Members Book Awards

SWW Members' Book Awards

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 are given – one for a book for younger readers, and one for an adolescent/young adult book.

The next SWW Book Awards for Members of the Society of Women Writers NSW will be held in 2022, for books published between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2022.



The Society's Members Book Awards ceremony was held on 10 February 2021, delayed because of COVID until we could all meet in person back in the Dixson Room at the State Library.
We congratulate everyone who entered, especially the Commended, Highly Commended and Winners, as listed below, and offer our sincere thanks to the judges for their hard work and heart-felt comments.


Poetry - judged by Margaret Bradstock

Winner:  Colleen Keating  ◊  Hildegard of Bingen

Highly Commended:  Pip Griffin  ◊ Margaret Caro
Highly Commended:  Colleen Keating ◊  Desert Patterns
Commended:  Tricia Dearborn  ◊  Autobiochemistry







Fiction - judged by Carolyn Beaumont

Winner:  Christine Sykes  ◊  The Changing Room

Highly Commended:  Diane Armstrong  ◊  The Collaborator
Highly Commended:  Carmel Bendon  ◊  Grasping at Water
Commended:  Cindy Broadbent  ◊  The Revolutionary's Cousin






Non-Fiction - judged by Judith O'Connor

Winner:  Colleen Keating  ◊  Hildegard of Bingen

Highly Commended:  Jo Oliver  ◊  Jessie Traill - a Biography
Highly Commended:  Annabet Ousback  ◊  Red Herrings for Breakfast
Commended:  Jessica North  ◊  Esther







Children - judged by Paul McDonald

Winner:  Libby Hathorn  ◊  Miss Franklin

Highly Commended:  Georgina Donaghey  ◊  In the Shadow of an Elephant
Highly Commended:  Susanne Gervay  ◊  The Boy in the Blue Glasses



Young Adult - judged by Paul McDonald

No prizes awarded.




  •     Winner: Carolinda Witt  ◊  Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero


  •     Winner: Pippa Kay  ◊  Keeping It In The Family
  •     Highly Commended: Sue Woolfe  ◊  Do You Love Me Or What?
  •     Highly Commended: Melissa Bruce  ◊  Picnic at Mount Disappointment
  •     Commended: Carol Chandler  ◊  Black Mountain


  •     Winner: Susan Fealy  ◊  Flute of Milk
  •     Highly Commended:  Beverley George  ◊  Only In Silence
  •     Highly Commended:  Colleen Keating  ◊  Fire on Water
  •     Commended: Kathryn Fry  ◊  Green Point Bearings


  •     Winner: Helen Thurloe  ◊  Promising Azra
  •     Commended: Rosalind Sharbanee Meyer  ◊  Angel Magic

CHILDREN - Hilarie Lindsay Children's Book Award

  •     Winner: Pamela Rushby  ◊  Lizzie and Margaret Rose
  •     Highly Commended: Libby Hathorn  ◊  Butterfly, We're Expecting You
  •     Highly Commended: Michelle Worthington  ◊  World's Worst Pirate
  •     Commended: Pamela Rushby  ◊  Princess Parsley




  • 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)



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


  • First Prize: Felicity Pulman  ◊  A Ring Through Time
  • Second Prize: Susanne Gervay  ◊  Ships In The Field
  • Third Prize: Libby Hathorn  ◊  A Boy Like Me


  • First Prize: Yve Louis  ◊  A Door In The Forest
  • Second Prize: Dr Penelope Cottier  ◊  The Cancellation of Clouds
  • Third Prize: Brenda Saunders  ◊  Looking for Bullin Bullin



  • First Prize: Lindsay Lewis & Sharyn Killens  ◊  The Inconvenient Child
  • Second Prize: Dr Maria Hill  ◊  Diggers & Greeks
  • Third Prize: Yvonne Louis  ◊  A Brush with Mondrian)
  • Highly Commended: Pam Bayfield  ◊  Come with Me
  • Highly Commended: Beverley Earnshaw  ◊  Carss Park


  • First Prize: Mary-Ellen Mullane  ◊  Once on a Road
  • Highly Commended: P S (Penelope) Cottier  ◊  A Quiet Day
  • Commended: Dr Patricia Gaut  ◊  Sympathetic Vibrations


  • First Prize: Susanne Gervay  ◊  Always Jack
  • Second Prize: Cynthia Rowe  ◊  Bad Grass
  • Third Prize: Libby Hathorn  ◊  I Love You Book
  • Highly Commended: Wendy Blaxland  ◊  I Can Cook – series


  • First Prize: Winifred Weir  ◊  Walking on Ashes
  • Highly Commended: Carolyn Gerrish  ◊  The View from the Moon
  • Commended: Libby Hathorn  ◊  Vietnam Reflections