Australian Book Review

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Australian Book Review
Editor Peter Rose
Frequency Monthly
First issue  1961 (1961-month)
Country Australia
Based in "Boyd", Southbank, Victoria
Language English
ISSN 0155-2864

Australian Book Review is one of Australia's leading arts and literary reviews.[1] Created in 1961[2] the ABR is an independent non-profit organisation that publishes articles, reviews, commentaries, essays, and new writing. The aims of the magazine are 'to foster high critical standards, to provide an outlet for fine new writing, and to contribute to the preservation of literary values and a full appreciation of Australia's literary heritage'.[3]

History and profile

Australian Book Review was established by Max Harris and Rosemary Wighton as a monthly journal in Adelaide, Australia, in 1961. In 1971 production was reduced to quarterly releases, and lapsed completely in 1974. In 1978 the journal was revived by the National Book Council and, moving to Melbourne, began producing ten issues per year.[4]

ABR is currently sponsored by Flinders University,[5] and supported by various organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Arts SA, and Copyright Agency Limited.


Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay

The Calibre Prize is an annual Australian Book Review initiative intended to generate brilliant new essays and to foster new insights into culture, society, and the human condition. The Prize, first awarded in 2007, is worth A$5,000.

ABR welcomes entries from published authors and commentators, and from emerging writers. All non-fiction subjects are eligible, from life writing to literary studies, history to politics, biography to philosophy, natural history to popular science, travel writing to environmental studies.


Peter Porter Poetry Prize

Australian Book Review established its annual Poetry Prize in 2005, and in 2010 renamed it the Peter Porter Poetry Prize[6] in memory of the Australian poet. The Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry, and guarantees the winning and short-listed entries wide exposure through publication in ABR.

Entrants must submit a single poem of no more than 75 lines. Multiple entries are permitted, and all poems are judged anonymously.


ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Australian Book Review revived its annual short story competition in 2010, and in 2011 renamed it the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize in memory of the late Australian writer, Elizabeth Jolley. The total prize money rose in 2016 from $8000 to $12,500, thanks to the support of ABR Patron Mr Ian Dickson.


Arts Update

In 2012, Australian Book Review launched a major extension of its coverage of Australian culture, Arts Update. At a time of shrinking coverage elsewhere, Arts Update offers lengthy critiques of major films, plays, television features, operas, art exhibitions – and more.


In 2015, Australian Book Review launched two podcasts – Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast. Both podcasts can be found on iTunes (Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast) and SoundCloud (Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast) and can also be listened to on the ABR website. Shownotes are available for every episode.


ABR's Fellowship program began in 2011. Funded by ABR’s generous Patrons and by philanthropic foundations, the Fellowship program is intended to reward outstanding Australian writers and to advance the magazine’s commitment to critical debate and literary values. ABR will offer two or three such Fellowships each year. Each ABR Fellowship is worth at least $5,000.


Editorial Internships

Each year Australian Book Review offers a one-year, full-time Editorial Internship worth a total of $45,000 – a rare opportunity in the publishing sector. The chosen Intern works closely with the Editor, Peter Rose. He/she is involved in every aspect of the magazine’s business. It is a rewarding and fascinating position for a young, committed editor.

ABR Editorial Interns

  • Mark Gomes
  • Tim Brewer
  • Milly Main
  • Sara Savage
  • Sam Zifchak
  • Luke Horton


  1. "Literary Magazines Australia". Australia Council for the Arts. Retrieved 27 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Australian Magazines of the Twentieth Century". Austlit. Retrieved 1 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Patron Program". Australian Book Review. Retrieved 4 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, Second Edition. William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews (eds). Oxford University Press, 1994.
  5. "ABR - Australian Book Review". Retrieved 28 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Australian Book Review Peter Porter Poetry Prize:

External links