2023 Miles Franklin Shadow Jury


Literature has the remarkable ability to transport us to different worlds, evoke emotions, and ignite our imagination. It is a form of art that holds immense value and impact in society. The Miles Franklin Award, established in 1957, holds a significant place in the history of Australian literature. Named after acclaimed Australian author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, the award aims to recognise and celebrate the best works of fiction that depict and contribute to Australian life. It was initially established through a bequest in Franklin's will, with the intention of encouraging and supporting the development of uniquely Australian literature.

Over the years, the award has evolved to become one of the most prestigious literary honours in the country. It has showcased the diversity, depth, and creativity of Australian storytelling, honouring exceptional works that capture the essence of the nation's cultural landscape. The Miles Franklin Award continues to play a vital role in promoting Australian literature and inspiring future generations of writers to share their unique perspectives and narratives with the world.

What is the Miles Franklin Shadow Jury?

A shadow jury is an independent panel of passionate readers, critics, and literary enthusiasts who come together to review a longlist of books. While the official judging panel ultimately determines the award-winning book, the shadow jury offers an alternative lens through which to appreciate and analyse the longlisted works.

In this post, we present reviews from our shadow jury, which included students, writers and critics from UQ who delved into each longlisted book. Through these reviews, we aim to provide readers with a multifaceted understanding of the longlisted works and spark engaging conversations about their literary significance.

Why the Longlist?

In the world of literary awards, the longlisted books often occupy a unique space. While the spotlight tends to shine on the eventual winners, these longlisted gems often offer a more diverse and intriguing glimpse into the state of contemporary Australian literature. It is unfortunate that they seldom receive the same level of attention and recognition as their shortlisted counterparts. However, the introduction of a shadow jury brings an opportunity to shed light on these deserving works.

Through our series of reviews, we aim to celebrate the richness and variety found within the longlisted books, amplifying their voices and showcasing the captivating narratives that might otherwise go unnoticed. Join us in exploring the depths of contemporary Australian literature as we uncover the hidden treasures within the longlist.