to literature. It is important to note that Hewett won the Western Australian Premier’s Poetry Award in 1994 and 1995 for her collections Peninsula and Collected Poems: 1940-1995.

The Dorothy Hewett Award is open to all writers who have completed a manuscript and are seeking publication. The work must be fiction, narrative nonfiction or poetry, inclusive of hybrid genres such as verse novels or memoirs. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, courtesy of Copyright Agency Limited, and will be offered a publishing contract by UWA Publishing. The award will be announced at a special event at the Perth Writers Festival 2017.



Shortlisted writers



Judges report

Announcement of the Award

Shortlisted writers