Stella Prize 2020 – my prediction

The Stella Prize 2020 winner is announced tonight (tune in for the live announcement here).

A reminder of the contenders –

My prediction is based on a combination of logic (because that’s clearly important when it comes to literary prizes!) and my heart’s desire.

I’m ruling out Diving Into Glass on the basis that they won’t pick a memoir two years in a row (note that I haven’t read this book, despite memoir being a favourite genre. I started it, I wasn’t immediately drawn in, I returned it to the library…and then COVID-19).

I’m ruling out The Weekend (even though I loved it) – I reckon they’ll share the love and Wood has won before.

See What You Made Me Do is an important book, it’s topical, and everyone should read it but for all those reasons, I think it’s a stretch to win (note that I’m only halfway through this book – again, COVID-19 derailed me, and I had to switch to something lighter).

So that leaves me with The Yield, Here Until August, and There Was Still Love. All are worthy winners. I loved the layers in The Yield. I loved the consistency across the collection in Here Until August. I loved the warmth of There Was Still Love.

When Kim reviewed There Was Still Love recently, she said it was a ‘balm for the soul’. Yes, it is. And I think we all need that right now. Fingers crossed for Favel, that’s my winner.


16 responses

    • I’ve pretty much read all of the shortlisted books, and I’ve read all the winners with the exception of Tracker…which feels so big and challenging. I have it (and was actually at the Prize announcement that night) but I really don’t know when I will get to it.

      • The year that Tracker won (2018) was probably my least favourite shortlist – it seemed like the judges were going for books so ‘alternative’ that I feared that it would turn readers off (the de Kretser was the most mainstream title that year). As much as some people might joke about the tastes of the middle-aged-womens book group, they sure do spend a lot of money on books and things like prize shortlists are easy sales at Readings!

        The year that Tracker won, I was cheering for Coleman’s Terra Nullius. But I have a poor record at getting these things right!

    • I have to say that this year more than any other I wouldn’t mind if any of the shortlisted books won! admit that I have felt more strongly about some books in previous years….).

  1. Absolutely agree with Kim about There Will Still Be Love and will join you in crossing my fingers. I read it before the pandemic and I suspect it would make me cry now. I love your logic idea. I always think prizes are decided by committee and may well be the decision of those who should loudest.

    • I figure there must be some weighing up of fiction vs nonfiction vs memoir vs short stories, and being ‘fair’ to all genres?! (that’s the ‘logic’ or ‘science’ of these things).

  2. Thanks for the link. I would love Favel to win it, but I reckon it will go to The Yield. I haven’t read The Yield myself (it’s on Mt TBR) but having seen so many wonderful reviews of it I can’t help but think it ticks a lot of literary prize boxes. But then again (covering my back here) maybe they’ll give it to a short story collection seeing short stories haven’t won the Stella yet.

    • It crossed my mind that the Prize hasn’t gone to a short story collection – this would be worthy, it’s a solid collection with some interesting and wonderful stories.

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