Entries open for $40,000 award for female scriptwriters

Friday 6 March 2020

The State Library of NSW has opened nominations for the 2020 Mona Brand Award for Women Stage and Screen Writers, the only award of its kind in Australia with a total prize pool of $40,000.

The Mona Brand Award recognises outstanding women writers for the stage and screen, with the major $30,000 prize for established creators and $10,000 for a writer in the early stages of her career, to be presented at the State Library on 18 September 2020.

The biennial Mona Brand Award has been made possible by the generous bequest of the late Mona Alexis Fox nee Brand (1915–2007), trailblazing Australian poet, author and playwright, and the State Library of NSW Foundation.

According to senior judge Helen Bowden: “During her lifetime Mona Brand was far more well known in Europe than in Australia, so much so that she wanted to create a legacy that would offer recognition to Australian women writers at home.”

“Her writing reflected a keen interest in social justice and human rights at a time when such views were not always popular,” Ms Bowden added. “Through this award we celebrate Mona Brand’s fierceness and her generosity of spirit as witnessed in her bequest to the State Library of NSW.”

The Mona Brand Award is among the richest available to women writers for stage and screen in Australia.

2018 winner Patricia Cornelius said the award “is a fabulous reminder of the continuing fight for women in the arts. It’s a reminder of the vital need for our voices to be heard; loud, opinionated, progressive voices that say something important about the world.”

Entries close at 5pm on 13 May 2020.

The winners will be announced at the State Library of NSW on 18 September 2020.

Download media release (PDF 148KB)