Nita Kibble Literary Award

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The Kibble Literary Awards comprise two awards which are presented annually: the Nita B Kibble Literary Award, which recognises the work of an established Australian female writer, and the Dobbie Literary Award, which is for a first published work by a female writer.[1][2] The Awards recognise the works of women writers of fiction or non-fiction classified as 'life writing'. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.

The Kibble Literary Awards were established in 1994 and are named in honour of Nita Kibble (1879–1962), who was the first woman to be a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales.[3] She was Principal Research Librarian from 1919 until her retirement in 1943, and was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.

The Kibble Awards for Women Writers were established by Nita Dobbie, through her will, in recognition of her aunt, Nita Kibble, who had raised her from birth after her mother died.[1] Miss Dobbie followed her aunt into the library profession. She believed there was a need to foster women’s writing in the community.[1] The awards are currently worth A$35,000 in total.

The Trust established for the award is managed by Perpetual Limited,[4] and the award is administered in association with the State Library of New South Wales.[5]

Winners of the Nita B Kibble Literary Award for Women Writers[edit]

Winners of the Dobbie Literary Award[edit]

Shortlisted works for the Nita B Kibble Literary Award[edit]

Winners are listed in bold type.


  • Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir - Kristina Olsson (University of Queensland Press)
  • Letter to George Clooney - Debra Adelaide (Picador Australia)
  • Mullumbimby - Melissa Lucashenko (University of Queensland Press)

















  • Glass After Glass: Autobiographical Reflections, Barbara Blackman
  • Snake Cradle, Roberta Sykes
  • Paradise Mislaid: In Search of the Australian Tribe of Paraguay, Anne Whitehead



  • Judy Cassab: Diaries, Judy Cassab
  • Caravanserai: Journey among Australian Muslims, Hanifa Deen


  • Auntie Rita, Rita Cynthia Huggins and Jackie Huggins
  • The World Waiting to be Made, Simone Lazaroo
  • The Orchard, Drusilla Modjeska


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kibble Awards for Women Writers
  2. ^ Kibble and Dobbie Awards
  3. ^ The Nita Kibble Literary Award
  4. ^ "Kibble | History". Kibble Literary Awards. Perpetual Limited. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kibble Literary Award". State Library of New South Wales. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "John Vincent Bayley - papers, 1994?-1998". Manuscripts, oral history & pictures. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Short-list for Kibble and Dobbie Awards for women writers announced