This bursary of $1,000 is awarded annually and is open to female honours and post-graduate students attending universities in New South Wales. Entrants for the Award must submit an abstract (300-500 words) of an unpublished research paper on the published or unpublished work(s) of fiction or non-fiction of an Australian woman writer or journalist.

 The 2016 Abbie Clancy Award was presented to the winner at the Society’s meeting on 14 December.

2016 Abbie Clancy Award

Meg Brayshaw

2015 Abbie Clancy Award

Isobel Barrett Meyering

2013 Abbie Clancy Award was given to  joint winners:

Claire Timbs and Claire Nashar.

No award was given for the 2011. 

In conjunction with other state branches of the Society of Women Writers, this award is conferred every two years upon an Australian woman writer who, by her own written work, has made a distinguished and long-term contribution to Australian literature.

The Alice is a prestigious award for any author as it is awarded by a jury of fellow writers. Previous winners have included major names in Australian literature like Dame Mary Durack, Judith Wright, Ruth Park, Kylie Tennant, Kate Grenville and Brenda Niall. The bronze statuette is awarded for ‘an outstanding long-term contribution to Australian literature’.

- Sydney Morning Herald

The 2018 Alice Award will by hosted by the Victorian Society of Women Writers.

2016 winner:

Dr Clare Wright, Victoria.

2014 winner:

Libby Hathorn, New South Wales.

2012 winner:

Susanna de Vries OAM, from Queensland.


The next SWW Book Awards for Members of the Society of Women Writers NSW will now be held in 2018, for books published between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018.

Every second year, members are invited to submit books published over the previous two years. Separate awards are given for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s books. Two Children’s Book Awards may be given – one for a book for younger readers, and one for an adolescent/young adult book.



  • First Prize: Rosalind Meyer (Rosie's War)
  • Second Prize: Susan P Ramage (Kokoda Secret: Ian Hutchison, Australian Hero)
  • Third Prize: Sue Castrique (Under the Colony's Eye)
  • Highly Commended: Ann Howard (You'll be sorry. How World War II changed women's lives)


  • First Prize: Libby Sommer (My Year With Sammy)
  • Second Prize: Johanna Nicholls (Golden Hope)
  • Third Prize: Isolde Martyn (The Golden Widows)
  • Highly Commended. Johanna Nicholls (The Lace Balcony)


  • First Prize Cynthia Rowe (Floating Nest)
  • Second Prize:  Karen Throssell (Motherhood Statement)
  • Equal Third Prize:
  • Marilyn Peck (A Girl in the River)
  • Colleen Keating (A Call to Listen)


  • First Prize: 
Pamela Rushby (The Ratcatcher’s Daughter)
  • Second Prize:  
Pamela Rushby (Flora’s War)
  • Third Prize: 
Libby Hathorn (Eventual Poppy Day


  • First Prize: 
Susanne Gervay (Being Jack) 

  • Second Prize: 
Libby Hathorn (Outside, illustrated by Ritva Voutila)
  • Third Prize: 

Libby Hathorn (IncredibilIia, illustrated by Gaye Chapman)

2013 SWW Book Awards


Equal 1st Prize: 
    Carol Baxter (Captain Thunderbolt & His Lady)
    Dr Susan Steggall (A Most Generous Scholar)
  • 3rd Prize: Clio Calodoukas  (All Roads Lead to Shanghai)
  • Highly Commended:  Heather Bird  (I Hear You)
  • Highly Commended:  Colleen O’Sullivan  (Once A Day Dawn)


  • 1st Prize: Felicity Pulman (A Ring Through Time)
  • 2nd Prize: Susanne Gervay (Ships In The Field)
  • 3rd Prize:  Libby Hathorn (A Boy Like Me)


  • 1st Prize: Yve Louis  (A Door In The Forest)
  • 2nd Prize:  Dr Penelope Cottier (The Cancellation of Clouds)
  • 3rd Prize:  Brenda Saunders (Looking for Bullin Bullin)

2011 SWW Book Awards


•  1st Prize: Lindsay Lewis & Sharyn Killens (The Inconvenient Child)

•  2nd Prize: Dr Maria Hill (Diggers & Greeks)

•  3rd Prize: Yvonne Louis  (A Brush with Mondrian) 

•  Highly Commended: Pam Bayfield  (Come with Me) 

•  Highly Commended: Beverley Earnshaw (Carss Park)


•  1st Prize: Mary-Ellen Mullane  (Once on a Road)

•  Highly Commended: P S (Penelope) Cottier  (A Quiet Day) 

•  Commended: Dr Patricia Gaut (Sympathetic Vibrations)


•  1st Prize: Susanne Gervay (Always Jack)

•  2nd Prize: Cynthia Rowe (Bad Grass) 

•  3rd Prize: Libby Hathorn  (I Love You Book ) 

•  Highly Commended: Wendy Blaxland (I Can Cook – series)


•  1st Prize: Winifred Weir (Walking on Ashes) 

•  Highly Commended: Carolyn Gerrish (The View from the Moon) 

•  Commended: Libby Hathorn (Vietnam Reflections)

The Society of Women Writers is offering a UK Residency to a female writer.

This residency has been generously donated by our Patron, Professor Di Yerbury.

The residency will be located in the beautiful North Devon town of Barnstaple. As a major tourist centre, it has excellent public transport and car access to the moors, famous beaches and very pretty villages.

To Apply You Must Satisfy the Following Criteria:

  • be a member of the Society of Women Writers (NSW) for at least three months at the time of submitting your application. So make sure you join by end 15 August, 2016 if you are not already a member.
  • be over 55 years of age at the time of taking up the residency.
  • be researching or writing a manuscript either fiction or non-fiction that is set in or linked to the United Kingdom.

Requirements: (either hard copy or email attachment)

  • a copy of your CV (no more than one A4 page)
  • a summary of your proposed manuscript (500 words)
  • a chapter of a previous book or a short story or an article you have written.
  • a review of one of your books or other publications.

What is Offered:

The successful applicant will be offered accommodation in a comfortably furnished one bedroom apartment for over 55s in the town of Barnstaple, North Devon for a period of up to three months from June to September 2017. Electricity and phone calls are included as part of the residency.

What is Not Included:

Airfares, including travel insurance, domestic travel costs and meal allowance, will not be covered by the residency. These costs will need to be meet by the recipient for the period of her stay or she should seek funding from other agencies to assist with these expenses.


Upon completing the residency the recipient will be required to give an address to the members of the Society of Women Writers (NSW) at a 2017 SWW Literary Lunch.

A written report of approximately 2,000 words will be required, to be published in the Society’s magazine Women’s


  • Entry Fee: $35.00
  • Non-members of SWW are welcome to enter after becoming a member however you need to join by August 2016 to meet the three month eligibility requirement.

Non Member Relevant fees are:

  • $100 full membership- includes entry fee of $35; full membership fee $50; once-only joining fee $15
  • $90 concessional membership – includes entry fee $35; concessional membership fee $40 (only available with a Pension card number); once-only joining fee $15.


30 November, 2016 (no later than 5pm )


February 2017


The Secretary, Society of Women Writers NSW Inc.,
GPO Box 1388
Sydney NSW 2001
or email applications to (with all required attachments)